My journey to shoot for the moon.

Dear Upstairs Neighbors –

I realize that we have beenSugar thrown together by fate. But we must learn to live together.  At least, until one of us moves out.  It may not be the best of circumstances, but I am positive that we can find some way to tolerate each other.Kirby 1

I do not believe that my family and I are stellar neighbors.  I know that we have our faults.  I’m confident that you wish that my dogs didn’t bark so much. I wish that too. And honestly, we’ve tried a number of things to make them stop barking, but they are dogs. Perhaps you should look at it from this standpoint – if someone breaks into your apartment, we will probably know that something is wrong because the dogs won’t stop barking (at seemingly nothing) and call the police. So, you are safer because my dogs bark.

And I’m sure that you wish that the bass connected to the TV didn’t vibrate your floor. I would imagine that you wish my kids didn’t slam the door so much, I’m also sure that there are a hundred other things that you wish we did or did not do as your neighbors.


I have wishes too; dreams of a quiet afternoon without basketballs bouncing above my head. I have visions of what it would be like without the weekly elephant bowling tournament that goes on in your living room.056

Collin Jackson from Washington, DC, USA

Collin Jackson from Washington, DC, USA

None of these “faults” are newsworthy.  They are just part of living in an apartment.  In fact, if those were your only “faults,”  I venture to say, we would get along just fine.

IMG_2372However, I must ask you a question.IMG_1918 - CopyIn what world is it okay to drop your cigarette ashes down on me?  I don’t smoke.  Never have.  And f you read my bumper sticker, you should have been able to guess how I feel about smoking and cigarettes.  LungCancerMy husband has Stage IV Lung Cancer.  Now, his Lung Cancer wasn’t caused by smoking, but most people assume he was a smoker.  And even if my husband didn’t have Lung Cancer, I wouldn’t want to be showered with ashes as I tend my container garden, on my patio.  I wouldn’t want to clean up the cigarette butts that you let fall.  I don’t appreciate having to breathe your smoky air, but you are within your right to smoke outside your apartment.  There is nothing I can do about that.  But, really?  Sending ashes down on me?  That is the epitome of rudeness.  It is so far beyond rude that it should be criminal.

I don’t know how you could have been oblivious to me being on my patio under you.  I was talking to Sugar and I’m sure that you heard me.  You must have heard the squeak of my screen door opening.  I should have let out a loud, “HEY!” when I got rained upon, but I was shocked.  You could say, I was shocked into speechlessness.  I cannot believe that someone would have such blatant disregard for another person.  But I suppose. since you are a smoker, there are a number of things that you disregard.

There are several very simple solutions to this problem and I hope that you will consider them.  You could quit smoking altogether.  You’ll be healthier and save money.  If that isn’t an option, you could use an ashtray.  If you don’t have an ashtray, you could use a soda can or any number of items that I’m sure you have lying around.  If you can’t find something appropriate, please let me know.  I will give you something that will work.  The beautiful thing about an ashtray, is that it catches ashes.  I’ll bet that you didn’t know that.  Such a simple little thing that would prevent your ashes from raining down on me.  Oh, and an ashtray can hold your cigarette butts until you can properly dispose of them.  Then you wouldn’t have to send them down onto my patio.

Photo by J. Brendan Adamson

Photo by J. Brendan Adamson

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Your Downstairs Neighbor

Comments on: "A Letter to my Neighbors" (1)

  1. Our next door neighbors have 12 little dogs that bark at everything and anything, day and night. The neighbors know it makes me crazy. Still, we manage to have a good relationship.

    But raining ashes down on your body? That is despicable. Your neighbors may be trying to provoke you to move.

    They probably feel your barking dogs cause them more misery than anything they could possibly do to disrupt your life. Never mind Chris’ demise. These type of people don’t care, it’s all about them.

    They will do the most horrendous things and laugh, egg one another on.

    I’m so sorry Robin … for the conditions you and your family live under. It’s sad that you can’t get away. You are in my prayers.

    blessings ~ maxi


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