"No Child Left Inside" · Family life · Local

For Our Grumpy Neighbor Who Complained about Too Much “Going On” in Our Yard…

Dear Neighbor,

It has come to our attention that you complained to our Association about our yard.  To our knowledge, we are living within the guidelines of the bylaws and keep a tidy place, most of the time;  but July 4th weekend is a different story.  We had a family style AFTERNOON barbecue, and there was a lot of fun to be had.  

First, I wish you had come over to introduce yourself.  We are a super friendly family, who can often be seen outside, playing together in a variety of ways.  We’ve actually met countless people who also live or rent in this lovely neighborhood, whose children also enjoy what our awesome community backyard has to offer. 

Secondly, I can promise you a few things about our kids being raised in the Alpine Village Community Neighborhood:

They know how to socialize with people properly on most occasions.

They include other children in their imaginative play- sometimes in the giant arbor vitae, sometimes on their bicycles, sometimes in tents they have constructed with blankets, sheets, and chairs.

They problem solve most of the time, and when they can’t, they “suffer” consequences of not being able to “work it out” before Mom, Dad, or another friendly neighborhood parent intervenes.

They spend more time out of doors when they aren’t in school;  they are not obsessed with television or iPads or video games, which (if they were) may conveniently make our yard look neater more often. 

They hike the trails in the woods off of Monroe St. making observations about nature and learning about birds, trees, and other wildlife or wilderness situations.

They sled like maniacs down the front hill near the entrance and make countless trips back up the hill pulling their own sled, laughing with friends and keeping warm on freezing days. 

They maybe have been with us fishing in the pond or walking after dinner when we’ve exchanged pleasantries. 

They also shovel our neighbors’ walkways during snowstorms before the “real” folks with the plows get around. 

They, at ages 5 and 6, understand what it means to be neighborly.  When Claire or Jim’s renters leave a light on, they remind me we need to shut it off.  When Dave’s plants were pulled out by construction vehicles, they sat patiently and “supervised” so they could tell Dave all about it the next time he and his wife Laura were up. 

They have a dad who uses a wheelchair to get around, along with a lot of other adaptive pieces of equipment likes bikes and skis, which allow him to recreate in our community with them.

So, yes, it would be awesome if we had a garage.  You probably had a garage where you lived full time before moving here.  Or, maybe you still have a garage.  And you maybe have forgotten the years of having little kids or a spouse with a disability or maybe you haven’t.  But if some night, after we are done PLAYING outside with our “stuff” and you see us out picking up soccer goals and whiffle bats and slip n slides, please feel free to stop by and stay hello.   People see our family playing outside in that community back yard, and they come on over, and you should too.  You are always welcome. 

We are not the people who abuse our dumpsters or have late night parties with loud music or people who shoot off illegal fireworks when you are trying to fall asleep.  We pay our condo fees on time, and we are always helpful to those new to the neighborhood.  I’m not actually going to apologize for having too much “stuff” in the yard, but I can promise you that we will continue to use it and not let it grow grass. 

With the violence in our world, we are incredibly grateful that our kids are spending their childhoods hanging out in the tops of giant arbor vitae shrub-trees, roaming safe streets on their bikes, and spending time shooting hoops or playing tennis or hiking in the area forests.  Again, playing inside would UNDOUBTEDLY make our outdoor appearance more tidy, but I’m not sure those are the kinds of thinkers we only want to have solving our world’s problems when they become adults.  I can assure you that seeing a family playing outdoors together is only going to increase your property value if that is what you are ultimately worried about.  

And we are teaching our kids to have actual conversations with people, adults and kids alike, about conflicts and differences in opinion, and, well, this would have been a very cool, authentic learning opportunity.   They, like their parents, are far from perfect, and if you ever see them behaving poorly, please reach out then as well.  It takes a village after all, and we are very grateful, their first one is here in Alpine Village in North Woodstock, NH.

So neighbors, please, our door is always open, and we are kind, compassionate people, who sometimes may have too much fun going on in our backyard. 

Sincerely,

Heather, Geoff, Carver and Greta Krill

PS.  Thank you to our awesome property manager Danny Bourassa who took pictures of our yard to share with the board for the Alpine Village Condo Association– who agreed our yard was acceptable.

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4 thoughts on “For Our Grumpy Neighbor Who Complained about Too Much “Going On” in Our Yard…

  1. OMG Heather, I can’t even imagine anyone complaining about your family’s community yard! Obviously, your neighbors have not taken the time to even try to get to know you. Knowing you, for many years,I would welcome you as a neighbor, with wide-open arms! I knew you first as my daughter’s teacher. Then I knew you as the mother of your two truly amazing and beautiful children. I know that you are honest,friendly, loving, nurturing, and trustworthy. Those are absolutely priceless gifts to have in a neighbor!!! I would know that when I am not at home, that you would always keep an eye on things, and would always let me know if something seemed not quite right, yet, you would still mind your own business. I hope you just keep doing what you’re doing. It is quite right! I hope, that maybe, your neighbors will notice, that instead of keeping the discontent going (and spreading), that instead, you took the time to educate them on your family’s values and morals (which you did quite accurately, by the way). I hope they will take the time to get to know you now, and realize what a valuable asset you are to your neighborhood!

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