Monday, July 5, 2010

The Hatfields and the McCoys

I thought that we were moving to a small town in Michigan. But we really weren't. We live next to the feuding Hatfield and McCoy clans. Since the warm weather is here and people are outside, my family has met most of our near neighbors. They all seem to be really nice people. One family provided us with several Rose of Sharon trees. Another family kept our front sidewalk free of snow last winter before we had made the move. The gentleman across the street has invited us to church several times and told other neighbors that we have the most well-behaved children in the area. One grandmother walked over and introduced her grand-daughter to my children because she thought that her grand-daughter would have fun hanging out with my kids.

As I talked with our new neighbors, I learned that the family on one side of us we'll call them family A)doesn't talk to the family on the other side of us (henceforth called family B) because family A lets their dogs run around the neighborhood. Family C, across the street, doesn't speak to family A or family B for various reasons. Family A is related to the people diagonal from us, but they are speaking to each other. I'm sure by now you get the idea. No one speaks to anyone except us and their children aren't allowed to play with each other.

All of this feuding mentality is causing my youngest girls some anguish. They have good friends from all three families and often are asked to pick one friend over another. I'm trying to use a first come, first play rule, but it's problematic. Sometimes the original friend goes home for a minute and another friend enters our yard and begins playing. When the original friend returns, who is asked to go home? I want to stay out of all the fighting. IT'S TOO TIRING to keep up with everyone's vindictive behavior. The saddest part is that they children all like each other and play well together. Poor Paige and Allie are struggling to be fair to everyone and everyone plays at MY house, because it's the only "safe" place.

I know that this will all work out. The situation is just strange.


Glenda said...

oh yuck!

As you described it I could totally see a sitcom running in my mind.

Hope your family isn't dragged into it with "they're friends with A or C or D or B or we won't speak to them."

praying for you

Anonymous said...


Maybe you can find a Swiss flag, raise it over the front yard, thereby declaring it neutral and un-aligned free-play territory...

And, FWIW, I think acceding to the neighbors' demands or expectations that you enforce their awful rules is dicey, very dicey. But of course, A that's easy to say, I don't live next to them; and B you don't need my advice.

Blessed are the peacemakers...