I live out in the country side for a reason, I love the ability to stroll my nature trail any time I feel like it, I love watching the birds and flowers come and go with the seasons, I love the quiet that allows me to hear those first birds of spring long before I see them. It is indeed an idyllic existence in some ways and at some times, but it is not always so. Being on good terms with ones neighbor is particularly important for most of us who live in rural areas, whist the property lines may be further apart than in urban areas the guy next door, be it 300ft away or 3km away, is your best friend in the case of need. Thus it is hard to infringe upon the neighbours use of his property or the daily activities that take place up the road, we tend to be tolerant of chain saws running, of noisy farm machinery taking in crops and even of tractors or 4wheelers running around gathering wood or checking the cattle fences. These things are necessary operations and rarely can be heard for more than an hour or so, we make our fair share of noise here at times, cutting the acre or so of grass, getting our own and customers equipment running correctly, cussing the weedeater that wont start and so on. BUT the last couple of years I have been increasingly intolerant of my nearest neighbors activities, or to be more precise his sons activities.
The lad across the road, now about 10 or so, saw another neighbors kids who only visit their next door Canadian property a few times a year (fortunately), on their dirt bikes and 4wheelers and with the help of his dad got hooked!
Now I don’t want to spoil any kids 'fun' but listening to dirt bikes and 4wheelers roar around 300 feet away for hours is not my favorite way of spending an afternoon relaxing outside in this exceptional warm March weather. Fortunately his wheels of choice have (or had) a reasonable muffler on it which if he didn’t persist in roaring around in the front yard (rather than the back 20 acres where it would be audible but not so annoying) would be bearable. However it seems that after a couple of years of this he now has 'friends' with similar toys, one of which is a dirt bike of the 'if its has no muffler it must go faster' type. Today rather than sit outside and listen to the birds I was forced to listen to the new motocross venue 300 or 400 feet away for almost 3 hours, to say I was not impressed would be putting it mildly!
My neighbour and I get along fairly well, he keeps an eye on my property whist I am away and I keep an eye on his, we each respect each other privacy and help each other out when needed...... and thats the way I want to keep it. So its going to be a difficult conversation when next we meet, how to point out that had I wanted to live next to a race track I could have purchased a property down the road in Varney next to one, how I don’t want to spoil the kids fun but that such activity (replete with noisy or non existent mufflers) is intolerable for me, how perhaps limiting the activity to the back 40 rather than closer to our residence would help, and how quiet rural neighbourhood are not the place for motocross bikes with straight through exhausts.
Its a conversation that it was good NOT to have this afternoon because after several hours of screaming exhaust noise I was ready to kill, and the conversation would have included a number of explicit descriptions of my thoughts about kids, dirt bikes, noisy neighbours and respect or the lack thereof.
At this point I can only hope that this motocross afternoon was a one off, I am not holding my breath at this point but if it occurs again then that difficult conversation will become a high priority....... if I don’t totally loose it first at tell them exactly where to stick their dirt bike!
Its not all sun and roses out here.