Saturday, April 14, 2018

Dirt Wars

Ok let me start this tale with a disclaimer:

The story you are about to read is true, the names have been changed to protect the innocent...and the guilty, mostly the guilty I suppose, because the only innocent bystanders in this whole story is Cindy and I, we are definitely not involved and plan to keep it that way. If you happen to feel this post is about you, then just think it could possibly be! You may be guilty of something so Grow Up and stop being a bad example for how to get along with your neighbors!

Our neighborhood is a rural area with houses spaced a decent distance from one another, most people have animals, anything from chickens and horses, to goats and sheep, or a mixture of them all. We all have been known to jump in and help out one another when needed just like neighbors should.

A young boy yelling at his sister while she leans back with a look of confusion.
Just like kids fighting (Image Source)
That is until it all went to hell in a hand basket up the street:

Ole Wishbone and his family has lived on five acres of land since back before dirt was invented. Wishbone is now all grown up and in possession of said property, he keeps it really nice in spite of having a whole herd of horses, kids, dogs, and cars. In other words Wishbone and his family are excellent members of our neighborhood.

Now add in Festus and his cast of characters who moved in next door to Wishbone, they have been there several years now and mostly keep to themselves and stay really quiet. They do have an occasional weekend gathering of the full cast and crew, but to the whole neighborhood's surprise they have never been too loud nor have there ever been any problems whatsoever from these gatherings of the cast.

Ok suddenly Festus decided to build himself another house on the backside of his property, the only problem with this is there is a low spot right where he wants to build, and there are no utilities for that area.

Festus brought in a backhoe and commenced to dig a hole for a septic tank, this was early one morning and right on the property line with Wishbone's land which ended up being right on Wishbone's property, the backhoe scared one of Wishbone's  horses running him through a gate and setting him free...this is where Festus should have shut down the tractor and helped to round up the injured horse, but he didn't, he just continued to dig. That is until Wishbone stepped in and stopped the whole shebang. As far as I know an apology still hasn't even been offered either.

That very weekend Festus had a gathering of the cast and crew, which is never a problem, but...yes you all know there is always a but and most times a butt!

Festus's crew started anchoring banners and signs to fence posts with string, they always do this but the posts are on Wishbone's property. Wishbone immediately requested that they untie the signs and to stay off of his property, knowing Wishbone this wasn't a request either and I am sure he was rude about it. This lead to a screaming match, insults, and a statement from Festus that Wishbone didn't even have a proper fence!

An old rickety looking wooden picket fence.
Good fences make good neighbors.(Image Source)
Cutting to the chase Wishbone has now installed a 6 ft picket fence on the property line, and not a new picket fence either, a used one that someone was taking down and disposing of, he installed this rickety looking fence, ugly side toward Festus's place and if that's not bad enough, yesterday large dump trucks began dumping loads of dirt next to the fence on Wishbone's property. Wishbones's wife said the dirt was free from a construction project and "All we are doing is building up our property to keep it from flooding our side when it rains."

OK to retaliate Festus stopped one of the dump trucks and had a talk with the driver, and for the rest of the day dump trucks hauled in dirt first to Wishbone and then to Festus, back and forth all day long. I'm telling you this is getting really deep and it has been a bit entertaining watching the trucks alternate from property to property dumping dirt.

Later on Ole Red our neighbor that gave Cindy her chickens and Little Joe who lives on the other side of Festus, were standing on side of the road watching the action. You need to know that with all of the dumping of the dirt on the other side of Little Joe's that if we ever get a big rain then Little Joe's back yard will be flooded immediately.

Little Joe then stops the dump truck for a little talk, which isn't always a bad thing because we always talk to most anybody in our neighborhood, but next thing I know Little Joe opens up his gates and in comes dump trucks dumping dirt...

They asked if we needed any dirt to which we politely declined!

Seriously if you have a problem with your neighbor it is easier to talk it out in a normal voice and try your best to eliminate any potential problems. You don't have to allow anyone digging a septic tank on your property and if you scare someones kids or animals, stop what you are doing and let your neighbors know so they can take care of their kids or pets. I had a tree trimmer who shut down their machinery and came to knock on our door, simply to let me know that he was scaring our horse. I moved the horse to another part of the property so he wouldn't be frightened and the tree trimmer finished his job. This is how responsible people act in my opinion.

