Thursday, August 09, 2012


Over the years and many moves, we've had the displeasure of having many different neighbors. We've run the gambit from having neighbors hauled off by the police for drugs to neighbors that I've called the police on for being buttholes. I've had screaming matches in the parking lot with neighbors. I've been woken up at two in the morning by neighbors fighting with each other. I've lived in a pet-free apartment building only to have fleas because our downstairs neighbors didn't think the rule applied to them. In Vermont, neighbors lived far enough away from us that they were never a problem. Well, except for the time that neighbors around the corner and about three or four houses down decided to have a live band in their backyard playing terrible music (I mean terrible in that the band had NO talent) hours past the time they said they'd quiet down and there wasn't a darn thing to be done about it because some of the police were guests.That's what happens when you live in BFE Vermont.

Now, I've had really good neighbors too. We were neighbors with a retired couple at our first house in North Carolina. They were lovely people and took to my girls like adoptive grandparents. They were great and made the fact that we lived catty corner from a house that was obviously full of drug dealers (a bad egg in an otherwise fantastic neighborhood) not so bad. We were sure that after living in actual houses for six years in a row that moving back into multi-family base housing was going to be a nightmare.

When we moved in, a family had already been living in the other side of our townhouse duplex for some time. They recently moved out and a new family moved in a couple weeks ago. In the 2+ years that we shared walls with the first family, we didn't have one single confrontation. We could occasionally hear them stomp up and down the stairs and occasionally hear them hang things on the wall (at least that's what it sounded like). They had two teenaged boys but never once did I hear loud music coming from their house. 2+ years and we didn't even know their names when they moved out and vice versa. They were like us in that we don't stand in our front yards gossiping with everyone that walks down the street. They were a dream come true as far as base housing neighbors go. ::sigh:: I was truly sad when they moved out and terrified to see who would be moving in.

Their house sat empty for quite some time. Not sure why. When the people moved out across the street, their house was empty for less than a week. This time of year is known as PCS Season because it is the peak time in which military families relocate. Housing is at a prime and waiting lists are long. We enjoyed being able to watch movies on our home theater system instead of through the TV speakers. Our bass literally vibrates the whole house which means it sits turned off all the time. When the new family moved in, I was bummed.

They seem okay for the most part. They're a Marine family which is nice. They have two daughters aged 8 and younger than 8. I'm thinking 5 or 6. We hear them thumping up and down the stairs several times a day. I'm sure once we get used to it, I will stop hearing them but it's a big difference from the other family that we heard maybe once or twice a week at the most. Littler kids are harder to herd so I understand them not being quiet on the stairs. So far, there hasn't been any loud music or parties. I haven't said more than good morning to them since they moved in. I'm not looking to make friends. Funnily enough, now that I think about it, I haven't seen the wife at all yet. Just the husband and two kids. Huh.

Anyway, our biggest complaint about them is that one or more of them smokes. It sucks because they smoke outside and I can't leave my doors and windows open to the fresh air because I can smell the smoke drifting into my house. I know this makes me incredibly uptight. It's their house. They pay rent. They can smoke in it. Still, I wish they didn't. ::sigh:: We're all human. Nobody's perfect. We're all boneheads in one way or another. I'm sure they have at least one complaint about us. I slammed a door really hard yesterday being irritated at the kids. I'm sure they heard it.

Thinking back over the years, if this is my only complaint, I should count myself pretty darn lucky. Any neighbor that doesn't have the police called to their house on a regular basis should be considered a good neighbor.

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