This article, Dear Neighbor, Read This Note!, in The New York Times has inspired me. Maybe you’re wondering how?
We have a neighbor that has an unusual compulsion – this compulsion involves the daily use of the beloved leaf blower. Neighbor has this noise maker out almost every day (Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall). If I could tack a note to Neighbor’s door, it might sound a little like this:
We’ve been neighbors for a while now and have developed a healthy respect for your desire for a super squeaky clean yard (& driveway). I wish we could support your year-round longing for a spotless yard; however, we are very busy with work, family and well, life, so we are unable to maintain our yard to that admirable level of perfection.
Thus, we are apologizing for being bad neighbors in that we don’t pick up the lovely trinkets blown into our yard by your awesome yard machine. It has to be frustrating knowing that some of these items end up back in your yard because we can’t get to them immediately and the wind brings them right back to you. I know that this is the cause of your daily leaf blowing ritual and this really causes us pain.
Maybe, if you bagged the unwanted items yourself, it could save you enough time every week so that you could pursue another hobby! Maybe something like, bird watching, painting, golf, etc. We would definitely miss the daily high-pitched, humming and whirring sounds of the leaf blower, but, this is a sacrifice we are willing to make.
If we ever find ourselves swimming in money, you can rest assured that our first priority will be to hire groundskeepers.
I’m sure that these same neighbors could write us a “note” asking us to keep our yard free of debris! (I do want to point out that our yard always looks fabulous and we get a lot of compliments on it.) My husband doesn’t usually start raking and bagging leaves until a majority of them are down, otherwise, he would be bagging leaves every weekend from mid-September through the end of November. Due to this leaf-raking philosophy, some of our Fall leaves do end up in their yard (I’m not sure what’s being blown around in the Winter, Spring & Summer though). But, what will our kids remember most? That dad kept a squeaky clean yard or that he was at their soccer and baseball games?
Back to the article, I can relate to some of the issues that the notes addressed in the NYT article because I grew up in an apartment complex (1st thru 12th grade). You experience things that you don’t experience living in a single-family dwelling in a typical neighborhood. There is extreme turn-over in your neighbors so it could be a new experience from month to month (good and bad).
I’m sure all of us could write a “note” to a neighbor – people are quirky!