Apologize especially when you are at fault, take responsibility for your actions, and keep your cool when approaching a difficult subject.

One upping someone does nothing but make you look bad, if they are doing something stupid then you try to one up that, just how smart are you really being.

Yellow dump truck bed dumping a load of dirt.
Dumping dirt.(Image Source)
Once you start gathering dirt and continually try to make your pile bigger than the other guy's, just remember you really aren't solving anything and all that you are going to end up with is a big ole pile of dirt.

44 comments:

  1. Wow, this is why I believe in getting permits. I'll bet around here a guy couldn't get one for a septic tank in a low area or to build another house behind the main house without jumping through a few legal loops.

    It's too bad when neighbors behave badly and that a horse had to suffer in the process. Must have been quite a sight to watch that dump truck alternating property lines. Here, you'd have to get a permit for that, too, if you change the way the land will drain onto a neighbors. We can't even put up a fence without following the township rules about height, location and who gets the 'good' side facing them.

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    1. I seriously believe that they have a few legal hurdles to jump before any more digging is done, a car from the county did show up over there and the digging and foundation staking came to a quick halt.

      I agree that it is too bad the horse was injured and that the person driving the tractor didn't have enough common courtesy to at least stop long enough to help the horse or at least apologize for causing the problem.

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  2. I didn't know there was a "market" for used fences...ewww

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    1. Adam you would be amazed at how many different items like fencing are reused on other properties once they are replaced.

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  3. Goodness, in my state you can't dig a septic tank on your property unless A- you own more than ten acres or B- you get permission from your neighbors if you own less. The Dept of Health would have a hey-day with this situation. An whoo-ie, all that dirt is going to cause some flooding.

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    1. Welcome Terri, We are happy to have you join us here.

      They aren't supposed to be doing anything like this without permits and approval here either, and you are right all of that dirt is definitely going to divert the water flow when it rains, I am just glad that we are uphill and on the opposite side of the drainage ditch from them...

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  4. I love how you made your points here, Jimmy. One, that if you one-up a stupid move, it makes you stupider, not brighter. And two, if you start piling dirt (any kind) you just end up with a pile of dirt. WELL SAID, my friend. I'm sorry this is going on so close to you. The unhappiness tends to spread to everyone within sight.

    I'm interested to know the answers to Jean's and Terri's comments about permits/permissions. We have fairly strict rules here both in urban and rural areas. You can't even start digging a hole for a septic tank until the lot has been tested for drainage. It helps keep the peace if there are rules that apply to everyone equally.

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    1. Thank you Jenny, I appreciate you my friend.

      They are actually pretty strict here on permits and permissions also, during the heat of the battle the following day a car from the county showed up and all digging and such has stopped leaving me to assume that there were no permits at the time, and yes you are right we all have to follow the rules they help eliminate situations like this.

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  5. We had really great neigbours but life being wht it is .. they died. The new neighbours immediately consdtructed a fence on our property line, finished on their side, not finished on ours. I have een threatening to paint "Mexico" on our side but I don't think it will help resale value.

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    1. I don't know Delores you could paint your side and tell everyone that it is artwork, everyone loves artwork...Right?

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  6. We live in the city & we had to get a permit & the permission of our neighbors (on both sides) to build our front porch!!

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    1. Fran that is how it has been wherever I have lived also, I know a lot of people skip getting permits for minor repairs and such, but a septic tank and a house is far from minor. I remember your situation getting your porch done, that should have been easier than it was for you.

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  7. Sigh. We call that sort of behaviour sandpit politics. It is something you expect/hope people to grow out of. Some never do.

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    1. EC, I am amazed at how many people never outgrow sandpit politics, I really like your name for this as it describes the attitudes so well.

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  8. In our neighborhood you are not allowed to build a fence.

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    1. I know a lot of neighborhoods are that strict John, it's not that bad here but you know as well as I that there are a lot of rules these people are overlooking.

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  9. We barely speak to our neighbors, which is how I like it, but we are friendly and all are considerate. I can see how these fights get started it is no way to live. Let people know before you make changes that may effect the other.

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    1. Exactly Joe, you hit the nail on the head, you know how it should be, it's as simple as letting others know before you make changes that will effect them. I wonder why this is so hard for some people to understand?

