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Old 10-13-2015, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Connecticut is my adopted home.
2,284 posts, read 3,168,399 times
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I rarely post on this forum being fairly new to rural life but I'm somewhat mystified by this matter so this is a "what gives" type of question. We moved to our rural place about three years ago. Until this year, we lived part time in Alaska. When we first got here, the place was a mess and we started clearing brush, cutting damaged or dead and unwanted weedy trees, mowing overgrown lawns and fields, repairing or removing fallen down fences, picking up clutter. We are both handy and know how to do things so we are not "cityiots" in any sense of the word. We have heard trough the grapevine that people here are happy with what we are doing so that is not the problem.

Here's the issue: Within a month of moving here one neighbor asked for our firewood from our dead trees that we cut down. We offered her and her teenaged son some trees down in our field that we weren't going to be able to get to in a while but she declined wanting the cut stacked wood. Really. Within a few months, 4 area neighbors approached us about the hay in our field which we gave to a different neighbor to cut each year. We cut it this year and offered it to them for sale well below market rate to defray the baling costs and all but one declined. So we sold it dirt cheap on Craigslist and it was gone within two weeks. Two neighbors have asked us to bury their horses with our back hoe recently. And on it goes.

I don't really mind being generous with people. I usually am, very much so but other than asking for things from us, these neighbors have shown zero reciprocity or even an inclination to lean over the fence to chat for a moment. If I received a hundred bales of hay, I'd send over vegetables, fruit, fresh eggs or a big plate of cookies at the very least and that's how we mutually rolled with our urban neighbors in AK but here, I'm mystified. We keep to ourselves mostly. We don't complain about anything to anyone. We are good, can do, quiet middle aged neighbors but other than being asked for things or services we have zero interaction here.

Any clue folks?
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Old 10-13-2015, 01:08 PM
 
1,344 posts, read 2,606,604 times
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I have a neighbor like that's pretty much the same.

They never talk to you or visit unless they want something. They're part of some "gimme" crowd and they always take but never even offer to give back.

Like you, I'm a pretty generous person, especially with neighbors. Heck, I've spent the last few weeks doing all the firewood for a guy down the road that had a heart attack and couldn't do his wood himself. I don't want anything in return, just glad to help.

My problem neighbor has pretty much been ostracized by the neighborhood. Nobody talks or does anything for them anymore. Their kids have racing quads and were destroying people's property and I/we put an end to that. Instead of accepting that their quads aren't wanted, they got belligerent and think it's perfectly OK for their kids to do as they please, where they please.

I wouldn't offer too much to these type of people. They'll just keep taking and taking.

They seem to think what's theirs is theirs and what's yours is theirs as well.
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Old 10-13-2015, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Connecticut is my adopted home.
2,284 posts, read 3,168,399 times
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If any of my neighbors needed our help I'd be glad to do what was needed. The folks around me seem able bodied enough. Not one of them even bothered to thank us for the hay and other assistance. It's just weird to me.

One neighbor across the way has been pretty self contained like we are. He has a business and lots of heavy equipment. We needed his help during the first winter when 14" of wet snow was drifted in our long driveway. We paid him to plow our drive a few times. He did tell us then that he used to do a few other drives being a nice guy but it became an expected thing (without any recompense) and he finally quit. Shades of what we are experiencing.
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Old 10-13-2015, 01:32 PM
 
1,514 posts, read 1,041,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AK-Cathy View Post
I rarely post on this forum being fairly new to rural life but I'm somewhat mystified by this matter so this is a "what gives" type of question. We moved to our rural place about three years ago. Until this year, we lived part time in Alaska.

Any clue folks?
I think your experience demonstrates the popular myth that rural areas are full of sturdy, self reliant, salt of the earth folks where as urban areas are crawling with "gimme types". My bet is that rural people are no more and no less likely to be say, multi generational welfare dependents and / or simply have a "gimme attitude" than their urban counter parts.

Another possibility is the reputation of the specific area. I once lived in a rural area of California. The area had far more losers per capita than the neighboring urban area and I felt my wife was much safer in the city.

