The coming of spring is a mixed bag in suburbia. Sure it's nice to see our old friend the sun but with it comes a few Battles of Suburbia. Just in all other types of battles, there are going to be winners and there are going to be losers.
I have spent most of my adult life living in suburbia. Now I know some of you more urban oriented dwellers are TSK TSKing and saying words like "cookie cutter", "sprawl" and "I'd rather die" and/or you country dwellers are saying phrases like "living on top of each other" and " no elbow room" and "I'd rather die". Sure...I see your point. We have lived in urban areas, rural areas, big cities and small towns but about the time our Kiddo #1 came into the world we decided that suburbia fit our family's needs.
Soooo...After having spent the last 40 plus years living within spitting distance from my neighbors lot line, I have discovered a lot of truths about living in "planned communities". As time and space won't allow for me to list all the ins-and-outs of suburbia living in a single post, I will share a couple of nuggets today and perhaps address a few more down the road.
Thought Number One: Neighboring in the Midwest
Neighboring can be a challenge...or at least it can be for those that might be somewhat apathetic about being part of a neighborhood clique (AKA me). Despite the obvious "wordiness" on my part that you read in my blogs, I don't tend to visit over the fence much. My husband is much more the liaison of our household to make small talk. I, on the other hand, am the person that actually knows the neighbors by name. (Husband, the guy across the street, his name is Jeff) BUT, in my defense, I am not unfriendly either. I just keep interaction to a minimum. Those of you that have been reading my blog for awhile might remember some of my "bad" neighbor stories. I figure by keeping a modest amount of detachment, will save me from being asked to do all their mending. (yes, neighbor in Iowa sent her kid over weekly with things needing mended.)
The grouchier neighbors do upon occasion perk up when my husband comes outside pushing his snow blower. It appears that snow blowers foster camaraderie. Yes, and if there is ever a time to be nice to the neighbor, it's when there is 10 inches of snow and the guy next door seems to enjoy pushing snow off walks and drives with a shiny red machine. (He loves to mow the lawn as well. Yes, he is an interesting person...and when I say "interesting" I mean odd.)
|Midwest hibernation is coming to an end...with any luck.|
The fact, they have a serious case of "cabin fever" makes everyone a little more crazy than they would be in August. (to clarify, I am saying slightly crazier. It is a given that they have some level of crazy year round.)
EXAMPLE: Last week we had 6 inches of snow. This winter we had 39 inches of snow. Up until yesterday, the remnants of that snow remained. I am not kidding you...yesterday as the day reached up into the 70's, I saw two neighbors out watering their lawns. (Our irrigation systems are still winterized here, so I am talking about watering lawns with a hose and sprinkler.) I am not exactly sure if they truly believe that water is needed or if they are just needing an excuse to see the pasty, pudgy neighbors that have ventured out into the sun.
Which is bringing me up to my next thought, really. People in subdivisions by their very nature are competitive and territorial. These two things go hand and hand.
Thought Number Two: Keeping Up With the Jones' While Simultaneously Keeping Them Off Your Lawn
|Little Crabby Pants..Ruler of Her Sandbox|
I haven't progressed much. I am fussy about our little patch of suburbia. There are a lot of examples of this but let's start with this. We are "yard people". Invariably, our lawn will look something akin to fake turf because we work hard to make it pretty. We don't keep our lawn lush because we are trying to prove something. We keep it lush because it looks nicer that way. Although having a nice lawn isn't without some consequences. In most cases, half the neighbors will admire it and half the neighbors will want to murder you in your sleep. With this in mind, I keep my doors locked at night.
For my part, I am willing to accept those that pray for fungus to attack my grass, but while praying for pestilence, I want them to keep their dog from using my yard as a toilet. Oh, and the multiple kitties that use my flower gardens as their litter box...I am not a big fan of that either. (I am a big fan of dogs and cats...just want them to use the bathroom facilities somewhere other than my little slice of suburbia.)
|Suburban Moats...next big trend|
Last summer, we had a very vivid example of a neighbor wanting us to respect the sovereignty of their yard. One of our trees had been hanging over the fence. I don't believe the tree was TRYING to be invasive or disrespectful of the airspace hovering over the fence but the "tree trimmer" that was hired to correct the problem, did so with gusto.
|While this is a representation of the actual tree...It is very accurate.|
|Robert Frost really knew a thing or two about neighborhoods.|
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