Neighbourhood Blues

On average today people move every six years. Julie and Rob, however, are anything but average in that regard.

When they first moved into their home they had two young children. The neighbours too comprised mostly young families.

Over the years, however, things changed. Within a couple of years, the house behind them was sold and rented out, and the tenants used the backyard as a storehouse for old appliances and junk. The eyesore was embarrassing, excluded them from enjoying their yard and loomed as a danger to children. Efforts to have the yard cleaned fell on deaf ears, so they installed a tall privacy fence.   

Then both adjacent neighbours got huge dogs. One growled, barked and attacked the side chain link fence whenever Julie, Rob or the children stepped into the backyard. The other barked incessantly into the night.  A third neighbour’s dog bit one of the nearby children. To no avail, they again talked to the neighbours about the barking and biting.

Eventually many of the families had moved on. A house across the street was sold twice. It was first abandoned for two years after the lady died; the next owners fought openly and loudly in their driveway. Out of town buyers bought a home 3 doors down, were rarely there and the house too was let go.

By now the children had gone to university and really never came back, except for short visits. Moving became a reality, yet for some strange reason, Nancy and Rob held on.

Their Wits End: The cozy restaurant one street away was sold and the new owner opened a tavern. On certain nights and weekends, the blaring from blues bands, the swearing and yelling from the patio, the nightly roaring of motorcycles and the garbage strewn in neighbours’ yards became too much. After a neighbourhood appeal, the city set stringent restrictions on the operation that, within months, caused it to close down.

Nancy and Rob had finally come to their wits end. Some thirty years later, they finally listed their home, sold it within 3 months, moved on and have never looked back. In today’s mobile society, a neighbourhood’s character can change over time, and moving sooner can sometimes be the best option.

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