Bad Neighbors…

…We might be.

We live in Oakmont where most homes are situated in what I think of as the “main section.”  In the main section, the streets are numbered or named after States for the most part.  They range in age from over 140 years old to brand new (just a few in that category) and all the streets are lined with sidewalks.  We live in this little section set off from the “main section” which was originally part of some rich guy’s estate and was developed about 40 years ago.

Anyway, our section is made up of two circles and we’re in the lower one.  In the past ten years or so many new, young families have moved in, but there are also lots of older people living here.  This is nice for lots of reasons. 

Our house is located in what I refer to as the “geriatric” area of our circle.  We are surrounded by ranch homes that aren’t all small, but still, most young families aren’t looking for a ranch to house their four kids.  Across the street to the left is a home that has been occupied by an older couple who spend at least 6 months in Florida.  Their house was sold before the For Sale sign was posted in the yard.  It’s another oldish couple and they still have a home in Long Island…this is their second home…yea, another commuting older couple…who commutes from NY to Oakmont?

Anyway, I met them once and they seem very nice, but the woman’s a little cranky.  I’ll chalk it up to moving stress.  But finally arriving at my point is this idea that we might be viewed by them as crappy neighbors…

Last night the woman comes over and Bill answers the door. The dog’s barking, I’m cringing, listening for rumblings of kids waking up.  I ply Max with gobs of cheese to keep her quiet.  Bill’s out there for a freaking long stretch of time.  He’s sociable at the most impractical times…

When he comes back in he says the bottom line of the discussion was the time of day garbage is picked up.  I didn’t think much of it because….I just didn’t.

Then this morning, the first time in the three years since we’ve lived here, the garbage trucks come barrelling around the block at 7 am.  they normally come at 3 pm.  I look out the window to see the woman and a much older woman frantically hauling boxes from the garage to the edge of the driveway–after the garbage trucks have already passed.

“Bill, what time did you tell the woman the garbage men would be here?”

“10 am.”

He made that time up.  He had no idea what time they normally come.

“Well, they’ve come and gone and the woman is just now pulling out her garbage.”

“Well, they won’t like us much after this,” Bill said.

We hung up and I wondered if the woman came over hoping Bill would help her haul her garbage out.  If I was a better neighbor I might have made him go ask her if she needed help.  They were just empty boxes, though.  My oldest neighbors are completely self-sufficient.  It didn’t occur to me we weren’t being neighborly–I haven’t baked a banana-bread, taken a gift, done  ANYTHING remotely welcoming.  And now this.

I love that we’re not expected to be joined at the hip with our neighbors, but I fear I’ve gone to far with my nonchalance.  But they are from New York…they probably expect shabby treatment from the world, right?

5 thoughts on “Bad Neighbors…

  1. It’s never too late to be a good neighbor. Bake that banana bread and deliver it with an apology/explanation. Couldn’t hurt, right?

  2. You’re fine. The next time you see her just mention the truck usually comes in the afternoon. Of course, whenever my sister moves into a new neighborhood, her new neighbors give her baskets of goodies!

  3. Yeah, I guess our neighborhood isn’t one of those welcome basket kind of places…I mean if I could get a basket of goodies together, my house might be cleaner, too, and more organized and I would sew Halloweeen costumes instead of buy them…they’ll just have to live with chatting when they’re in the yard.

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