Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Last week Kristy and I bought a new home. When we first looked at the house a number of weeks ago, one of the things that we really liked about the backyard was the fact that the neighbor behind us had two ginormous oak trees in his yard that provide great shade to our backyard. (Obviously there were many things that we liked about this house, but this story is based in the backyard).

Immediately following our closing we headed straight over to our new place to walk through it and check things out. When we arrived at our new home, I looked out the back window only to notice that my backyard was full of huge oak branches. I walked outside with my boys and saw that the neighbor behind us (we’ll call him Joe, because that’s his name) was up in one of the trees cutting branch after branch. After a few minutes, Joe acknowledged me down below and we exchanged names and talked about the neighborhood. After a few minutes of small talk I motioned down to all of the branches that were spread across my backyard and said, “Joe, as for these branches….?”

Joe quickly interjected, “Oh…do you need help dragging those out of your yard?”

At this point, I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to say. It was one of the ‘Maybe We Could Just Follow the Planes’ moments for me.

Maybe I could say….

“Are you serious?”


“No Joe. I don’t need help. I need you to get over here and drag them out. I’ll provide the lemonade.”


“Uh….no Joe. I just need a little help throwing them back over the fence.”

Now, for all of those who are reading this blog, I’m just curious…what would your next statement be?

I have told this story to some and they thought it was hilarious that Joe did not feel that it was his responsibility to clean up the yard. I have talked to others and they didn’t see any reason for Joe to clean up my yard. I’m really just curious what others might think about this.

All the same, it was pretty funny for me. My actual response was, “Well, Joe… I guess I do need a little help.”


fuel52 said...

I guess it depends on how big the branches are.

The first 3 responses you listed would have come to my mind but after a second to think about it, I would probably tell him, "It's a small price to pay for the nice shade in my back yard, I'll take care of it." But then again, it seems like a good opportunity to have him come over, help you out and get to know him better and meet the fam.

At least he offered to help.

Rich said...

Since he offered to help I would have said "Don't worry about it I can handle it" but I probably would have complained about it later.

Chad Estes said...

This news item may be helpful...

City councilman in W.Va. accused of shooting truck
September 19, 2008 @ 02:35 PM

The Associated Press,

BENWOOD, W.Va. (AP) — A Benwood city councilman is accused of shooting his neighbor’s pickup truck with a 12-gauge shotgun.

There were no injuries.

Sixty-seven-year-old Councilman Charles Terry is charged with wanton endangerment and is free on bond.

Terry allegedly confessed his crime to State Police. The Wednesday afternoon incident apparently stemmed from a property dispute involving some downed tree branches.

As part of the bond, Marshall County Magistrate David Buzzard ordered Terry to have no contact with the neighbor, David Davies.

Crispin Schroeder said...

Neighborhoods would be so much easier if we didn't have that problem of neighbors!

As one who has had some interesting situations with my own neighbors, I figure you said the right thing.

Part of the problem is that every person has a world-view which makes perfect sense him/her. And if we only lived with people who shared the same world-view as us then we wouldn't have these kinds of problems (we would be free to move on to bigger problems with each other, which is no doubt what we would do).

I figure Joe is acting in a way which is completely logical in his world. That, or he's just messing with you. So if he doesn't seem to have any malace in the situation then what can you really do anyway? If he was acting maliciously then, Joe's a jerk!--and well that's a topic for another blog.

curia_regis said...

You should have done it Alpha style, "I don't know Joe, do you want to give me a hand with these branches?"

If he said no *then*, you make him an offer he can't refuse.

Chad Estes said...

Are you still trying to solve this problem with your neighbor? Do you have to have this settled before you blog again?