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
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
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
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.
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.
On Sat, 03 Jun 2006 15:50:51 GMT, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN"
Curious, ever write "not right in the head" in a medical chart?
"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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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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