Observations by Key Monroe~~Home of Right Opinions, Cynical Viewpoints, and TMI in Hefty Doses
|E-mail: keymonroe [at] alltel [dot] net

April 26, 2004

Do you know your neighbors?

I don't. Everywhere I've lived, they've always been acquaintances (if I knew them at all).

A few years ago, I was living in a nice subdivision about 30 miles north of Atlanta. Now, understand, this is a huge development less than five years old, with homes ranging in price between $120K and $180K. The most I expected in the way of drama was having to deal with the kid that kept riding his 4 wheeler through my back yard.


One night I was getting ready for bed, when I noticed blue lights emanating from my closed blinds. I walked over and opened them.

No less than 10 police cars were parked in my tiny cul-de-sac street. In fact, my driveway was blocked by a couple of them. The ambulance had just sped off, and the policeman were pulling yellow tape between my yard and my neighbor's.

I looked at my husband. Do husband's not LIVE for such moments? Not mine. He was comfy in bed. If I wanted to know what was going on, I could go ask them myself.


I took less than ten steps out of my front door before two policemen stopped me. "How are you tonight, ma'am," they did not wait for a reply, "Have you been home all evening?"


"Have you heard anything unusual?"


"No gunshots?"


"How well are you acquainted with your neighbors? Have you witnessed any domestic disputes?"

Shit. I answered the questions as best I could, and finally, it was revealed to me that during a quarrel, the husband had locked himself in the bedroom. They continued fighting through the door, until she decide to unload her weapon into it.

She got him in the eye. Miraculously, he lived...lost an eye, but lived. He asked to borrow a screwdriver a couple of weeks later (after being discharged from the hospital), so that he could change the locks on his doors. (I figured she'd be put away for a while, but I guess he didn't want to take any chances.)

So...Now I want to know even less about my neighbors. I live in the country now. My current neighbors have noisy dogs, poorly kept yards, and they shoot guns for the heck of it.

Last night I had the house opened up because my STUPID FRIGGIN AIR IS NOT WORKING, so I decided why not go out and do a little late night gardening...

As I was fumbling in the darkness, trying to extract a dusty miller bully off of a would-be begonia, I heard yelling. Not, call 911 because someone is screaming for their life yelling, but definite I've-had-it-with-you yelling.

I went inside, and thought no more of it. (I was busy trying to crazy glue my dishwasher back together.)

So this morning, I went out to see how badly I had butchered the flower bed...when I looked up, and noticed the ambulance in the neighbor's driveway.

Oh, WTF? Not again. Seriously. I drank my coffee and waited. The police didn't show, so I'm hoping all is well.

...but I'll be reading the papers this week, just in case.

posted by Key on 04:05 PM | Comments (6)

OHMY! No, I move too much to get to know my neighbors. If I did that it would just hurt when I moved on and had to leave them...

Only thing I've had happen is the cops show up because the old neighbors' dog barked so much, and Child Protective Services rang my bell one day to ask if I'd heard "anything" next door.
Can you define "anything"?


Oh, I've got a 20 year old, can't afford to replace it AC unit. I just know one day this summer I'm going to be screaming.... ;)

Posted by: pam at April 26, 2004 04:53 PM

My neighbors are both 87 years of age. She works in their garden every day. He cuts the grass, rakes the leaves, and hauls the trash.

Amazing Couple.

Posted by: Sam at April 26, 2004 05:07 PM

Well, the ATF guys were all over the neighbors a half mile down the road because one of the places down there was sellin' things like grenade launchers to whoever had enough cash, but the folks around me are pretty boring. I regret not gettin' a grenade launcher, though.

Posted by: SwampWoman at April 27, 2004 05:54 PM

April 27, 2004

I live in a "retirement community." Bought the house way before I was a legal 55. Yes, the houses, no matter the size, are 5' from the lot line, that’s 10' apart on the sides. Actually, I do know the names of my neighbors, and they have been known to call if they don't see me outside in awhile. Just checking to see if I'm feeling all right. If I needed any help, there's help available on all sides.

Do I need a security system? No. Besides the POA provided cruising security guard from dusk to dawn (always an off-duty policeman), we have an active Neighborhood Watch system. If a stranger showed up and started removing items from any house, 911 would be called immediately.

There's also something nice about waving hello to everyone walking or driving down the street while I'm sweating in my yard landscaping trying to keep even with the weeds. It's just a friendly neighborhood. If I wanted, I could have dozens of adopted parents! Yes, I'm still that much younger than the average retiree here is!

I don't feel cramped in space as far as being so close to the neighbors, they're all nice quiet neighbors. The only disturbances are occasional ambulances, as all of us get older.

No, we don't have block parties; there are plenty of volunteer-organized activities to get to know anyone with similar hobbies or interests, from golf, tennis, and card games to computers and quilting.

My community may sound "too close" to some, but there is a sense of security here, along with the friendliness.

Posted by: Miss Anna at April 28, 2004 01:06 AM

I do... unfortunately... and they drive me crazy with their parties from time to time. I tried to be nice to them... And then, when I once had a party, they called the police!!!

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