Cindy kindly requested (mandated) that I write this post. She promised to abstain from editing my posts for content and grammar if I obliged, so here it is. As a disclaimer, the neighborhood has changed a lot since we moved in.
When we first moved in, the streets were constantly caked with clay and the air filled with dust as the houses were being built out. Many of the houses were filled with contractors who did little to hide their plans to move on from the houses as soon as the tax regulations let them keep their gains. It made for an unfriendly lot. As an example, my small-town sensibilities were shocked one day as I drove up the street to my house and waved to a group of neighbors gathered in a front yard. Instead of a typical wave for a greeting I was met with a scoffs and a couple of giggles. You know, the 'as if' look the impossibly hot girl shoots the band nerd when he says 'Hi' in the movies. Lesson learned - the northern end of Pine Hollow were, for the time, a bunch of pricks. That's fine - I wouldn't bother inviting them to the luau we were having that spring.
But the neighbors on each side presented a different problem. I was going to be building a bonfire in my backyard. The fire department was fine with it, but as a common courtesy I thought I'd tell the neighbors what the fire was going to be all about and invite them to the shindig. With most of the neighbors it went fine - after all there were only three homes on our end of the street. One woman clearly had some hangups. When I knocked on her door, I could hear her approach the door and walk away. As I walked down the street, she came out with phone in hand to assess the threat she had so deftly avoided. And predictably, she watched nervously as we started the fire for the luau. Apparently it was too much for her, and she called the fire truck. But it gets better.
The day after the luau we blessed Lissy. A great moment with friends and family around. After sacrament as I held Lissy and talked to some friends, she pushed her way through the crowd. "Hi, I'm XX, this is my husband XY. You've seen us, we've seen you - we're your neighbors. How many people are living at your house?" she started. Confused, I told her that it was just my family. "Your 'family'," she insisted, "who does that include, exactly?" By now I was completely perplexed, "Me, my wife, my daughter that she's holding, and my daughter that I'm holding." Her interrogation nearly complete, she needed to just clear up one last detail, "So just the four of you, right?" By now the clouds in my head were clearing and I started to get mad. "Right."
Of course, this gem of a human was assigned to be Cindy's visiting teacher. Cindy did nothing to disabuse her of her mistaken notions. When she asked Cindy what I did, Cindy told her I liked to work on bikes. "Ooooh," she responded, as if she'd figured out what it is I really did to afford the home. I'd like to think she thought I was a drug dealer or maybe a coyote. Her crappy attitude continued for several months.
After a while, XX finally heard what I really did for a living. You wouldn't believe the difference - suddenly we were up to snuff in her eyes and worthy of something better than a sneer. Aren't those the genuine, friendly types of neighbors you'd love to have? They moved on a while later. The rest of the builder crew moved on as well. The PineHollow Biker Gang is about as rough as the neighborhood is these days.