I never thought I’d see the day that I turned into a sitcom portrayal of a lousy neighbor, but I have.
I’m Mrs. Kravitz.
I’m Mrs. Kravitz over a fenceline dispute.
Not the actual property line, but the fence line – my fence.
Oy. What have I done?!
For those of you who do not know the “Mrs. Kravitz” reference, I did try to find a more suitable and current image, but nothing really worked – except maybe Mo from Mo’s Bar, but not really. To help you out, right now, I am the exact opposite of Mr. Flanders.
Because my neighbors are building a fence and I don’t like it one bit.
WHAT IS MY PROBLEM?
First of all, this particular neighbor has the entire neighborhood in quiet uproar. She is new – which always brings scuttlebutt – and doing many unconventional things. There are rumors of her igniting fireworks after midnight (lighting up another neighbor’s bedroom window like an air raid) … and another neighbor said something about seeing her dancing outside at all hours of the night (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing…).
OK, anyway, this neighbor, who lives a few ranches away, has asked my direct next door neighbor if she could fence in my neighbor’s pasture (which now is lovely grass fields) so that her horses could graze in a much larger pasture – when combined with my neighbor’s pasture.
My direct next door neighbor agreed. They figured they would simply attach the frontage fence they would erect, to my already existing fence which ran up the entire side of my direct neighbor’s property.
However, I have learned that sharing fences isn’t always a good idea.
Long ago, I shared 4 fence lines with 4 neighbors… There is a reason for the expression “Good fences make good neighbors.” You see, I built all four fences around my perimeter and all 4 of my neighbors atttached to it and then expected me to maintain those fences they used, even when their cows, horses, sheep, dogs, kid driving a tractor (whatever)… destroyed it.
So, I’ve learned.
On my property now, I created all the perimeter fences with a 6′ setback. In this way, no one could use my fences. They would have to build their own.
Perhaps mean… perhaps seemingly curmudgeony… maybe even surly.
But, I will never have to fight about fencing anymore. Or, so I thought.
THE FIRST ISSUE
I noticed, a few weeks ago, that there was a new fence along the frontage road that attached to my fence. I called the neighbor and relayed to them about the 6′ setback.
She asked me if it would bother me to use my fence no matter – even with her horses on my property.
I said it would bother me… and told her why I had created the setback.
(This is when I realized that I had become that nasty Mrs. Kravitz neighbor..)
She told me that she didn’t have enough money to build that entire fenceline without using my fences. She said that it would be a hardship for her to build a fence along my fenceline in her friend’s property – especially because it wouldn’t be her fence on her property but it would be her fence on her friend’s property which would essentially make it her friend’s fence that she paid for (are you following me on this?).
Yes, I said. That was correct. (Now I was really Mrs. Kravitz.)
Eventually she understood that her animals would be on my property if she attached to my fence so she agreed to build her own fenceline.
For a brief moment, I had won the battle.
HOW I LOST THE WAR…
But now that I’ve not agreed to let them use my fenceline as their fenceline, I’ve made my life somewhat of a Mrs. Kravitz hell.
First of all, it is 100 degrees here most of the time. So work is done either very early or very late. Not only that, it is very dry, so ON ONE should be using any gas infused weed whackers or chain saws or striking metal post hole diggers against rock – in the dry grass.
But, now that I have been horribly unaccommodating to her, I don’t want to run over every 5 minutes to tell her workers not to use their gasoline powered spark generating equipment on the brittle grass to cut down the trees (shading my pastures on that side) during fire prone times…
Luckily, someone else did that. Another fire-wary frightened neighbor.
But then… the fence crew decided to work at sunrise (5am) and in the wee hours of the weekend mornings. Great. Again, I didn’t want to say anything because then I’d be Mrs. Kravitz squared.
To top it all off, the new fence they are erecting is not very pretty.
So, now I’m fearful of wildfires daily, I don’t get any sleep, my neighbor won’t talk to me and … previously, I looked at my pretty fence. Now, I don’t.
Mrs. Kravitz: -4
MORAL TO THIS STORY?
I’m not sure. It is too soon to tell. But, if there is a fire, I will never forgive myself. My new neighbors don’t want anything to do with me and at the very least, I will have to look at their fence from now on instead of my own.
Perhaps letting them connect to my fence – and potentially repairing it – would have been a way better choice for myself in the long run…
Mrs. Kravitz, be gone!