Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Storm is Always Brewing Here

I overslept this morning and everyone took off for different destinations, so I was in another conundrum regarding riding the horses. I want to get as much riding in as possible every weekend, but I prefer that at least someone be within yelling distance in case I need assistance. I went outside just to enjoy the great outdoors, listen to some birds chirping, and hang with the horses for a while, but yet another annoying neighbor ruined that by blasting rap music from his car stereo while he worked under his hood. This was coming from a house across the highway that historically has had dozens of people living in it. I don't even know who they are, but they have at least eight or nine vehicles in their front yard at any given time of day.

I went out to pick up my mail and made a point of keeping my fingers stuck in my ears all the way there and all the way back home, hoping the jerk would notice my discomfort. There was no point yelling at him, because he couldn't hear me over the horrendous volume. Rap music disturbs me on a very deep level. When the base is pumped up, it actually alters my heartbeat, and I feel like I am having a heart attack. I moved out of the city into a rural community specifically to get away from this type of music.

I decided to take Lostine to my neighbor friend's house where I would be a bit further away from the noise pollution. I needed to talk to her, but she wasn't home. She said it's okay for me to ride at her place even if she's not home, so I lunged Lostine in my friend's huge round pen.

Lostine was out of her mind with fear because it had been many, many months since I had taken her to my neighbor's place. Bombay and Gabbrielle were galloping up and down the fence line calling out to her. My neighbor's horses couldn't care less that we were entering their space. Even the foals were totally relaxed with our visit. Lostine was the only horse that was out of control. Lucky me.

I just let her run and run to her heart's content. Eventually, she'd figure out that she wasn't getting anywhere and have to come to her senses and stop. She was blowing snorts and had her tail straight up in the air. If I had my camera, I would have filmed it and posted it here just to prove to everyone how much energy a 21-year-old horse can have when she's scared. However, my camera was in the horn bag tied to Lostine's saddle, and I couldn't stop her.

The picture above was taken after she finally did stop and I was able to retrieve my camera. She had that crazy look in her eye and had worked up quite a sweat. It started raining before I got the chance to mount her, so I led her back home. She instantly lowered her head and relaxed as soon as she knew we were headed for home. I find her behavior so silly considering that she spent the better years of her life living on that farm and most of the horses there are her offspring. She's afraid of her own daughters and granddaughters.

By the time we got home, it stopped raining enough for me to get a little ride in. I mainly wanted to cool her down before putting her out to pasture for lunch. By that time some other neighbor had probably reported the public disturbance, because the car stereo had been turned off.

Our house must have looked empty with most of our cars gone, so my nosy neighbor decided to take advantage of it and park herself in front of my house to do surveillance. She was out there for a half hour. She and her husband do this thing on a fairly regular basis in which they get into their car, drive onto my property, and then park there. Sometimes they get out and walk around slamming each door and the trunk of their car pretending like they are looking for something, perhaps checking to see if they packed everything. Other times they get out and just start walking around my pasture or on my front lawn pretending like they are picking up garbage or weeds. Much of the time they pull into my driveway or park blocking the end of my driveway, so that I can't get out if I need to.

Needless to say, it pisses me off because I've got NO TRESPASSING signs all over my property, and it's almost like they do it just because they get some kind of thrill out of breaking rules. The other thing that bothers me about this is why they must always park on my property when their own property is just a few yards away. Who gets into their car, drives to their next door neighbor's house, and sits in front of it for half an hour? Weirdos, that's who.

There is a turnout for neighbors who need to get their mail at the mailboxes, yet these neighbors will drive a good 50 yards away from the mailboxes, park in front of my house in the middle of the street so that they are blocking all other neighbors from being able to get up or down the street, and then walk all the way back to the mailboxes to get their mail, traipsing through my property the whole way.

Their parking and door slamming in my driveway and in front of my house also irritates me because when my dogs hear a vehicle on our property, they go nuts and start barking their heads off. During the week when I am in phone conferences, it is especially annoying, because I can't hear what's happening in the meeting and I have to mute my phone to avoid disrupting the meeting. My neighbors are so obnoxious that their inconsiderate and odd behavior affects my coworkers all the way over in the United Kingdom!

So, I decided I had to do something to deter this behavior. I grabbed my camera and went outside, and started taking pictures of their car parked in front of my house from every angle. I wanted my neighbor to see me doing this, because I wanted her to feel very uncomfortable. I wanted her to feel what I feel with her and her husband always studying me and my family under the eye of a microscope. I also wanted proof for the police should I ever file a stalking report. Once I got several good shots, I went back in the house and the woman drove off.

A short time later I saw her parking in front of my house in a different vehicle. Unfortunately, I was indisposed at the time and couldn't grab my camera again, so this second parking job is just going to have to go into my written logs. I have been keeping a diary of dates and times that these neighbors either trespass on my property or invade my privacy in other ways such as endless staring through the fence while I'm working in my yard, eavesdropping on our private conversations from behind our barn, or watching us through the windows of our house in the evening when our lights are on and our shades are still up. Here's one of the pictures I took from my front yard. See how she didn't even both to pull over to the right side of the road so that other cars could pass?


Katharine Swan said...

I think there must be something seriously wrong with your neighbors. As in, short bus. Only someone with several screws missing would think it's a good idea to tresspass again after you'd already taken pictures of it once.

Reddunappy said...

How in the h#$% do you teach these people some manners, I would flip out on them! Your a saint! the picture taking idea is a good one! at least you will have proof!

Kate said...

Your neighbors are sure a trial! Letting your mare run on her own without pressure was probably a good idea - she could make up her mind to stop when she got ready and figured out the monsters weren't there - that was good thinking on your part! I expect it was just exciting to go over there.

Cheryl Ann said...

Document, document, document (like you have been doing) and then go see an attorney. Seems to me, IMHO, that this IS harassment. A stern letter from an attorney should put an end to it.

City girl turned Country Girl said...

UM WOW!! That's pretty gutsy to be doing that...Strange, strange neighbors!! Definitely keep taking pics and documenting everything!!! Good luck with them!!

Jenn said...

Maybe I'm just a mean, wicked old b*&ch, but I would have called in a noise complaint on the loud music neighbors.

Not to terribly long ago I wouldn't ride without any one home either in the name of safety. Then I realized no one would even notice if I got dumped out in the field and was laying out their unconscious for hours! I needed some help with the horses over the weekend and I stood out in the arena hollering for someone to come help (everyone was home!) for about 10 min. and not a soul heard me. Might as well have been by myself with that kind of response!