another neighbor problem

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Have had these neighbors for 7 years. Retired USAF guy and active USAF wife. Two teenage daughters of wife and an adopted 7-year-old girl. The guy is very hard working and went into construction after retirement. I helped him build an addition onto his house, but of course he did almost all of it himself. We build a fence across the back of my property to keep the kids from cutting through and I extended it into his yard to block all access. He helped me build my deck, which I paid him for. We've gotten along fine for years.
Two months ago his wife got transferred to Texas for 18 months. During that time I was cutting the grass and made the mistake of mowing over a dead bush on the edge of our property that prevented access to an area that I have to mow. No excuse, I just did it.
Upon his return from Texas he confronted me about it and expressed his anger. The bush was dead, but it was a gift from the mother-in-law and they were keeping it. He didn't give me a chance to apologize and walked away.
Over the next few days I tried coming to his door to talk with him and he wouldn't answer the door. I gave his daughter a letter to give him expressing my regrets and admitting fault. I also offered to replace it with five more bushes if he thought that was acceptable. No response. A week or so later I bought a replacement bush and with another letter left it on his doorstep. The bush died from neglect and was thrown out.
Since then a privacy fence has been erected between us by him and his other side is open. He avoids me whenever I pull into the driveway and pulls his young child inside the house when my children are outside. He used to hang outside constantly and socialize with neighbors. This is completely out of character for him and I wish there was something I could do.
I feel I have done all I can and must let it run its course. Obviously his animosity toward me has been accumulating over time and this was the incident that did it, or there is something else going on. What do you think? How can I REPAIR this HOME life problem? It sucks to have neighborly problems.
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Sure the problem sucks. Send him a message offering to pay for a session of so of mental health for him. Some of the military guys are so use to structured life they have a difficult time returning to a life where they have to think for theirselves and deal with people.
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Ralph Mowery:

ignorant buffoon
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badgolferman wrote:

print off what you just posted and pop it in his mail box.
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The guy appears to be close to going over the edge. I'd leave him alone and stay as far away as possible. When he snaps, you don't want him to take you with him.
Bob
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RobertM wrote:

I agree completely. You've done everything (and MORE) that a reasonable man would do to try to repair the situation. He's not reacting rationally. I had a neighbor like that that used to live across the street from me. I say "used to live" because he was removed by a SWAT team about three years ago.
When SWAT comes for your boy, you don't want to be involved. Avoid this guy like the plague... he's not right in the head.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

snipped-for-privacy@carolina.rr.com.REMOVE
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On Sat, 03 Jun 2006 15:50:51 GMT, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN"

Curious, ever write "not right in the head" in a medical chart?
Oren
"My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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Oren wrote:

No, but I saw where a surgeon once wrote on a chart "SLMF".
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

snipped-for-privacy@carolina.rr.com.REMOVE
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ain't it. Do the S and L stand for Stupid and Lame?
aem sends...
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ameijers wrote:

It stands for: "So Long, Motherfucker". I don't think he really intended for anybody to notice it. However, knowing the patient, I had to agree with the sentiment.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

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"The decedant was shot in the neck, not right in the head, as previously reported."
Terry & Skipper, Clearlake Texas
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wrote:

aem sends...
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The guy needs professional help. Anyone getting angry over a dead bush, gift or not, is having mental problems. Best to stay away and hope he does not own any firearms. Sad situation when you think about it. There is nothing in our material lives worth losing a seven year friendship over, even a live bush.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Not sure why you're dragging the president into this, but let's keep politics out, okay? ;)
R
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You have made a very reasonable effort to make amends. It sounds as though he is the one who has a problem and it may not be your fault. The bush cutting just pushed him over the edge. There may be other family issues going on that you are not aware of. Something may have happened while they were away. I suggest backing off and let things cool down, but keep an eye on your neighbors for any clues as to the true nature of the problem. At some point down the road he may extend an olive branch.
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Excellent advice.
Donna
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badgolferman wrote:

clipped
Wow! This is different :o) I suspect the dead bush has some emotional tie to the MIL .. is MIL dead? I have a condo neighbor who inherited 3 units from his mom. The both lived here for years and she is long gone (guy is about 70). He, with one other owner, had controlling interest for years and the guy would let the place fall down around him rather than spend ANY money on maintenance. There have never been unusual maintenance expenditures, just normal paint, roofing, etc. The unit once occupied by the mother is a rental. For years after mama's death, her plastic flower pots sat next to the patio, rotted from sun and full of weeds. He specifically and energetically objected to getting rid of them or tending hedges (normal pruning) around the patio. He let the hedges die rather than maintain them. The guy has a million-dollar sailboat and a home in the Bahamas, so he can afford maintenance.
The guy apparently has taken issue with you sending a letter via his kid, so I would surely stop that. I don't understand your reference to extending the fence into his yard .. that would piss me off, I think.
Give it time .. if he wants to avoid contact, don't waste your energy trying to change that. People have a right to associate or not associate, and that is to be respected.
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Norminn, 6/3/2006,1:47:12 PM, wrote:

That was at the door when I went to see him the first time. When he wouldn't come out I handed a letter to her I had written in case he wasn't home.

He helped me build the fence. I offered to extend the fence 16 feet into his property to the thick bushes as payment and also to completely block access to the middle school kids that cut across our yards.
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badgolferman wrote:

You never know what is going on at home that might put the guy in a bad mood. Some strong types internalize until they are ready to bust, and then they do. End of psychology lesson :o)
If somebody kidnapped and murdered me, my hubby would be pissed because funerals are so expensive. He won't worry about me, but hurt his '85 Mercedes and you will see one angry, gun-toting, ex-cop. :o)
Maybe the guy is having midlife crisis, hates the step-kids, jealous wife is active duty, or he had a fling, somebody told her, and he thinks you are the snitch :o)
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