~Poop On Jelly~

Our Family's Bitter/Sweet Life

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Our Very Dear Neighbors (Insert Sarcastic Voice)

Dear Not-So-Friendly Neighbors,

When we moved into our home, we noticed that you had a not-so-healthy tree in your backyard that was touching our roof. I knew that tree bothered me for a reason. We approached you politely to make sure you were OK with us trimming some branches off of our property. Of course you were, it didn't come out of your pocket. We would find out later that the tree in question had always been a sore spot between the previous owners of both of our houses. You were cold and unconcerned.

The next few years you remained cold and distance. Unless your children were taking part in a fund raiser. And, to be a friendly neighbor, I bought tickets to a pancake breakfast and am the proud owner of overpriced chocolates, candles, and wrapping paper. You still remained cold and distant. That was OK.
Until your not-so-healthy tree fell onto my roof, right above my boys' bedroom...

The previous owners had feared this for years. Frankly, so had I. Now it had come to pass.

I was dusting my room when I noticed that the tree seemed to appear much closer to the window than normal. I ran outside to see what I had feared. The tree was laying across our roof. You, our neighbors and owner of the sick tree, noticed this problem before I had. You were just waiting for me to discover the wreckage.

Thanks for the knock on the door. Thanks for the phone call. Thanks for making sure everyone was OK. Thanks for the apology.

Oh, wait. You didn't do any of that.

No, you came over when you saw that I was outside on the phone trying not to cry. (No, that wasn't a logical reaction. But, how does one respond when a tree is resting on one's roof?) You PROUDLY informed me that it wasn't your problem since it was now on our property and you wouldn't have to spend a dime. You also told me that you make a lot of money and can't wait to move out of this neighborhood. Well, played, my friend. Unfortunately, you were right. It wasn't your problem and, apparently, it wasn't your concern. That is the law in this here fine state.

Nope, you wouldn't have to spend a dime, have someone some come out ASAP to remove the tree, get bids, schedule the repair, and decide which is more important: a roof or private school for the kiddos. You wouldn't have to claim this on your home owner's insurance. You wouldn't have to shell out money for the crazy deductible.

Nope. And, you did just that. Nothing. Offered nothing. Did nothing. Haven't spoken to us since.

So, when your other sick tree (you know, the one I mentioned on that fateful day) fell on my van, it was very hard to be nice. Sending your 10 year old to the door to tell me was an excellent touch. Telling me that you planned to cut down the tree the next day was ridiculous. Wanting to yank the tree off of my van, without worrying about more scratches, made my blood boil. And, I really love how you act like you can't speak any English when we have these problems. Apparently, you are aware that I "No hablo Espaniol." Yet, I notice how you and you wife hold down jobs here in America and are able to handle a mortgage. Sorry, I am NOT buying the whole broken English thing. I am at a loss for words. (Well, maybe not, when I look at how long this letter is.) No sorry's were spoken, only some silly smirks.

And, yet again. It isn't your claim. Nope, it is mine. I am just thankful Nurse Boy was at work. If his car had been parked in the driveway, it would have been totalled. I know, I know. Not your problem.

So, when Nurse Boy got home, he sawed away at the wreckage. Piece by piece we pulled the tree (OK, very large branch) off of the van. Yes, we placed every last piece in your yard. I am sure you understand. And, since you are going to cut down that tree tomorrow, it won't take much more to clean up that debris. Oh wait, tomorrow was actually yesterday since it happened Monday and today is Wednesday.

I know. I won't hold my breath. Maybe tomorrow means this weekend in your home land.

And, don't worry. Sunday's sermon and Tuesday's Bible lesson were both on forgiveness. God is working on me. After all, God does have a great sense of humor. I do love Him for that. But, I am finding it a little difficult to love you right now. I'll get there.

Just don't let anymore trees fall in this direction, K?


Oops. Please...
Mrs. Nurse Boy


Ruby Red Slippers said...

