Writer's Workshop #3... Neighbors.
Living in the center of 3 trailers as given me plenty of experience of various types of neighbors. I have good neighbors on one side and have had a slew of bad neighbors on the other side, that is who I will be talking about.
We have been blessed with good neighbors that are quite similar to us.
Quiet...no loud parties, no loud music, no fighting.
Considerate...I let out a scream and they are right there to see if I'm okay or like the day I ran out of gas and they took me to go get some or the day they stopped by and gave us a pecan pie (man I wish I could cook, I would love to return the kindness).
Polite...Always says Hi, talks to us across the fence but not all up in your business
Watchful...we can always count on them to watch over the place when we are gone.
They are the perfect neighbors for us.
But now to the other side.
This trailer has seen many types come and go.
A large family... lots of noise, music, fighting, drinking, honking horns, car door slamming, children squealing, teenagers sneaking out, trashy yard, a foul smell coming from their trailer (later to be identified as trash, diapers and cockroaches(the little nasty ones)).
A small family... clean, quiet, but not too friendly.
A couple...Not so clean, the lady was NEVER friendly but the guy was overly friendly, quiet but with cars coming and going all through the night, left owing the landlord lots of money and left the place trashed up.
Another small family...Unfriendly, never even cracked a smile or a wave of hello, lots of fighting, not responsible pet owners, trash all over the yard and also left owing lots of money.
Single mom with one child...Clean, quiet, but not a responsible pet owner and again another unfriendly neighbor. The only issues I had with her was when her boyfriend would come over she would send the boy outside, sometimes well into the wee hours of the night. And another one who left the inside a mess plus owing money.
Another small family... Polite but not friendly, loud music, fighting. They always had trash in the yard and got locked out for owing money.
The latest resident an single mother of two was very friendly but she had people coming and going all the time, all day and all night with music blaring, car doors slamming, just in general a whole lot of noise. Definitely NOT a responsible pet owner! (left the gate opened with a loose mastiff in their yard, that chewed up my chihuahuas when I took them for a walk on the road) She at least admitted she owed money and moved but once again left the place a mess.
I have always wondered why folks move into a place that has been cleaned and fixed up but when they move out they leave it a mess, trashed up and needing lots of repairs. I would be embarrassed to leave a place that wasn't at least close to the way I got it.
If you borrowed a chainsaw and messed up the blade, would you give it back like that or would you replace the blade first? I would soooo replace the blade!
I think we (society) have become so wrapped up in our own little universes, wants and desires, that we forget that we are not the only people our actions affect, especially when living close to our neighbors.
Being a respectful, considerate neighbor takes some of these questions or thoughts:
Is our music disturbing our neighbors?
Can the neighbors hear us fighting?
Are my children being respectful of our neighbors property? (I have had sooo many toys thrown in my yard, after awhile it gets annoying)
Is my yard an eyesore? (so many times I just keep my curtains closed cause I don't want to see the mess next door)
If I am going to throw a party this weekend, maybe I should let the neighbors know so they can be prepared or make plans to be gone.
My neighbor gets up at 4 in the morning to go to work, so maybe having a loud party in the middle of the week isn't such a good idea.
Is my pet and yard secure?
Is your pet safe from harm (getting run over or attacked) and safe from harming others who are not on your property? (Passerby's should not have to be worried that your dog is going to be loose and attack them)
A Hi, smile or wave wouldn't hurt, being nice to your neighbors CAN be a good thing.
The list could go on and on but I am tired and ready for my nap. Thankfully I don't have any loud neighbors at this time to keep me from getting a nap.
I just wish everyone who has neighbors close by would stop and think of how their lives affect their neighbors lives.