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Ashley Hackshaw is the editor, designer and DIYer behind the wildly popular Lil Blue Boo. After spending six years in investment banking and getting an MBA in between, Ashley decided to pursue her passion in the creative world. Now she runs the successful Lil Blue Boo clothing line, clothing pattern line and DIY website. More recently she’s written The Cancer Chronicles, a detailed journey of her battle with a rare cancer Choriocarcinoma, intertwined with her creative lifestyle. Ashley also writes daily for Babble Home.

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I Have Never Met My Neighbors

By ashleyhackshaw |

Well, actually I know some of my neighbors … the ones on the left, the ones across the street and the ones behind me. The ones on the right are a different story. We live in a pretty small town so I’ve probably run into them at the grocery store or the bank … but I wouldn’t know … I don’t know what they look like.  They write me a note once a year asking me to trim the palm trees when they bloom (because they mess up the pool) and then they leave it in the mailbox. There once was a phone number on the letter … so I called to say hi. The husband didn’t want to talk about anything except that our palm trees were invading his property and complain that his yard guy was having to trim our hedges (that serves as a wall from our property to theirs).  I’m a good neighbor … I had someone cut the trees and hedges the next day.  It’s not that they aren’t social … they hold loud parties and I’ve never complained about them.  I once called 911 because there was a strong chemical smell drifting into our house. It turns out it was their adult son spraying his car with a sealant. The fire department paid them a visit. I felt really bad.

In our old neighborhood, my husband and I were the youngest residents by about 30 years. We lived in a townhouse and would leave the trashcan out early on trash pick up days. When we got back from work late at night someone had always put our trash bin on the front door step, blocking the door, and once with a note that said “bring your trash can in on time.” It wasn’t like we let the bin sit out overnight … it was always brought in the same day … just after work. I was scared to death of our homeowner’s association. They nitpicked on everything.

And then there is the couple that lives behind us. They are in their 80s. Before we met them, we started having bags of oranges show up in our backyard.  It took a while to figure out that they were throwing them over the fence to us from their garden. My daughter would look for the bags every morning … hoping the “orange fairy” sent her something new.

The Orange Fairy via written by

We made a point one day to walk around to the other street to introduce ourselves. If I had to describe the “orange fairy” I’d say they look just like this:

The Up Couple via written by


Growing up, my family used to know all of our neighbors.  Nowadays it seems so different. Writing this, I realize I haven’t visited the “Fredricksons” in over a year.  I need to get on that.

What about you? Do you know your neighbors?

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About ashleyhackshaw



Ashley Hackshaw is the editor, designer, and DIYer behind the wildly popular Lil Blue Boo. She runs the successful Lil Blue Boo clothing line, clothing pattern line and DIY website, and she’s written The Cancer Chronicles, a detailed journey of her battle with a rare cancer Choriocarcinoma, intertwined with her creative lifestyle. Ashley also writes daily for Babble Home. Read bio and latest posts → Read Ashley's latest posts →

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15 thoughts on “I Have Never Met My Neighbors

  1. Tina says:

    My husband says, our neighbors next door have a new born baby.
    I can’t even say if it is true or not. I only see them if they open the garage door.
    That’s so sad, I would go over immediately if I knew to give them a handmade present….

    But I know 3 other neighbors in our street, thanks heavens.

    It is really very sad. You could line up 10 people in front of my and ask me to point out the neighbor in the row, and I could only guess.


  2. Sue says:

    In our last neighborhood, there were older and younger families it was great–everyone came out to talk to each other just like on old tv shows. We had parties together. When my husband traveled, my driveway would be snow plowed, or the yard was mowed without me even asking.
    There were sometimes arguments, but I can’t even begin to say how much we loved it. Then, we moved to a new state–and it’s soooo different. I can’t say that any of the neighbors are grouches, but no one talks to each other. I just finally met the next door neighbor last month (after being her a year). It’s sure lonely when you look around your house and only see people with heads down trying to avoid eye contact so they don’t even have to wave. =(

  3. cambria says:

    Oh, how I can relate with the HOA. Ours is a bunch of old farts – at 36 I am the youngest homeowner here – and they have nothing better to do than nitpick what the neighbors do.

  4. Terry says:

    I live in a neighborhood called Bungalow Heaven in Pasadena. These homes, built early in the 1900s, have wide front porches with swings and lovely tree lined streets. It seems that it was designed to be friendly and it is. Every night, there is a parade of neighbors and dogs. Tulips were placed on my front porch swing on Mother’s Day. Oranges, figs, and tomatoes show up on the porch regularly when they are in season. I really love living here although there are some who complain about the restrictions placed on remodeling the exterior of these historic houses. I love living here. I know that my neighbors look out for me as I do for them. Friends laugh when they visit and sit on the front porch, saying, “You know everybody.” Well almost.

  5. Greta says:

    Right now we live in a condo type of complex and I know many of my neighbors. When neighbors on one side moved in I tried so hard to befriend them but they seemed to have other ideas and only say hi if we see one another outside..nothing else. They have a little girl and I have two so I thought they could all be great friends..that was a year ago and I still hardly see them. My neighbor on the other side is 75 years old and befriends everyone! She comes over all the time and we chat or have tea..her favorite or she asks me for help with her If only the owners of the complex were as nice…we are in the process of moving into our first owned property with our own house on it. I can’t wait! I hope that the neighbors there are friendly and that there are a ton of kids in the neighborhood!