Oh my goodness! I am so angry, and it didn't even happen to me!!! THat is horrible! Seriously-can you contact the city or township and find out more about your rights? Is there a lawyer in the family?!? That is so dangerous!
I feel so bad for you-
You win the "Amazingly Patient" neighbor award from me-I would have been not so nice...

Mummy McTavish said...

You poor thing!!! I would have cried! Not even hormonal tears, REAL BIG FAT ONES!

I now love the laws in our area. If the tree is in the neighbours property but branches hang in your yard you can cut off the branches and return them to the neighbour (for real!) if their tree falls into your yard/damages your property it is entirely their responsibility. I can't believe that your laws are so much in the ignorant neighbours favour, will you be getting onto the local council/local member to change this?

Mum-me said...

We struggled with bad neighbours for the first 8years of our marriage, and it is really hard to love someone like that. I had to keep reminding myself that 'love' is not a feeling but a decision. And praying for the person is really, really hard (especially when you'd rather be throwing the tree chunks - or in our case the beer cans and other rubbish -through their front door!) but it does help --- eventually. Take care.

Boy Mom said...


I'm always telling my children to be good neighbors, stay off peoples property, watch out for their cars etc. I can revoke that rule and send them to visit for the weekend, they would love to take down the tree for and in behalf of your lovely neighbors who will quickly come to realize that they no habla teenage boys with chainsaws.

Neighborliness is so important to me that I may have to come with those boys and teach an English lesson or two.

OK I'm a big talker to. Sorry, but my heart goes out to you. I suppose praying for 'your' enemies will bring you blessings. So I'll start praying.

Chrisi and Silas said...

OH MY GOSH! I am so sorry H! Ok, now the whole thing with it not being their problem is a big ole crock of steamy BS! If it was on their property and fell, did the ENTIRe thing fall in your yard? If the roots of the tree and the trunk are still in their yard, shouldn't that count as being theirs? I bet these stand up members of the community who are probably here illegally are more than happy to find a way to get another one of their trees removed on yoru dime. I say you "accidentally" throw a bunch of garbage in their yard.....several times a day. Oh, and if the boys were to "accidentally" hit a window or two of theirs while playing soccer, would you have to pay for that? hey, I'm just sayin....something to think about.

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

OK, so here is the actual rule. We live in a state that is known for high winds. There is also an occasional tornado or two. If there are winds (every day) or bad weather, then you are not responsible for your property ruining other peoples property. If your couch goes through your neighbors front window in a tornado, your neighbor can't make you pay for it. This all makes some sense. The problem is if your neighbor does not take care of his tree and then the high winds come, he is still not liable.

On Stage said...

That's just awful!!! What neighbors you have! I just can't imagine living next door to people like that. If it was me, I would take every piece of that tree, dump it in their driveway, set it all on fire and roast a few marshmallows (meaning the neighbors)!

3 Peas in a Pod said...

I can't believe how rude they were/are to you. That is just uncalled for. And to send their 10 yr old to your door? What??? Who does that! Sounds like the child might be more mature than the parents.

I'm so glad that no one was hurt.

This post was very well put. You are a great writer.

Much love from NJ,

mommy4life said...

That branch is the size of a couple of our trees! So sorry this happened again to you guys. I am glad noone was hurt.....

Mother Mayhem said...

Good grief.

Hug? HUG.

Chris said...

Can I ask what state you live in? You can email it to me if you want to protect your privacy. I live in tornado alley and have never heard of such a law.

I'm over here researching and from what I understand, just the fact that you (and the previous owners) talked to them about this tree makes them liable for the damage to your roof. Was it a healthy tree? Somewhat dead? Just because your state has high winds, this does not mean that homeowners aren't responsible for maintaining their trees.

Now, if it's a CITY tree, you're screwed. LOL My brother's car was crushed by a tree that the city failed to maintain and it was "oopsie... not our problem."