Thursday, December 10, 2009

Little Drummer Boy

"Shall I play for you!
pa rum pum pum
on my drum.

Mary nodded
pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time
pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him
pa rum pum pum
I played my best for Him
pa rum pum pum pum
rum pum pum pum
rum pum pum pum
Then He smiled at me
pa rum pum pum pum
me and my drum."

~These lyrics are brought to you courtesy ~

I'll preface this with the acknowledgement that we're not Christians, though we do celebrate Christmas. It was the fact that I was reminded that it was Christmas that I felt the need to write this blog.

Shannon has been taking drum lessons. He'll be 6 in January, and is doing really well. The lessons occur at 6pm every Thursday. Justin is the musician in the family, and since he's the one who helps him with his lessons, we have to have the lessons after he gets off work. The lessons are 30 minutes long. Not exactly even beginning to push the limits of the noise ordinance in our town (according to the cops anyway, whom I've double checked with).
But, because we do have a neighbor who has decided to hate us, the drums have become the newest issue. The first time we got a phone call screaming and threatening us, the boys were showing their grandparents the drums and were playing for, literally, 5 minutes - it was 6pm on a Sunday evening. The second time, Shannon was showing his uncle what he had learned from his first lesson. He had been playing roughly 10 minutes, and the screaming call came in right before 5pm on a Saturday. After that we decided it was worth the $4.20 a month to block her phone number and put an end to the harassing phone calls and the stress from them.
Remember, this is the same neighbor who hates our flowers (and calls the city about them), hates our garden and the mulch for it, and generally every movement we make. We've tried speaking reasonably with her ... only to be told that no, we don't have the right to live the way we want.

Anyway, last week's lesson went blissfully well. Aside from the back porch light turned on to let us know she was angry. That's one of the signs: she leaves the front porch on all night long (I guess thinking it will bother us since it is near our bedroom window). She turned the back porch light off right before 9pm last week.

This week, another story. The drum instructor is a friend and his girlfriend has become a friend as well, coming over every week to hang out while the lessons go on. She and I were talking in the front room when there was a knock on the door. Guess who ... !!
I politely informed her that there were drum lessons going on. It didn't matter. More threats, more ridiculous accusations. I began politely informing her to get off our property or else I would call the cops. I was told she had hired a detective, she was documenting things, she would file a formal complaint (that's the recurring threat). I told her to go ahead and repeated that she needed to leave our property. She began going on that she had been trying to call us. I finally told her that we had blocked her number because she has been harassing us. This was met with a response of a screaming "YOU'RE HARASSING ME!". I shut the door.

So, with the thought of it being Christmastime, this song came to mind. I couldn't remember the lyrics, just the melody. I looked up the lyrics for this blog and it was the last part of the song, the part I quoted above, that really struck me.
In everything we do, we try to strengthen community ties and bonds. We try to get to know our neighbors and the people in our community. Even when there may be differences of lifestyles, we see that as a welcome opportunity to learn something new, even if that is just tolerance.
It truly saddens me to think that someone would chose to live such a miserable existence. To realize that there really does come a time when there are people you can't try to reason with, that you can't try to work things out with.

I'm not sure where this crazy path will wind up. My bones tell me that this isn't the end of this, that there is more to come.
I do know that I won't let one person stand between us and the life we want to live. There is no way in absolute hell that I will let someone stand between my child and his education.

Music is meant to bring harmony. To quote Plato: Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.
I know that while someone is learning music it can often sound like something needing to be put out of it's misery. But, if you're life is so full anger, bitterness, and hatred that you can't tolerate an almost 6 year old's 30 minute drum lesson once a week ... well then, at this time of year at least, I can see the true embodiment of the Scrooge that Dickens wrote about so long ago.

PS ~ It is quarter till midnight now and the back porch light (which shines into our kitchen), as well as the front porch light are still on. Is this the way you try to upset a tree-hugger, by wasting energy?


Carole and Chewy said...

You can come live next to us Carrie -we'd be delighted. i feel for you - we had neighbors like this until about a hear and a half ago when they finally moved to one of those subdivisions with a homeowners association and every house looks the same. I'm presuming they love it there. The new neighbors don't have any problems with us.

Knitterwockey said...

She sounds like such a horrible shrew. Does she have any family at all you could perhaps talk to and try to have reason with her (since she's obviously not going to listen to you)? If not, maybe you should just document everything she does to her and report her for harassment. I would say turn the other cheek and just try to make peace with her but it sounds like she doesn't want any part of that.

Carrie and Justin said...

We tried from the start to be nice and logical. That failed miserably. Since then we try to keep our distance, but at the same time not let someone else dictate the way we live. Sometimes there just isn't a way to go back to all-things-groovy.
We try not to let it bother us. We do keep records and we make sure we know the laws.
I debated about blogging about this, but it IS part of our lives. And this is a blog about that. Life isn't always rainbow farts.