Good Fences Shouldn’t Fall Down

Shot of a cleared sideway as a person with a snowblower works up ahead

The cold or the heat – neither is good for the mood if you don’t enjoy it.

We had three consecutive days of snowfall and a full week of sub-zero temperatures. In nearby St. Thomas last Friday, two neighbours brawled over the way one of them was shoveling snow. A man who lived next door to me in another city used to do the same thing. He believed that as long as the snow was thrown onto my driveway or my lawn, it was no longer his problem. But this shovel dispute ended with one man’s Mom going after the other man with a baseball bat. Police were called and charges laid. Mom and son spent the night in jail.

Man snowblowing a driveway in a heavy snowfall while a young boy shovels show nearby
Photo by Pete Brown via Flickr

The people across the road from us are far from the worst neighbours I’ve ever had, but a guy with the blade on the front of his truck pushes their snow across the road into our snow. He creates a mountain out of a molehill and sometimes covers our freshly-cleared sidewalk. It’s not how 99.99% of the population behaves. It’s jaw-dropping when he does it because it’s just so damn rude and wrong. But I’m not about to confront him over it.

The north side of our property is completely fenced and on the other side is a laneway along the back of a strip mall. Activity there is rare. Once in a while a trash compacter spends about ten minutes making noise. It’s blissfully quiet the rest of the time.

They say good fences make good neighbours and the plaza owns the fence that separates our properties. A couple of weeks ago, for the third or fourth time in five years, a piece of fence fell over onto the plaza side. City bylaw rules state that responsibility for fixing the fence goes to whoever owns the property where it lands. And there it sits. One year their snow removal company crashed through a piece of fence. They eventually got around to replacing it. We expect the same to happen again.

Most times, neighbours help each other out. Before the Mason Jar Lady went into long-term care, Derek routinely blew out her driveway with his Toro. If you’re out there anyway, and you see that someone else could use a hand, you lend it. That’s just what good neighbours do.

The fence was covered in snow, and then revealed again as temperatures rose above zero. It doesn’t really bother me. I like the extra visibility when I’m pulling out of our driveway. And we’re certainly not going to take care of it. And we’re not going to make a big, hairy deal out of it, lest someone’s Mom comes after us with a baseball bat. I wouldn’t last a night in jail. Neither would Derek. He’s just too pretty.


1 thought on “Good Fences Shouldn’t Fall Down”

  1. I’d just wish people would clear their sidewalks. Went for a walk the other day and wasn’t sure if I was walking on the sidewalk, side street or someone’s driveway since it feels all the same to my cane. And then there are curbs; hard to tell when you reach the end of a sidewalk since the snow covers the curb. By the way, where the F is the opening to the sidewalk so I can cross the street? Boy do I miss my dog in this type of walking weather!

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