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Do you talk to your neighbours?

  1. Jan 11, 2008 #1
    In a society where people are becoming increasingly isolated from one another, many do not talk to the people on the other side of their garden fence,even though they may live next to them for years.So, do you talk to your neighbours and if not, why not?
     
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  3. Jan 11, 2008 #2

    Moonbear

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    I did at my last house. Currently, I don't, but only because the one couple next to me seems to keep to themselves, and I respect that. The family on the other side of me just moved in, so I don't know them yet. Did say hi to the woman of the house and their son, but couldn't strike up a conversation or even introduce myself because the moment they came outside on the day I was out shoveling the snow on my driveway, the kid dove into the pile of snow, so the only conversation happening was, "What are you doing?! Do you have snowpants on?! Now you're going to be all wet. Come back inside and get changed." (The kid looked like he was headed for school.)
     
  4. Jan 11, 2008 #3
    I know all my neighbors very well, we look after each other. If someone is sick, we all pitch in to help with the outside chores. I have a few elder neighbors with dogs, the really needed grooming, so a few friends pitched in and we got them groomed, and now we all go for doggy walks together, always ending up at my house for special doggy treats!
    We watch each others homes if someone goes away, have neighbor BBQ's in the summer, not to mention hanging out on stoops late night drinking beer.
     
  5. Jan 11, 2008 #4
    yep--except the one that just got out of prison

    and the one that have the police there every other weekend

    and the one that walks around the backyard with the gun

    etc.
     
  6. Jan 11, 2008 #5
    Great question, short answer seldom. Part of the problem are fences and a lack of shared property. Houses are built now so that you drive up to the side door, electrically close the garage door behind you and enter the abode. The fences cannot be talked over, and if I do interact its usually over a barking dog or wayward frisbee.
     
  7. Jan 11, 2008 #6

    turbo

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    Early on, we got friendly with some near neighbors with similar interests to mine (target shooting, firearms, etc) only to find that they are heavily into evangelical beliefs and NEVER give back even a little bit, though we gave them every discount coupon that we could give them for huge discounts on New Balance Athletic Shoes, and their related hiking boots/work boots divisions.

    My wife and I have since hooked up with other neighbors that want to share in grown food, shared labor for getting lots of lumber laid up and sawed, mutual aid in times of emergency, etc. We are doing well. When you are in the hinterlands, it is imperative that you know your neighbors even if you are not close friends.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2008
  8. Jan 11, 2008 #7

    Astronuc

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    I talk with both nextdoor neighbors, although one more than the other. One is a retired woman living alone. I help her every now and then, or just say chat about whatever - usually weather, taxes, and current events. The last time I helped her was when she got stuck in the snow while trying to get out of her driveway. So I brought my shovel over and then her son-in-law showed up. He was upset that I was helping, because he doesn't want his mother-in-law to be to friendly to us. He has is eye on her property. I hope she sells to a young family if she decides to move out of the area, or into a independent living community.

    The other neighbor gardens, and we share plants and ideas on growing. We both like the habanero peppers, and he gave me some of his. He also fishes, so he brings by some now and then. I gave him some raspberry plants, and if he wants, he can take some of my blackberries too. He goes to work before 0400 and arrives home before I do, so I don't see him much during the week. The wife does in-home day care for a number of people, so she's busy from 0600 - 1800, and usually out shopping on the weekends.

    I don't interact with those across the road though.
     
  9. Jan 11, 2008 #8
    Maybe its just cynisism coming to reap what it sows, but week ago, I was marooned side my house. Out of my driveway, just barely. People walked and drove by w/o so much as a glance, even while trying to push it. Twenty years ago I have been in similar ruts. Heck anyone walking by would give it the ole heave-ho. Is it just my imagination or is neighborly behavior--defined by say altruistic deeds on behalf of the local tribe--a goner?
     
  10. Jan 11, 2008 #9

    Evo

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    It's a shame that people won't stop to help someone in distress, next to their own home. Doesn't sound like you live in a ghetto where people would fear for their lives if they stopped to help.

    People in well to do neighborhoods just don't want to be inconvenienced. You'd probably find more help in a blue collar neighborhood.

    But if you were a young, cute female, you'd probably have more help than you need.
     
