Thanks Lori. You point out a fundamental challenge that we are all facing right now- boundaries and borders, at every single possible level. I had a problem with my northern neighbor (new to us, and by now, known to the entire block as That Asshole Jerry). He snuck over my fence and sawed off some branches on a pine that is on our fence border. That is patently against the law. Both of our neighbors are bullies. What I did, which put this issue to bed, was call the police. They have — or least here in Lakewood they do- a neighborhood arbitrator. That person called my neighbor, that got their attention. When the wife called all nicey-nicey (she is the classic abused enabler) and I nearly shouted into the phone that if her husband so much as set foot on my property again he could enjoy a police car up his alimentary canal. He’d been bullying me for several years at that point, and the sawed- off branch was the end of it. For example immensely petty shit, like tossing the pine cones that my trees drop into his lawn over the fence into mine. That is also against the law. Blowing the leaves from my ash tree that happen to drop onto his driveway onto my lawn. That is also against the law. This is how breathtakingly petty and shitty people can be. However when we use the police as they are intended to be used- as peace officers-it can make a huge difference. That Asshole Jerry has a police record. I checked. So once he knows that there is a very thick line in the concrete and I can and will involve the law, he backed off. Other neighbors have erected twelve foot fences (which I find hilarious) just to avoid having to look at or hear him. They have not bothered me since and that was more than a year ago. But Lori, here’s the thing: this absolute nonsense that this is mine and this is yours is at the highest level a total lie. I might nearly own my house but I am totally temporary. As are we all. This earth that we share with nearly eight billion people belongs to every single one of us only fleetingly, at best. This is the same guiding principle that inspires me to pick up parking lot litter on my way into a store, put money into someone else’s meter, be very polite in traffic and let folks in, say good morning to people I see out running, and when I head out to Red Rocks to run, I pop cans and cups into the recycle bin- the ones that others threw to the ground in their drunken stupor. The world belongs to all of us, but it is on loan. That’s all. As you say you have a shoebox, and who knows what is driving your neighbor to be a Super Bitch. Truth be told she may be on very toxic meds and have no clue what she’s doing. All we have is behavior which we can measure. You have a claim of harassment, if she continues to bother you as long as you are on your own property. That’s the law as I understand it (now that I have, unfortunately, had a direct brush with same myself). You have a right not to be harassed on your own property. She has the responsibility to be civil. I actually got busted for an F-bomb. Incredibly, I can get a ticket for that- yet the pond scum who rape the poplace can retire with a multi-million dollar pension. Such is the world, Lori, but we CAN control that which is within our grasp. If I were you I’d call the local police, report your neighbor, give them JUST the facts, but before I did that I would have my phone with me and tape her for evidence. Show where you were in your yard, where the boundary is, and that makes for an uncontestable argument. I’d keep my language civil, which puts you on the side of the law. She is out of line. And it’s their job to set her straight, and make sure that your life is peaceful- along with all your neighbors. The other way I’d suggest handling this — along with establish clearly-cut boundaries- is to find the humor. The other day I was telling a very close friend about this story about the killer kid and we were in hysterics. I thought I’d pee my pants. I have to go to an anger management class- please, come ON man- and this is the kind of thing I teach. If I can’t see the irony in this then I am missing the cosmic joke. To wit, in your case, after pissing all over her neighbors, just wait ‘til the day she falls down in her driveway and hollers, “HELP!! I can’t get up!!” and everybody just looks out their windows, smiles at her and waves. Karma’s a bitch. She most assuredly is.

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Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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