Saturday, August 10, 2013

Letter to a Neighbor


My next door neighbor (Whom we've had issues with before) sent us a strongly worded certified letter the other day (Apparently a phone call, email, text message, or even a ring on the doorbell would not suffice), alerting us that water was running off of our lawn onto his, and that he "demanded" we do something about it. He claimed that this excess run-off was due to work we had done in our yard almost a year ago, nearly 100 feet away from our mutual property line. He addressed the letter solely to "Kate Guyton" aka "Dear Mrs. Guyton". Apparently, I am no longer relevant - OR he simply feels that I will not take him seriously (which I probably won't), so he bypasses me entirely and goes straight to my wife. Here's a tip, guys - if you ever want to piss me the f--k off, do exactly what this man did.

So... I wrote him the following letter. Enjoy.

Dear Mr. _______:

Thank you for the lovely compliments regarding the work we’ve had done in our backyard. We are very pleased with it. I am so sorry to hear about the rain damage you’ve had in your yard however. It has been a terribly rainy summer, and according to the National Weather Service’s Rainfall Scorecard (See attached), we have had more rain in this part of Georgia THIS summer than in any summer on record since 2005, and that year appears to be an anomaly. I have no doubt Mother Nature will relent sometime soon, but in the meantime, I understand your desire to point the blame at a more earthly source. However, I would be most remiss if I did not point out several factors:

1)      Your property sits considerably higher than ours, and we deal with rain runoff from your yard all year long (With no complaints, mind you. We knew our property was lower than yours when we bought the house. It seems strange, however, that you would claim the rain is running UPHILL from our yard into yours. It seems geographically impossible in my opinion, but then again, stranger things have happened).
2)      The walkway and fire-pit that we installed is over 100 feet away from our respective property line, and has been sanctioned by the Department of Planning and Zoning, by the Sheriff’s Department, by the neighbors across the pond, and even by the Fire Marshall. We did not do any significant grading to any other part of our yard except in the area surrounding the fire-pit, so your concern that our yard work has somehow caused this additional runoff is ludicrous at best. (Again, all evidence points to the significant increase in overall rain this summer as the culprit, as opposed to any man-made forces).
3)      Two large tree branches have broken off of your trees this past year and caused property damage to our yard. One enormous tree branch landed on our garage roof and damaged some of the shingles. That same branch also landed on our wooden fence and damaged it. We repaired both without any fuss or argument (it didn’t seem neighborly to complain, but clearly we are not the paragons of neighborhood civility that you fine folks are). The other tree damaged one of our brand new fir trees. Again, no argument or complaint – that didn’t seem neighborly either, in my experience. But, I will be glad to hold you accountable for any and all damage that your trees may inflict upon our property at any time in the future. It seems only fair.
4)      We have four eyewitnesses that are willing to testify that you trespassed on our property on the date of August 9, 2012, when we were having the original work done in our backyard. These eyewitnesses will state that you not only trespassed on my property, but that you were verbally abusive to the men who were working on the property, and also to my mother-in-law, who was merely approaching you to try to figure out why on God’s green earth you were on my property without an invitation. That part never sat well with me – I don’t appreciate abusive behavior in anyone, let alone a neighbor, and especially not to a member of my family. But I did not choose to press charges at the time because, again, it did not seem neighborly. In the future, I will certainly be contacting the authorities if I hear or see you stepping foot on our property again without permission.
All that said, we do appreciate you contacting us, and we hope, like you, that Mother Nature will be a bit kinder to both of us in the coming year.

Yours truly,
Daniel Guyton

PS Please address all concerns to me in the future, and not to my wife. She interprets all of your correspondence as threatening and as borderline harassment. I am far more easy-going, however, and far more likely to address your concerns in a timely manner. Thank you.

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