A local explained to me that the area had a bad reputation going back several generations. He also pointed out that in addition to truly local losers, the area was near an interstate that allowed easy access to a big city. This attracted even more meth types who wanted to live rural but have access to big city "markets". It also attracted "my probation officer cant find me here" types.
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Old 10-13-2015, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
2,933 posts, read 2,956,821 times
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I'd have no problem offering a neighbor in need firewood, IF it was my idea. Nor would I care if someone asked me if they could cut up some downed trees around the property. However, if an able bodied neighbor came up to me and asked for cut and stacked firewood, I'd tell them the going rate of a cord. That's a lot of work.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:40 AM
 
5,163 posts, read 4,402,353 times
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We call them Mr Haneys---avoid, avoid, avoid.
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:55 AM
 
4,665 posts, read 2,797,608 times
Reputation: 3367
Quote:
Originally Posted by AK-Cathy View Post
I rarely post on this forum being fairly new to rural life but I'm somewhat mystified by this matter so this is a "what gives" type of question. We moved to our rural place about three years ago. Until this year, we lived part time in Alaska. When we first got here, the place was a mess and we started clearing brush, cutting damaged or dead and unwanted weedy trees, mowing overgrown lawns and fields, repairing or removing fallen down fences, picking up clutter. We are both handy and know how to do things so we are not "cityiots" in any sense of the word. We have heard trough the grapevine that people here are happy with what we are doing so that is not the problem.

Here's the issue: Within a month of moving here one neighbor asked for our firewood from our dead trees that we cut down. We offered her and her teenaged son some trees down in our field that we weren't going to be able to get to in a while but she declined wanting the cut stacked wood. Really. Within a few months, 4 area neighbors approached us about the hay in our field which we gave to a different neighbor to cut each year. We cut it this year and offered it to them for sale well below market rate to defray the baling costs and all but one declined. So we sold it dirt cheap on Craigslist and it was gone within two weeks. Two neighbors have asked us to bury their horses with our back hoe recently. And on it goes.

I don't really mind being generous with people. I usually am, very much so but other than asking for things from us, these neighbors have shown zero reciprocity or even an inclination to lean over the fence to chat for a moment. If I received a hundred bales of hay, I'd send over vegetables, fruit, fresh eggs or a big plate of cookies at the very least and that's how we mutually rolled with our urban neighbors in AK but here, I'm mystified. We keep to ourselves mostly. We don't complain about anything to anyone. We are good, can do, quiet middle aged neighbors but other than being asked for things or services we have zero interaction here.

Any clue folks?


I live in Shawnee County, probably within a few hours of wherever you live and that's just how people are around here. You just have to learn to say no, but I am surprised that they never bring you anything. I've had neighbors offer to plow my drive after it snows, or to cut up fallen trees, and I've had neighbors bring us fruit from their trees or various things they have cooked. Unless it is food, I generally decline, I feel it's rude to have someone do work for me for free. Some of those requests seem strange to me. Rural people like to gossip a LOT, so I'd stick to keeping it to yourself. All my neighbors are quite a bit older then me, and they will walk through our back yard/field all the time to talk to each other. Again, that's odd to me, but they aren't harming anyone, so I don't mind.
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Ossipee, NH
373 posts, read 240,469 times
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Could be your neighbors are seeing how much they can take advantage of the "new" people. Or possibly, they had free reign with the people who used to live there (or it sat empty?).
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Old 10-14-2015, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Connecticut is my adopted home.
2,284 posts, read 3,168,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
I live in Shawnee County, probably within a few hours of wherever you live and that's just how people are around here. You just have to learn to say no, but I am surprised that they never bring you anything. I've had neighbors offer to plow my drive after it snows, or to cut up fallen trees, and I've had neighbors bring us fruit from their trees or various things they have cooked. Unless it is food, I generally decline, I feel it's rude to have someone do work for me for free. Some of those requests seem strange to me. Rural people like to gossip a LOT, so I'd stick to keeping it to yourself. All my neighbors are quite a bit older then me, and they will walk through our back yard/field all the time to talk to each other. Again, that's odd to me, but they aren't harming anyone, so I don't mind.
Yes, we are probably an hour or less apart. The bolded part is what surprises me.

