I have awesome neighbors on one side (Izzy's family); and a sweet, little, old lady on the other side (whose mailbox I plowed through a couple of months ago, remember?). And, directly across the street, there's a nice family (Andi belongs to them).
But, in the two houses on either side of Andi's live some grumpy, older people, who really have no business living in a neighborhood with other people (let alone noisy, rambunctious children and pets), as far as I'm concerned.
I've heard some fabulous stories about the weird people to the right: 1) They threatened to call the cops on the man who lives across the street because he flipped a cigarette butt into the road. 2) They threatened to call the cops when the 12-year-old girl next door (Izzy's sister) and the 13-year-old boy across the street (Andi's brother) were standing on the sidewalk outside talking at 10:05pm one night this summer. The town has a 10pm curfew, apparently, but the kids were basically IN the girl's yard, and they weren't being loud, obnoxious, or disruptive at all... they were just standing outside, talking. 3) My husband had his own "altercation" with these people a few nights ago, when Comet, being the friendly beast that he is, ran toward their yard to greet the man, who was taking his trashcan out to the curb for trash pick-up the next morning. Comet wouldn't hurt a fly... he's just big and dumb and thinks it's his duty to say hello to anyone who enters his line of vision. And Nick was right behind him, bringing him back to our yard... but not before the old man had a chance to scream and yell and call my husband a "dumbass" for not having our dog on a leash (another law in this town, apparently).
These same people have a strange aversion to anyone "turning around" in their driveway... their not-particularly-fancy, gravel driveway. They posted this sign in their yard, near the end of the driveway, several months ago:
The first morning that I went out to my porch and saw that sign, I thought "What in the world??" I've never seen a soul approach the house, so who exactly are they trying to "keep out?" And I also thought, "Wow. What a friendly place! I looooove living here!"
Not long after the sign went up, they placed an obnoxiously large planter smack dab in the middle of their driveway, close to the road, along with a cinderblock... again, to dissuade anyone from using their driveway to turn around, I guess. Again, I scratched my head.
OH (I almost forgot this part!)... one day they also had another sign out there, next to the planter. It was Sharpied on the top of a tv tray-kinda thing (turned sideways so it could be easily viewed), and said, "God answers prayer" (only, they misspelled "answers," which made it even BETTER). That's nice. I'm glad God answers prayer. Maybe they should pray to God to keep people out of their driveway, then they wouldn't need obnoxious "keep out" signs and planters.
A couple of weeks ago, the police were at their house. Apparently someone stole the huge planter at the end of their driveway (I'll admit, I giggled... c'mon, that's funny!). A few days after that, Nick spotted a mason's truck there, measuring. Are you kidding me?? What, they're gonna build a WALL at the end of their driveway? I'm sorry, but that's just mental.
Then, there's another grumpy old man who lives in the house on the other side of Andi's. (I really feel sorry for Andi's family, sandwiched between the neighbors from Hell!) He screams and yells whenever a football from next door accidentally lands in his yard. I'm not talking about someone trying to launch it through his window and disturb his existence... I'm talking, like, the 13-year-old boy next door was playing football in his backyard, missed catching the ball once, and it landed in the grumpy old man's yard. I mean, horror of all horrors, right?? Well, Grumpy Old Fart actually confiscated the ball once when this happened. For real. Mental.
And apparently this man is just as obsessed with his hideous, weed-ridden, gravel driveway as the weirdos two houses down. Not long after I used his driveway to turn my car around (subsequently hitting and knocking down the sweet old lady's mailbox next door), Grumpy Old Man put a huge post in his yard, on one side of his driveway... attached a rope to that post, ran it across the driveway, and connected it with a hook to his mailbox on the other side.
It kinda cracks me up... because he just made life much harder on himself, really. Now, when he wants to leave his house, it's QUITE the process. First he has to hobble down to the end of the driveway and unhook his rope. Then, he hobbles back up his driveway and drives his car out of the garage and to the street. Next, he has to hoist himself back out of his car, hobble over to the rope, and RE-hook it to the mailbox (God forbid someone approach his driveway during his absence!). And, then he has to repeat that whole process when he comes home. I'm thinking, "Wow. That's a LOT of trouble... just to keep people from turning around in your damn driveway!" I love to sit out on my porch, relaxing, and watch him him go through this whole process... he glares at me now and then, while he's hobbling down the driveway, and I just smile.
So, I've told you this long, painstakingly drawn-out story just to illustrate a valuable lesson I've learned since moving to the Hills: The driveway is sacred.