THE LAKE HOUSE

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For the last few months the house next door was being built. My nice plot of privacy is no longer. When that property came up for sale, Samuel was unemployed. We didn’t dare spend money as we were already looking into low income health insurance. So we have neighbors, and so close you can hear normal conversation very clearly.

First the building noises, and I didn’t mind. That was extensive; digging, bulldozing, sawing, etc. But the workers then cranked up their boom boxes and put them in the yard facing us. I called the builder 3 times. Twice more, Samuel had to ask them to turn it down carrying a pair of wire cutters with him as he had every intention of cutting the electric cord if they gave him any lip. That was easier than continuing to listen to me complain. And I certainly was not going to confront construction workers face to face.

The builders are gone, and a three story mammoth country mansion towers over our little ranch. The back balcony is quite high looking over their land and ours. I can no longer go out to fill the birdbath in my nightgown, and really don’t feel comfortable out there at all when they are around. Our new neighbor thinks nothing of yelling over “Hi Patricia,” and I jump startled because I didn’t expect it. The adrenaline rush takes a while to calm down. Too long considering my yard was the place where I found calm and kept it. Do they do that in the city? Did he not notice the line of pine trees we put in all along that side of property when they came to spend time by the creek and sleep sometimes in their pop-up before the house was built?  

And that behemoth. I mean, really. Three stories for two people? In a few years they will catch up to our age and realize how taxes and heat will drain them. But for now, they are Lords of the Land. I like our little plot of land with a creek at the end of the meadow. It’s all I need and more than I could ever hope for or dream of. But it’s a creek, and dries up a bit in summer unless a heavy rain comes along. This new house looks like money, and the kind of gargantuan beauty you’d see lakeside. It’s gorgeous. But it doesn’t fit along this little stretch of country road, with other ranch houses on all sides and a very old country farm across from it.

I feel exposed. I lengthen the bathroom curtains, and close the studio drapes. All other windows face elsewhere. That helps. I just wish I didn’t feel like our land is a fief of the neighbor’s kingdom as he looks out his castle to the serfs below. It’s twice now that he has walked over to lean on the railing facing me, booming out, “Hi Patricia,” scaring me.

On the scale of problems, this is not one. It will take adjustment is all, and I will eventually, over time…

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15 thoughts on “THE LAKE HOUSE

  1. Totally sympathise with you Patricia. I do live in the city (London) and we do have those problems too. Because we live in a basement flat our upstairs neighbours overlook our back garden which WAS our little haven before they moved in. No nude sun-bathing now although it can be a useful technique for discouraging voyeurism… Maybe try it just once to stop your neighbour startling you? You know what they say – Once bitten… 😉

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  2. I live in a city, on the backside of a building that faces a complex of 5 or 6 buildings, on the other side of the tree and bush line. I can hear every word from one particular family, and the loud music and 4th of July firecrackers that last for a week, I want to yell out to them to cut it out! But instead, I close my window and turn on the TV, with the air conditioning on, in order to go to sleep. I can empathize with your angst.

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  3. I’m sorry. This might not be a deal in the scheme of things but it IS a DEAL. It stinks. Hopefully you and the neighbors will settle into a routine and get used fo each other and it will be better in a few weeks time.

    We live on a small lake, and houses are packed together. Our house sits on a hill above the lake, and is surrounded by woods. We have neighbors all around but it feels fairly private because of the woods. I can see the lake, but have to walk around our block to get to the beack because of the hill. I don’t mind the walk. Most neighbors are older, my grandparents or parents age and i like that. I love seeing them and chatting while i walk Hagrid and they are quiet and kind and understanding of Kat. I love my neighborhood. So i can really, truly understand how upsetting a change– and one that isnt a happy one– can be.

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