Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
I’ve been seriously thinking that moving to this house was a big mistake. I moved away from an area because of the high crime rate but it was more than that. It was also neighbors who didn’t respect each other that drove me away. Maybe I made a mistake by choosing this house. I’ll explain.
My next door neighbor is the problem. I think she has some kind of grass phobia or maybe she just likes harassing people. Or showing she is queen of the neighborhood. I’m really not sure which it is. Before I had finished moving into the house (still unloading the truck) she told me twice I needed to get the grass cut or I’d get a ticket. The grass may have been about 8 inches high. Geeze lady, let me finish getting the truck unloaded first, ok? I guess she wasn’t satisfied with that because a short time later she sent a young kid from the neighborhood to my house to talk with me about cutting my grass for me. Yes, all this happened on the same day I was moving in.
Ok lady, you win. I told the kid she so desperately wanted me to hire that I wanted him to cut the grass every other week (whether it needed it or not) OR cut the grass when it was needed and I’d pay him for any extra time. Which he has been doing. Not a very good job either. He only cuts about half the back yard each time. No trimming, raking, sweeping, or anything and for that I pay him $30 for this tiny yard. That is higher than at my old house where the grass was cut, trimmed, raked, and sidewalks swept, for my yard and the side lot too.
Apparently the kid my neighbor pushed me to hire wasn’t cutting the grass to her satisfaction because she called the lady I bought the house from to complain about my grass not being cut. Ok lady, YOU sent that kid to me. I did not contact him. Heck, I didn’t even know him or you. She informs me she works for the city of Shively and knows the person who gives tickets. What the heck does that mean? No answer except “cut your grass.” I took it to mean she could be sure I got a ticket and fine for not cutting the grass.
Over the last two weeks I’ve had to be gone from home everyday. I left early every morning and returned late in the evening. I trusted that kid to keep the grass cut to the neighbor’s satisfaction and I believed the neighbor would be happy I gave that kid the job. Apparently not. The neighbor called the former owner of this house again to complain about my grass. Twice in the two months that I’ve lived here the person I’m buying the house from has come to cut grass that had already been cut.. The neighbor kid cut it in the morning and the former owner cut a second time in the afternoon. Geeze, I’ve only been here two months. What the he77 is your problem lady?? THAT IS SO NOT RIGHT!
First off, I am a grown up person. There is absolutely no need to treat me like a child and become a tattle tale to call my “mommie” if I don’t cut my grass to your satisfaction. I know I don’t have a lot of money but grass cutting IS in my budget. I do depend on the mobile food bank but only to allow me to pay my own bills. I have my pride. I accept food charity but I don’t want to be a charity case. Does that make sense? I’m not sure I explained it right. Its also extremely embarrassing to have the lady I bought the house from cutting my grass for me. It makes it seem like I’m helpless or something.
Second, the neighbor should be talking to ME about MY house, not someone else. The neighbor has my phone number and knows I have a mailbox. She could have left a message on my answering machine or put a note in my mailbox. She could have told the kid who SHE wanted me to hire that the grass needed cutting better.
There are several more respectful ways the neighbor could have handled this situation other than complaining to the former owner. Instead, she chose to ‘go over my head’ and complain to the person who sold me this house. A really good friend. A friend who I respect and would not want to be bothered by a neighbor with a grass phobia.
This morning I finally got a chance to talk with the former owner. We were playing telephone tag for a couple of days and I didn’t have a chance to thank her for cutting my grass again. She agrees that the neighbor is just being a nuisance. (I’m saying it politely.) Actually, I’m not sure who is the target of the harassment, me or the former owner. Apparently the neighbor has been a thorn in the foot of the former owner and the owner of the warehouse behind me for several years. I think I blogged that this house had been a rental house for many years?
So why does the former owner not tell the neighbor to leave her alone? Well, technically at the moment I’m considered a tenant even though I am buying the house. The house is being sold as part of an estate settlement which is still hung up in legalities. The payments I’m making are being held until the legalities have all been worked out. This puts me in limbo land for awhile. And, means the neighbor can continue to bother my friend about my grass.
I’m thinking maybe I should seek help from the courts or possibly a complaint to the city council. Did I tell you the neighbor has told me she works for the City of Shively? Someone correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t it true the neighbor is not allowed to use her position within the city government to threaten me or my friend when the whim suits her. Isn’t that illegal? Isn’t it illegal for a government worker to use their powers to threaten, intimidate, or harass someone as a result of being in power without due process?
I’ve looked at the Shively City Ordinances. I can’t see that I’ve violated any tall grass rules. My grass has never been higher than about 6 or 7 inches. Here, have a look at the ordnance yourself. Shively tall grass code enforcement.
So, the point is that there is due process. Due process is something the neighbor has not been following. I’d much rather the neighbor file a complaint and let the ordinance inspector be the judge of whether my grass is too tall or not. Maybe the city has a “persistent complainer” clause that could be used to stop the harassment. I can only hope.
Getting down off the soap box now. Thanks for letting me air my frustrations.