Monday, November 19, 2007

Our Curse

Nate and I are cursed. We have been cursed ever since day one of our marriage.
It has to do with neighbors and I call it:


#1 In our first apartment it was the group of apartment maintenance men who would take turns showering every night - and there were about 15 of them. One after another.

#2 Then in our second apartment there was the single man upstairs with pent-up children who would bounce their basketball on the floor above us, among other things. Oh, and he was a drummer. . .and we got to hear concerts until Nate went up to ask him to stop. And late at night we had the lovely privilege of hearing when lady-friends visited. The bed above us shook so bad once that Nate pounded on the wall and it quickly stopped. Was that rude? We probably ruined his night.

#3 Our next door neighbor in the same place was the apartment painter-man who was friendly, but a mess. I never saw him bring groceries in, only beer. I would often have Nate take over a plate of food or a bowl of chili so the poor skinny man would get some nourishment. But the music and the smell of pot became too much and my charity faded away as frustration built.

#4 So we rented a house. Lucky us. Our neighbors next door were a bunch of single guys renting. And they had a band that wanted to practice every afternoon for a COUPLE HOURS, amplifiers and all. I didn't like my house shaking every afternoon.

#5 Then our nice neighbor on the other side sold her house to a nice little man and the pot-smoking fiestas began right below our bedroom. Lovely.

#6 So now we finally bought our first house six months ago and surprise surprise our neighbor was a renter who was a computer programmer working from home. So I got to listen to the base of his rap music all afternoon as my children tried to nap. He was very nice and considerate when Nate approached him about the music and we didn't hear it again. Then he moved.

#7 A new family replaced him and I think this story tops all our other neighbors and I have pictures to prove it. About a month ago we planted our winter grass. Immediately afterwards, we noticed that our rocks and half of our grass was flooded every morning. We weren't watering at night and don't even have sprinklers and the water damage to our block wall gave away the source: the neighbors.

Puddles in our back yard -- you can see that even around the puddles is a little standing water on the rocks. And this is after the whole day of sunshine where most of it from this morning had evaporated. And you can see the water seeping onto our block wall. That's not even the damage to the wall -- there's two huge hard water stain circles about four feet up and an arm's length across as well.

The mud that this little problem has created on our side of the fence.

One day, sick of it, we looked over the fence and were shocked at what we saw.

Now we knew that they had dogs because we hear them bark every time we go out, but we had no idea that the poor dogs lived like this. All those little black things are, you guessed it, feces. The poor dogs are either walking on crap or water or mud. Is that healthy for those poor dogs?

And here's the side yard that shares the wall with us. Notice the trough they built for the dogs? There's no base to it, just ground. And what's up with this water? Can that be safe by their a/c unit? I don't know or care, but I want it gone and my yard to stop flooding.

This whole problem was an issue that bothered me, but didn't make me angry until Friday.

Yes, it gets worse.

Amy and my mom came over because we had tons of projects to get done:
* make and freeze pie crusts for next week.
* cut tealight-size holes into tons of little pumpkins for centerpieces for next week.
* make candied pecans for next week.
* make some butter crunch for next week.
* sand and paint wood boards for girls' bedroom.
* cut paper and modge-podge it onto dried wood boards.

The kids played fabulously together upstairs for a long time and then headed outside for some playtime. My girls love to get the water into the buckets and transfer it from here to there and I don't mind because they never get wet or dirty - they're very clean. But they had boy cousins over and something changed. All of a sudden we look out and London's clothing is sopping wet as well as her hair. She's bent over the puddle, head bobbing in and out. Looked like fun until she came and we smelled her: dog you know what.

So the water is contaminated with all the dog feces that the people never pick up and now it's all over our children.

I was livid.

We stripped all four of them and I took two upstairs to bath/shower and Amy took two in the downstairs bathroom. Then poor Aidan and D had to wear Savy's undies. D fit into some nice white ones, but poor Aidan. The only ones big enough for him were some pink camo ones. I seriously had to hold back laughter every time I saw him - especially when he was doing ballet-type moves in them. I made Amy take a picture for future bribery when he gets older.

So now the problem needs to be taken care of ASAP so that my children can go outside and enjoy their backyard again. We've emailed the owners and sent pictures. He emailed back and was very grateful, embarrassed, and nice about the whole thing and I'm hoping he does what he said and gets it taken care of as soon as possible because I don't like my backyard smelling so horrible - I think the kids really stirred it up because I can barely go out there without gagging now -- or maybe it's just my active imagination.

Is it too much to ask for normal neighbors?

Will this curse ever go away?

What to do . . . what to do. . .

We dream of someday moving to a neighborhood with huge lots where your neighbors are so far away that you aren't bothered by problems like this. Do you think that will get rid of our curse?


Susan said...

That is just gross. They aren't smart enough to know that the water wouldn't stay in the trough. Adam would say, they don't deserve to live. Kill off those stupidity genes.

Amy said...

I seriously loved that you numbered your neighbor issues. That needs to be done. A start to breaking the curse, I suppose. Sorry my boys helped stir up the smell! It was both an infuriating and hilarious day. But these are the memory makers, Mandi!

elizabeth said...

Oh, Mandi. Hopefully the owner will evict the neighbors, or put grass in and tell them to get rid of the dogs. I hope it goes away soon. It did give me a chuckle though. Especially the picturing Aidan in pink camo panties doing ballet.

Megan said...

That is disgusting. I was grossed out talking to you on the phone about it and reading about it. Hopefully a miracle happens by Thursday!!

Mandy said...

That is so awful! I would freak out if my kids came in smelling like dog yuck. I hope he fixes this soon!

Heather said...

Nasty, nasty, nasty! I would definitely throw up a (pardon the pun) stink and get the neighbor to fix everything! Good luck!

Kelly said...

Oh, Mandi! I thought we had neighbor woes in the past, but yours take the cake! And I'm sorry they continue to the present. The dog yuck lagoon has to go! Keep us updated.