Banjo Music In Our Own Backyard…….the Beginnings. (Part 2)
We have made peaceful overtures to all three of our immediate neighbors.We have kept them updated on predators in the area (since we live in the national forest). Shut doors when the storms blew them open. We have brought homemade jelly over more than once. They even helped us when our dog got snake-bit a few years ago. We have complimented one another on the upgrades to our respective houses and such, as well as them letting us know what a good weedkiller was for our newly graveled driveway. Our boys used to mow the lawn of the lady behind us every week, not to mention clean all the trash when her dog ripped it up. We still do her bank for free because she won’t take care of it and we have a big problem with copperheads and water moccasins. It’s a safety issue. The crazy man’s grandson has been bitten before.
Each situation has gotten worse as the gossip spreads to all of a sudden painting us as if we are evil, terrible neighbors. Their family (of the crazy guy) finally conspired to keep our land deed from us, until the woman who used to live next to us (also related) sold her land illegally to the ‘good’ neighbors there now. They had no right to sell because there is no well on that property and we were not allowed to have the deed because they had some preexisting water right arrangement they didn’t want to have to deal with us over. This is the same woman who hides her money in her son’s bank account so she can collect SS benefits as well as food stamps even though she doesn’t need them. Well we could have legally cut them off our well and we haven’t. We pay their electricity every month and the one time the well broke, we peacefully split the cost.
The woman behind us has kids around the same age as ours. We have warned her about the feral hogs and coyotes due to her small dog being free 24-7 outside. We have seen her allowing Alex and Ean to play at their little bonfires, the kids have been on both sides of the branch that separates our property. Well we started noticing her kids age 12, 10 and 7 were left home alone everyday after school as well as on breaks. It went on for a long time and we spent a lot of time being extra vigilant and making sure nothing bad went down. We are 45 minutes from a hospital and 30 minutes from any police assistance. It was fine until this 12 year old girl starts to bully Alexandria on the bus, badly. Alex isn’t scared of anything and this girl had her backed into a figurative corner. It spilled over one day with this girl shouting taunts and threats while Alex was in her own yard. After being told by me several times to leave my daughter alone, this girl turned her verbal abuse on me using words I would spank my 11 year old son for. I called my husband and we decided since her mother was not home the best thing would be to have a peace officer intervene. The woman showed up after the police did and the young girl became so belligerent in front of the officers they told her to shut up. I danced all around the issue till the woman flat out said I just got home – which led to her leaving them unsupervised, and a DHS call. She has one previous report and a new one about her letting her now 13 year old drive up the dangerous, windy mountain roads – once in the day and once at night. She made the kids stop being friends and we haven’t spoken to them since. We run into them occasionally and they make fools out of themselves going “out of the way” to ‘avoid’ us. We shrug it off but it left her with a bone to pick. She decided to team up with the assholes across the road. They don’t care that her dog runs free 24-7 – it just HAS to be ours, ya know, the ones that aren’t ever out alone? They provided her with No Trespassing signs so there is a two sided ring around us of bright red signs. (CLICK on each picture to see up close)
Now back to all the gossip.The more the line was drawn with Clarence (Dennis’ father) the worse the gossip got. We have tried to resolve this several times with him, even spoken to him in person. He refuses to be reasonable. He sold his grandson’s jeep behind his back just because he is angry with us. People we don’t even know tell us about the crap he talks in public. We always brush them off with a laugh about him being a crabby old man. We made constant overtures of friendliness that were rebuffed. Then there was a mysterious recent call to DHS which coincided with details only Cody would know…stories when taken out of context look bad, but were proven completely baseless. However it led to four major intrusions and a complete disruption of our lives. Almost to the breaking point of our family. Three of four kids are now in counseling.
When Dennis was trying desperately to preserve a relationship with his dad he constantly faced open rude criticism of me and my kids. What was a pleasant daily ritual of morning coffee and chatting, was turned into increased the pressure and unhappiness for my husband so he stopped going over as much. I was blamed of course. Clarence talked about what a user I was, how I was just looking for a dad for my kids (who by the way still had a father at the time), after all the grief that there was “something wrong with my kid’s heads”, I was a bitch who wasn’t welcome at his house. I could keep going but what is the point? He didn’t like that I wouldn’t allow him to continue to use and abuse this family. I became the enemy and he spends every week telling crazy man’s wife, Dean, that and more. They feel as though they have to ‘pay us back’ on his behalf or some screwed up crap. Even though our old neighbors from down there let us know if something goes wrong with him, like when he has fallen and we rush down to help even if we aren’t wanted. Now we just call his daughter in Hawaii and she checks on him. He hasn’t wanted anything to do with anyone but Cody and the twins know that. It has always bothered them.
The major blowup point came on October 26th. My kids were in and out of the house that day playing. They let me know that there was a white pit bull running around free. The dog belongs to crazy man’s son who lives on some land in the back of their property. This particular incident happened when my 11 year old son took our lab out. She seeing the dog sitting on our front porch, immediately chases it. When she gets into the neighbor’s yard, with Ean in hot pursuit. Crazy man sees them, runs for the house, gets a gun and comes back out yelling threats about killing the dog at my son’s quickly retreating back. First rule of conflict resolution, speak with the person. I went over to talk with crazy man and he blew up in my face threatening to “hurt me if I didn’t get off his property”. He got nose to nose with me and I saw his wife’s face (100 yards or so away) – she had a look of fear in her eyes though she was yelling at me. He wanted to hit me, I could see it in his eyes. He is an abuser. I’ve seen them before, been there done that. I basically refused to back down, called him a pussy for threatening minor children and helpless animals with weapons instead of trying to resolve the issue like a grown up. Then when I was good and ready, I walked off his property and reported his behavior to the cops. Who by the way majorly bungled the report. That moment began their retaliation against us and has nearly flattened us this holiday season.We figured the report would stop the threats and didn’t take it any further. We have kept close eyes on the kids and dogs as well as got rid of our pit bull on November1 because the poor thing was just not safe here anymore. No life for him to be constantly locked in the house for fear of being killed.
How could it get any worse? Well it does………..To be continued……….