The neighbor to the east that asked for the cut and stacked wood called us the second spring that we lived here just as we were prepped to leave for AK to complain about a tree that was "touching" her shed. We went out to look at the tree and the leaves on the very end of a soft branch touched lightly the near top of the roof when a stiff wind blew. We were leaving the next day and couldn't get to it so my DH called her and said that she could lop off that end if it bothered her as we couldn't get to it until we got back.

Mind you the shed is sad, needing a lot of repairs, the lean-to roof on our side is covered in 6" of crud near the bottom edge, so much that 2' tall trees and weeds are growing in the litter on that roof. The light brushing in wind was the least of their problems with that shed. So we came back in the fall and the branch (no surprise) was not cut. We had a few trees that needed professional attention so we called a tree service to come in and take down a huge tree that the wind had taken the top out of that was caught in another tree leaning over our mutual fence. We thought to forestal any more calls we'd pay particular attention to the trees along that property line. The tree company spoke to her for access to remove this and other leaning trees and this neighbor started adding some of her own trees to the job. When they started to make out a separate work order, the woman stopped them hoping that they could just "throw it in" with our job. When they asked her who would pay for the extra work, she was tongue tied. OMG. This woman hasn't done anything but call to complain or to ask for things. No thank you note, no invite for lunch, no welcome cookies, no $6 pizza, which would be at least a token effort.

Granted she is considered by most of the surrounding neighbors to be the area pill but our more normal neighbors are as remiss in efforts in reciprocity or appreciation. It doesn't even have to be equal just acknowledged at the least. The only thing I can think is that people think we are wealthy because we paid cash for the property though we don't live like wealthy people. Our cars are older and we live fairly simply but like things nice like roses on the fence kind of thing. I'm assuming that word got around that we are retired but we are quite a bit younger than most retirees and paid cash for the property so they might think that we are rolling in dollars which wouldn't even matter if that were a fact in my view. If someone does something nice you try to reciprocate in whatever way you can. At least that was how it worked in AK and was how I was raised.

Thanks folks for weighing in. The Mr. Haney thing was priceless.

Last edited by AK-Cathy; 10-14-2015 at 04:31 PM..
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,608 posts, read 24,319,566 times
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I'm betting that there are plenty of people around who don't behave this way. So, keep that in mind LOL. You're just meeting all the twerps right now.

I also experienced this when I bought 2 acres in WA, but it was obvious I was poor, too. It started with the wood, just like your story. I had a bunch of trees cut down, and there was a ton of large branch debris that I paid someone to put into piles with a backhoe. That way I could either burn it, or cut it up later for firewood. But, a guy I started dating actually started putting it all in the back of his pickup! Fringe benefit, I guess, he thought LOL. Um, honey...you can have that pile, since I'll be staying at your place sometimes, but the rest stays here....

Helped someone with their crop harvest and asked for a favor in return to help me put up my fence - you'd have thought I asked for their first born child.

Just a couple examples. So, yeah, a response I learned from someone up there when I complained about it, is to say something like, "I've got plans for that, so nope." Maybe your plans are for it to just lay there on your property forever. But, it's an answer that usually shuts them up.

I'm wondering if some of your neighbors might be from a different culture? Some cultures have that village mentality, where they're fine with just asking for something. Maybe it's cultural? Regardless, you need the grapevine to start buzzing with, "Wow, those new people are sure stingy! They won't give me anything!" LOL.

I did have a couple people actually bring me building and fencing materials for free with no strings attached. I hadn't asked them for help. They would just see me, a single woman, out trying to chop up wood or put up a fence, etc., by myself. So, on their next trip to town, a couple of them drove in with a truck and asked me if I'd like this used fencing they had just sitting in their barn, and another brought me tin roofing. I offered to pay and they said, nope, just want to get rid of it.

You'll meet those people, too :-)
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