Monday, September 17, 2007


My post was going to be about my recovery run, er walk, but I was interrupted by my neighbor knocking on the door.

I hadn't seen her since late last spring, just before they put their pool in, and quite truthfully, while I was concerned about the noise having the pool would mean for me, I haven't been bothered at all. At all. in fact, I was beginning to wonder why they never used it.

The reason for her visit was to inquire about a sign on the back of the garage, which we had put up, asking that they not throw any more trash over their fence and behind the garage, something I was surprised to see because, as I said, we have not been bothered at all by any noise.

I just said we were concerned about the amount of trash we were finding and wanted it to stop. She was concerned about not being a good neighbor.

But then, some of the things she said started to tell me began to disturb me. She recounted several tales about the neighbor between us, and then things started adding up. She is a business owner in the neighborhood and has strived always to be a good neighbor to everyone. And, based on my conversations with her, I felt she was sincere. She's had her share of troubles, to be sure, but I never got the impression she wasn't telling me the truth about things. And the things I heard about the next door neighbors sent chills down my back and confirmed my suspicions.

First, she recounted all the things she knew factually about the guy: bad credit; bad business deals; taking his trash to dumpsters in the area (I saw him do this!), cutting trees down that bordered their yards; etc. My own experience with them was two scratched cars--over $1000 damage each time!; putting a token fence up next to my driveway, on MY property, to prevent anyone from driving on a tire's width of grass that he was claiming for his own, which, in fact was not his; breaking into my garage; breaking into the neighbor's house (they never lock it); putting notes on our cars saying we couldn't park next to his house(?); etc. I could go on and on. Since the car scratching incident and breaking into the garage, I have always suspected them, and in fact reported it to police. I am hoping at some point the police put 2 and 2 together and figure out that two break-ins on either side of him; two vandalisms to cars either in front of his house or in my driveway; all the spottings of him dumping his trash either in other people's yards or in dumpsters in the areas; and generally him/them just being psychotic idiots will help them solve the petty crimes in the area. I have seen the two of them chasing each other through the house in the night yelling, cursing, and who knows what else at each other, and then...quiet. We have heard them at 3 in the morning partying it up, and then screaming and carrying on at each other. Its been scary at times. I live in an upper middle class neighborhood; there is no excuse for this, regardless of where one lives. He has been the instigator in school sit-ins over what he felt was unfair treatment to Native Americans (he is Native American). She has totally stopped talking to neighbors, and has looked away in anger at me when I have seen her at the grocery store or in the neighborhood. I have not spoken to her in over 3 years. So what gives? Is it him? Or is it her? I don't know, but I don't trust or like either of them for all these reasons and more. I avoid them like the plague. But I am also concerned about the ramifications of his bizzare behavior. Whenever I go anwhere now, if no one is expected to be home for any length of time, I have someone check on the place. I don't even feel comfortable being gone overnight anymore. I know he/they know.

So, to get on to the first part of my post:


Tonight was supposed to be a recovery run from yesterday. But for me, if I don't run by 10 am, it likely won't happen. I thought about biking, but then Don called and said he would meet me on Tuesday night to bike, so I cancelled that thought.

Instead, I went to Millenium Park--no, not in Chicago, but here in Grand Rapids. I really had good intentions to run, but like I said....It was eerily empty, only about a half dozen cars in the lots. Its a beautiful park out in the middle of nowhere basically, but yet just minutes from downtown where I work. It was quiet, and I decided, after an initial 10 minutes of bad running, to take the advice of one of my running idols Gayle Barron -- if you don't have a good run after 7 minutes, quit. Me? I'm WAY slower than she ever was, so I always say after 10 minutes. My quads were killing me after all the hill runs yesterday, and it was a nice, peaceful night on the trails, so I decided to walk. Then I started thinking back to the early years of running and all the books I read, books by--and forgive me, I cannot think of this woman's name! doctor who ran with Sheehan and all the other early runners, recounting all her runs in Central Park, etc. I'm sure some of you remember this???

Anyway, I walked and enjoyed the late summer night, realizing how close we were to the end of summer, my favorite season, and moving into fall and then dare I say it the fall months, leading into yet my other hated season--winter! I wanted to enjoy the late summer's warmth; the cloudy, overcast night; the windiness the quiet. Then I come home and...THIS!


WADDLER26.2 said...

I'm lucky to have great neighbors now but know that bad ones can really stink.

It's good you listened to your body. You don't want any injuries.

Take care.

bunnygirl said...

Well, you know what they say-- some days are better than others.

Still, your bad neighbor incident touches on one of the misgivings I've always had about home ownership. At least when you rent you can move the next time the lease comes up for renewal. Once you own, moving becomes largely theoretical, due to the time and money you've invested in the place.

So I'll be hoping your neighbors get a clue and move so no one else has to!

Flo said...

Having my neighbor experiences, I can sympathize with you. It really sucks when you have horrible neighbors. Hopefully it will work out okay.

jahowie said...

I thought that my neighbors were bad. It sounds like you have a real psycho on your hands there. I'm sorry that you have to put up with that.

I'm glad that you enjoyed your walk last night. I know what you mean by the changing seasons. When people say, "I love Fall!!" I about want to smack them. Fall leads to winter!! Winter leads to freezing my butt off and running and riding indoors. NO FUN!!

Cindy Jo said...

Nothing is worse than bad neighbors. NOTHING.

Where is Tony Soprano when you need him?!?

See Zanne Run said...

we had some neighbor issues too ... but they all moved away & now we rule the roost.

E-Speed said...

it absolutely sucks living next to neighbors you don't trust let alone ones with this sort of behavior.

You would hope that the city would be able to take care of issues like that. Luckily are neighbors are just weird rednecks that we can tolerate but don't have to like. I don't know what we would do if we had break ins or car damage.