  11. Jan 11, 2008 #10

    Moonbear

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    I think it depends on where you live. There are some neighborhoods where I can believe that would happen...or worse, they'd complain to the HOA that you had your car parked somewhere other than your garage or some such silliness. I avoid living in those types of neighborhoods. In one neighborhood I lived, one of the neighbors who had only been living there about a week had a huge tree knocked over in the front yard during a storm, with a large branch winding up knocking out the power lines to their house and their neighbor's. Once the power company came out and sorted out the electric line problems, people from about 5 different houses emerged to help them with cutting up the tree (this was their first house, so they didn't even own basic tools for yard maintenance yet), watching their kids while this was going on, letting them use our phones to call a relative to spend the night since they wouldn't have power that night (no phone lines either), etc. I even invited them over for whatever dinner I could cobble together for them since it happened early enough in the evening that nobody had dinner yet and I didn't want their kids hungry (they turned down the offer because they had a relative nearby who they would stay with).

    Likewise, I'd help out with shoveling snow for the elderly lady who lived next door. Someone else (never did know who) would bring my trash cans in out of the street after the trash was picked up and set them down by my garage door (our trash collectors were notorious for leaving the trashcans on their side on the curb so they'd roll into the street on breezy days).

    This doesn't happen so much where I live now because it's townhouses, so nobody is out doing yardwork much (not much of a yard). But, if I saw someone stuck and in need of a push, I'd sure do so (the only time I've purposely skipped stopping to help someone I saw in need of a push was when I had on high heel shoes so couldn't have been of much use pushing).
     
  12. Jan 11, 2008 #11

    Astronuc

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    Well heck - you should have called. I've helped a few people over the years. I once pushed a stalled car off a freeway, across 2 lanes of traffic. There was a family in the car (2 parents and 4 or 5 kids), and it was too dangerous to leave them stranded. I was surprised that thousands of cars (bumper to bumper traffic for several miles) had gone by, and no one had helped these people.
     
  13. Jan 11, 2008 #12
    Yea if I were so lucky. ;-D

    Its actually a blue-collar neighborhood, and one I find much more neighborly than the golf course property I used to own. Man that was a nightmare--twice arrested and taken to jail, booked, and having to bail out for a weed violation. Weeds were too high. On one occasion my daughter, then 8 was staying with me at the time. She was freaked.
     
  14. Jan 11, 2008 #13

    turbo

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    When I see a motorist in distress, I stop. I don't have a cell phone, but I carry a set of jumper cables, a tow-chain, and some other helpful stuff in my truck. Sometimes, if I cannot solve their problem, my presence helps to attract the assistance of another person who will pull off and see if they can help.
     
  15. Jan 11, 2008 #14

    Astronuc

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    And on the wrong side of the fence. :biggrin:

    Did you have fences on those properties? My brother lived in a development that boardered a golf course. I never got to see it, since he moved after a couple of years.

    I wouldn't enjoy living in a planned community with manicured lawns. I much prefer a vegetable garden and a variety of wildflowers. I prefer wilder, more natural setting, which is why I like being out in the country (rural area).
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2008
  16. Jan 11, 2008 #15

    Evo

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    Weeds like ragweed and grass?

    My riding mower went in for a tune up and the place (a John Deere dealership) kept it for 9 weeks. I ended up having to hire someone to mow my lawn for $90 a week. I finally let it go for a few weeks and a neighbor filed a complaint with the county, but they informed him that we were a rural area and there were no laws on mowing. Nyah nyah. Obsessive compulsive moron. He's the one that couldn't stand for my grass to be shorter than his. As soon as he mowed his lawn, I'd wait one day then mow mine, then he would immediately mow his again. I had him mowing an entire acre every other day. It was worth it just to make him crazy.
     
  17. Jan 11, 2008 #16
    I talk to my dog. My dog talks at the neighbors. So I guess, by proxy, I talk to them all the time. :biggrin:

    Well yes, I talk to my neighbors, but not too much and not too often. I don't try to have close friends right next door, just good neighbors. And I do keep the dog quiet.
     
  18. Jan 11, 2008 #17
    I bought the property in a time of draught, things did not really improve water wise, but bans on new landscaping were lifted. What I found disturbing is the plan I submitted before the HOA to Xeroscape, tastefully of course with drought tolerant native grass etc kept getting nixed. Eventually the governor at the time, Bill Owens, interceded and said HOA's couldn't tell you what to grow. By then I had been arrested twice, but no apology was forthcoming!
     
  19. Jan 11, 2008 #18
    We (mother and I) didn't at our last house, but we do to all of them here. We have a great neighborhood-in-the-country, we share eggs, vegetables, honey, etc. I went hunting with my some of my neighbs on Christmas Eve, and we go fishing a lot too (river is like 1/8 from my house plus 2 ponds) It's really nice to have it like this.
     