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    2. "affect" (not to be confused with 'effect')

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  10. Entertaining and comical. It’s going to be an interesting summer for you and Cindy. Grabe a lawn chair and enjoy.
    Lisa

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    1. That is as close as I am going to get Lisa, watching from afar waiting for the next round to begin, actually hoping they are finished to tell you the truth.

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  11. We have good neighbors, and even though a teenage daughter had a party while they were away, and threw eggs and biscuits at our garage for fun...those neighbors weighed all the facts, and apologized, and doled out her punishment.

    The neighbors across the road have crazy dogs that killed about 15 of our chickens over several months, and charged us and our own dogs menacingly, but those neighbors have wired up an invisible fence in an effort to control their beasts.

    We have no plans to receive or dole out any dirt.

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    1. It sounds like your neighbors are at least taking responsibility for their actions and trying to get along, that is all any of us should be expected to do. I wouldn't mind being your neighbor.

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  12. This could be how the Hatfields and McCoys got started. How many generations did THAT feud last? I hope Wishbone and Festus sort things out soon and peacefully too. They don't have guns do they?

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    1. I haven't seen any sign of guns so far and thankfully everything has calmed down for now, hopefully they are over it...

      Yes the Hatfields and McCoys kept their feud going on for quite some time, I sure hope these aren't distant relatives.

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  13. Oh wow! I'm glad I live in an area where neighbours get on and everyone has to get council planning permission to make changes. The feud you described made me feel even more thankful that I have great neighbours.

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    1. Good morning Valerie, Normally here in our area everyone gets along really well which makes this sudden little feud unusual, they both are still the same with everyone else just not playing well with each other...

      There are no HOA's or Councils in our area making guidelines or rules, just the general rules of the County which are being broken from what I see, and as I saw before they have already been there which is about the time everything settled down.

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  14. That sounds completely insane! And who would want to look at big piles of dirt?

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    1. Bijoux, That is exactly what we thought too, thankfully Wishbone rented a front end loader and hired Ole Red who went down there and leveled all of it out for him, completely raised one side of his property up about a foot and filled in his driveway, and Festus rented a tractor too and somewhat filled in his low spot so at least the dirt all got spread around, good thing they both had about five acres each to work with...

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  15. People kill each other over goofy stuff like this :)

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    1. You are right Rick, and in the end I'm willing to bet that neither one of them will remember what started the fight.

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  16. Kind of makes me understand how the Middle East Problem got so nasty. Sometimes it just takes one act of inconsiderateness to cause a pot to boil.

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    1. Very true Patti, Sometimes that's all it takes, you know the straw that broke the camel's back, and then when the response is just as bad, then nobody is in the right...

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  17. OMG, did you hear dueling banjos playing while the truck alternated delivering dirt???

    It sounds like your neighbors calmed down a bit and you're not going to look at a mountain range anytime soon!

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    1. Oh yes Dueling Banjos would have been perfect! Everything is definitely quiet for now and hopefully this will be all of the dirt delivered, got my fingers crossed...

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  18. I just noticed the Duelling Banjos previous comment: how apt is that?! It really does sound - to me, a quietly suburbanite Welsh woman - just like something from a film. Entertaining maybe for a while but your serious point about talking over disputes before acting is very valid.

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    1. Liz like you said Dueling Banjos is definitely an appropriate tune to play during the action, yes it's entertaining for a short while but action like this gets old very quickly. It's sad when adults can't talk over a situation and choose to act like kindergartners instead.

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  19. few times in my village time life i saw such stupid fightings and even men tried to kill each other for the sake of little piece of land which is so sad

    this is great story with message at end dear JimmY!

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    1. Is is very sad when people choose to fight over simple issues or even serious ones when they can be settled by communicating with one another.

      Thank you Baili you are a wise woman.

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  20. Wow. We moved to the country to avoid having any neighbours, but we still have a couple living quite close to us, but apart from his habit of gardening with no clothes on (really) we get on quite well.

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    1. Yes Joey, some neighbors do have strange gardening habits I hope yours at least invests in sunscreen...

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  21. Wow! That just sounds too crazy, and like something off of tv! I totally agree that talking about things is always better, and nothing positive ever happens, as you mention, from dirt dumping. Hope this can work out in the end. Hugs...RO

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    1. Everything seems to have settled down for now RO, Hopefully everyone is over this little battle, I have a feeling that had they sat down over a cup of coffee to begin with that none of this would have happened.

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