  6. kristin says:

    We’ve lived in our ‘hood for almost 6 years… a couple of weeks ago I was pushing my 10 month old in her stroller and a neighbor (who is friendly – we even know each other’s names!) drove by and shouted out – “Did you have a baby?!?” So yeah… that pretty much sums up the whole neighborhood, she just was nice enough to ask… eventually…. :/

  7. Jennifer Goldberg says:

    We know all of our neighbors on our street which ends in the cul-de-sac. There are 13 total on our street and about 65 total for our little community. We are very good friends with some, our immediate next door neighbor is also a physician and actually works with my husband. About 7 other homes in the community are also doctors that work in the same group with my husband. I have actually never been as this close to my neighbors then anywhere else. When we lived in VA, we did have great neighbors, they baked us some goodies when we first moved in, but that was about it. I love our current neighbors and am so blessed they are still here. Our community was built in 2005 and quite a few have foreclosed or they have moved on. I will be upset when our close friends ever leave, we plan to be here til my hubby retires.

  8. vicki m says:

    yep…. we know quite a few of our neighors….. many went to high shool in this area, went away for college and then settled back here to rise their family…. in the winter we don’t see much of one another…. we hunker down when the snow flies…. but once summer hits, we r gathering on each other’s patios till all hours and the kids will play in the yards and have bonfires….. we r lucky to have such great neighbors and blessed to live where we do (in WI…. 90miles north of chicago)

  9. Missy says:

    I live in a cul de sac & am guessing I only know my neighbors because of this. I grew up in a small town where a child was raised by the village but it seems not much of that mentality exists anymore. We are so happy that we have 6 great neighbors in our little slice of the world. I cringe at the thought of anyone moving!

  10. [...] Kind of not an Update: Because I haven’t figured out how to link up my other blog over at Babble Voices yet…..I’m adding a random link…’s a new post: Hey Look at Me…..I Have Never Met My Neighbors [...]

  11. Elizabeth B says:

    I know exactly 3 of my neighbors! So don’t feel bad. I have lived there for 4 years now. But I live in a townhouse and I work all the time and people move in and out so often because they rent, so whats the use really…..right? Ash I know you would tell me don’t worry about it. EXCEPT last week I found a creepy note on my doorstep from a male neighbor who thought I was cute and had been ‘watching’ me the past few years….seriously creepy….then to make it EVEN creeper he posted his picture on craigslist under Missed Connections with pictures of only his chest…seriously stalker material now. Don’t worry I’m save and I filed a report with the police. But the moral (morale??) of this is that I don’t know my neighbors either and people are creepy so maybe its better not to know them…I wish I had an Orange Fairy.. And my Pawpaw looked just like Mr. Fredrickson and kinda acted like him too haha, he passed away in Feburary at 80. I haven’t been able to watch that movie since just because I think I will ball my eyes out. Ok I think I’m a rambler, the wordy kind and I would love to travel too so I guess I’m a double rambler. Yep I think we could be BFF since we are both ramblers expect I live in MS and you don’t… You should visit its a great state!

    Ok I’m saying bye and waving bye even though you can’t see me haha
    Have a fantublous day. (fantastic and fabulous)

  12. Andrea says:

    I have a love/hate relationship with our neighborhood- our immediate neighbor peeps are nice enough. The guy to one side helped us replace our water line on a saturday once- digging, attaching, etc, the hottest day ever. He’s actually our go to Handy Man guy. He’s great – if my husband can’t do something- by lack of tool/knowledge or experience, this guy will help him. (yes if the project is big- we do pay him) He’s also the neighborhood mechanic too. The other side of us – nice peeps, cuter than heck little kiddos, very polite, friendly. Wouldn’t change a thing except they are on chihuahua ( I mean sounds like a rooster barking)dog #2. My dog barks, but he’s not outside 24/7 like neighbor dog. This summer is the first summer I couldn’t enjoy my deck because I get rooster barked at constantly. He’s also “early warning” system for every dog in the neighborhood. Not fun. We hope to move next year anyhow…

  13. Single Dads Advice Column says:

    This really makes me think because Ive been challenged in this area. Ive moved twice now in the same year (long story) and this is an area that has me in a quandary. I’ve learned over years that no matter how horrific neighbors can be including HOA calls its always ALWAYS best to not reciprocate with a blatant call on their matters. Somehow somewhere they will respond in the tiniest timely favorable measure- unless you are in the street greeting and reaching out frequently, neighbors can and will take on their own impressions. Its easy to lose touch with your neighbors and especially if you are always on the run, travel, or dont share the same views or family life (ie kids, pets, sports, etc). It’ll get away from you and before long its gone. One way I learned and took from my neighbors is: to always send christmas cookies in a tin with a family pic and small note, always smile and wave in the yard or driving down your street, and lend a hand frequently by shoveling their sidewalk, drive or mowing/trimming adjacent property. We re all in it together and generosity is a win win scenario we all can live together.

    1. ashleyhackshaw says:

      generosity is a win win scenario….I love that…..

  14. Teresa G says:

    We live in a cul-de-sac and have been here 12 years. There are 7 houses and I have never met 3 of the houses. Besides the house next to me we’ve all been here 12+ years. I want to be friends with our next neighborhood neighbors! Hopefully by next summer we will move! Fingers crossed!

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