Since we moved into our new-old house, we’ve been dealing with a “situation.” I have been transformed– kicking and screaming and with a lot of whining to the Pretend Husband– into the neighborhood witch. You know, that mean lady down the block who would keep your ball if it accidentally got thrown into her yard? That’s apparently me.
We have a pond in our yard next to our house. It’s a nice pond that was one of the reasons I was most excited to move back to that house… and one of the reasons the PH was dreading it (silly lawyer with all his worrying about lawsuits!). It all started this winter when I looked out the window to see someone shoveling off the pond while his four kids ice skated around him. Wait, what?!? I hadn’t been on the ice, hadn’t checked to make sure it was safe and definitely hadn’t invited anyone to skate.
We let it go because we weren’t sure if my dad had given anyone permission to skate (and we were sure the ice was safe). But after talking to Dad and finding out he hadn’t given anyone blanket permission that would extend beyond him owning the home, then finding out a school vacation day had brought a whole bunch of kids onto the pond (without adults) while we were at work, we decided to needed to set some rules. For the record, I was all, “But not everyone is lucky enough to have a pond in their yard and it would be a good way to meet people and…” (The PH was all, “All we need is someone breaking through the ice and suing us! We could lose the house! How would you feel if someone got hurt in our yard?!?”) (The PH is a lot more logical than I am, obviously.)
I was all for holding neighborhood skate parties… until I looked out the window to see someone clearing the ice with a snow blower he had dragged down the road from a quarter-mile away and then was extremely dismissive when I went out to talk to him about our concerns. Then it was on like Donkey Kong.
So it’s been a struggle the last few months (until, thankfully, the ice melted) with a plan of attack that included me enlisting Neighbor Lady Z to keep watch (we have awesome neighbors who keep an eye on things for us and are willing to not only put up with us, but to lend us things and do things for us like moving our piano), me having to chase two 10-year-olds off the ice (“Did you know this is private property?” “Noooo.” “Really? Did you think it was a park? No, it’s my yard.”) and us having to consider asking the police to swing by our yard on school vacation days (which we luckily never had to do).
And I thought this had all ended (without me bitching and moaning about it on the blog even!) until I had a dream the other night that I looked outside to see that someone had set up those bounce house things on the edge of the pond. When I went outside, a couple of girls were hang gliding over the water and Neighbor Lady Z’s husband and kids were swimming in the pond. Then I got in a fight with Neighbor Lady Z’s husband because he thought I was being mean for asking everyone to get off our property (when in reality, he agrees with our concerns).
If we make it through the summer without having our cars broken into or our house egged, I will be shocked. And yes, I AM keeping your ball. Maybe next time you’ll be more careful where you throw it.