  20. Jan 11, 2008 #19
    We (mother and I) didn't at our last house, but we do to all of them here. We have a great neighborhood-in-the-country, we share eggs, vegetables, honey, etc. I went hunting with my some of my neighbs on Christmas Eve, and we go fishing a lot too (river is like 1/8 from my house plus 2 ponds) It's really cool.
     
  21. Jan 12, 2008 #20

    Astronuc

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    So much for Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
     
  22. Jan 12, 2008 #21
    Original question: better talk to your neighbours and know them, but that has been beaten to death. Interesting observation about helping somebody in distress; chances to get help appears to be inversely proportional to the amount of bystanders/passers by. If it's only one, the changes are the highest that he will help.

    It's also in the code of conduct for our military service to help somebody in distress and actually people have been held responsible for not following that rule.
     
  23. Jan 12, 2008 #22
    Actually, I like most of my neighbors---I'm that 'guy' in the neighborhood who, if I see you working in the yard, I'll go up, introduce myself, and start a conversation.
     
  24. Jan 12, 2008 #23
    Talk to my neighbors? I don't even know what they look like. The only time I hear them is when they yell and I'm trying to sleep in the middle of the afternoon.
     
  25. Jan 12, 2008 #24

    Moonbear

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    How do you get arrested for HOA violations? Aren't those civil matters, not criminal? I thought all the enforcement of those was financial...fines, liens on the house, etc. I only put up with HOA rules because I'm renting, and I figure no matter where you rent, you have to abide by someone else's rules, and if they seem to get too oppressive, it's easy to find another place to rent. I would never buy a house in one of those anal-retentive communities. Even if 99% of the neighbors are reasonable and really just wanted a nice house in a quiet neighborhood, all it takes is that 1% nutcase who thinks everyone should mow their lawns to his/her standards, should never have a car parked in the driveway, must have white instead of natural wood picket fences, etc., to make the whole community miserable.

    When I look at neighborhoods, if they look too "perfect," I won't buy there. I know it's the opposite of what most people look for, but I'd rather have neighbors with slightly overgrown lawns than have to worry that if I go away for a week and a half in the summer, I'm going to return to fines for my grass being 1" too tall. Of course if someone has let the entire lawn grow 2' tall, that is another issue, but if it's just "shaggy" or if it's just a patch of weeds in the back yard in an area that's hard to mow, who cares? I'm actually disappointed that the HOA around here started hiring someone to mow all the property around the houses (it's part of the development, but nobody owns it). When I moved in, what I loved about the view was all the wildflowers growing on the mountainsides surrounding the houses, and now they're mowing them down and making it all boring lawns.

    I grew up in a heavily wooded neighborhood...we didn't need fences for privacy, because there were thick enough trees in the backyards to make it difficult to see the houses behind you. As such, nobody had much of a lawn, because it was too shady. The only people who had nice lawns were the ones who cut down all those nice shade trees, and stood out like a sore thumb. But, everyone also knew all the neighbors, because we didn't need fences, so it was rare for someone to have one (only if they had an in-ground pool that required fencing around it and usually they only put around enough fences to secure the pool area and not the entire back yard), and there was leaf raking in the fall that brought everyone out to see each other in the yards, snow shoveling in the winter, and everyone could just be outside in spring and summer (with all those shade trees, you didn't have to hide inside in air-conditioning...few of us even ran air-conditioners except during the high humidity days of August), so people were outside and saw each other all the time. People with those perfectly "manicured" lawns can't even enjoy them...there's no shade and the sun beats down and their only time outside is to mow the lawn and then hurry back inside for a shower to clean off and cool off. And, when they are outside, they have those 6 ft privacy fences, so you can't see the neighbors. So, yeah, those are neighborhoods I would avoid.
     
  26. Jan 12, 2008 #25

    BobG

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    I at least say "hi" to my neighbors and talk to them occasionally, but I'm not close friends with any of them.

    I know the next door neighbor best. We both have Australian Shepherds and they growl and snarl at each other at the holes in the fence (they actually get along great together - they just think the fence thing is fun).

    The neighbors behind us are nice, too, but it's hard to hold many conversations over a 5' fence. It winds up seeming too much like something from Tim Taylor's "Home Improvements". We do enjoy their little dog, though. From time to time, it finds a way into our back yard.

    The house on the other side is a rental and the neighbors change periodically. I usually at least talk to whoever's living there, but the current residents aren't very sociable with the neighbors. Too bad. They seem to have a fun family life.

    I talk to the various neighbors across the street, occasionally, and could tell you who has the new Land Rover (he kind of likes my Jeep, too), what kind of dogs they have, what kind of car their daughter's boyfriend drives, etc, but I don't actually know their names.
     
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