Stuart and I find ourselves in the middle of an unfortunate situation involving a joint driveway and the next door neighbor. It's not appropriate to go into specifics here, but suffice it to say, we are dealing with a person who is not acting rationally. She is downright hostile, in fact, and it has been extremely difficult for both me and my husband to keep a handle on the stress and anger this situation is causing us.
There are all kinds of unpleasant people in the world, of course. We just have the bad luck of sharing a driveway with one. One thing that makes this so stressful is that we need to do some pretty major renovations next year, and the current problems with the neighbor and the driveway make us wonder if it's even possible. We've been advised to find an attorney (I've got a list of recommended people to call that I'm working my way down).
It's also been suggested by several people that we move. As if it were that easy to sell a house and find another suitable one nearby within a certain price range and hope you don't just end up next to another crazy person. (It's hard to imagine, but she could be worse, I suppose. Like if she were a drug dealer. Or a registered sex offender.)
Because location is everything. We love this neighborhood and fit in well here; we're not the only people with a clothesline in the backyard and vegetables growing in the front, not by a long shot. We are surrounded by lots of lovely parks. We are a few minutes' bike ride from all kinds of places that are important to us, like the farmers market, our community garden, the swimming pool, and more parks. And right now, what is possibly most important of all, the kids' school is excellent. I'm not yet ready to give all that up just to live in a bigger house with our own driveway.
Not that I haven't done a few searches on zillow, mind you. We also have neighbors looking to upsize from their 2-bedroom house, and they're having trouble finding something for the same reasons we would, should we decide to move.
I'm afraid the situation with the person next door is going to get worse before it gets better. In some ways, we made progress this week, but by now the conflict and animosity between us is so well-established, we are utterly unable to communicate without third party involvement. We're functioning about as well as the U.S. Congress.