House Sitting for My Neighbors: Is This Fair??

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Laurajean, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    I bought my house about a year and a half ago now. Got reasonably friendly with the couple across the road. My first winter here, last winter, my neighbor took it upon himself to start plowing my driveway. I'm in NH, so there's a lot of snowfalls. I offered to pay him on more than one occasion, and he's always said no. He's just being nice because he knows I live alone and don't have a truck to plow. So I made a point to say, "Hey, if you ever need anything, please let me know". He finally took me up on it last Spring. Him and his boyfriend go to Florida for 3 weeks each Spring, and he asked me if I would house/animal sit. I was happy to be able to return the favor, and so for 3 weeks last Spring, I checked on the house, watered plants, and fed his chickens and geese, collected their eggs, etc. I felt it was a good trade.

    Now today he just came knocking, gave me his house key and said they're leaving again for 3 weeks this year. But here's the thing. All of their chickens and geese got killed last year, due to them having an improper coop. I actually adopted his last surviving chicken, because I knew it was just a matter of days before it too, would be eaten.

    So now there's really nothing to do. Keep an eye on his house, look for strangers, and maybe water his indoor plants once or twice. No more geese and chickens, which was the bulk of my duties. But he of course still plowed my driveway all this last winter. Is that fair? To them I mean? I feel kind of bad that he's still plowing my driveway, but my house sitting duties have decreased drastically without him having his fowl anymore. I wish there was something more I could do. He's never complained, but I just want to make sure I'm giving as much as I'm getting. What do you guys think? Is this still a fair trade for them?
     
  2. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    When they return have a fresh plate of cookies and several casseroles in the freezer for them, if you're the cooking type.

    They are probably thrilled to have someone they trust to look after their place when they're gone. Considering the comments about this town and the strange people who inhabit it, they are probably overjoyed not to leave the house empty with no one to look in on the place. [​IMG]
     
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Yes it's fair. Friendliness between neighbors isn't an exact science.

    I housesit for neighbors and ask for nothing in return. If I go out of town I have a teenage neighbor that I pay to take care of my animals. I think it is fair because it is not a business relationship, it is a neighbor. And it is more trouble to come to my house 2+ times a day, take care of inside, outside cats and the chickens. In July or August may also involve watering the yards.

    If you would feel better than give them a nice thank you and/or gift for plowing.

    Imp
     
  4. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    mom'sfolly :

    When they return have a fresh plate of cookies and several casseroles in the freezer for them, if you're the cooking type.

    They are probably thrilled to have someone they trust to look after their place when they're gone. Considering the comments about this town and the strange people who inhabit it, they are probably overjoyed not to leave the house empty with no one to look in on the place. [​IMG]

    Great idea. I will cook/bake something nice for them! And speaking of "the neighbors", he also announced today that they are planning to sell their house and move within the next 3 years. [​IMG] Makes me very sad, as they have been good to me when others have been, well, strange. The other neighbors now do their own thing and ignore me for the most part, thankfully. Guess my "newness" wore off. [​IMG]
     
  5. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    A thing is only worth what someone will pay for it right?

    And he figures that you watching his empty house is worth X snowplowings per year.

    Kinda like when I go to the thrift store and it just happens to be a flukey sale day. Didn't know it was, I was just going that day, but it doesn't mean I'ma refuse the discount at the register just because I wasn't expecting such a good price.

    But if you feel you need to give back, rather like how I donate our old clothes/etc to Mission Arlington, then maybe you could offer to dust, or something... some task they aren't too keen on/don't have time for (ask first though, I about blew a gasket when MIL decided to 'help' us by straightening up while we were out of town and I couldn't find any of our mail, including bills that were due!!)... or maybe bake some bread or something so when they walk into their home it smells all sorts of yummy??
     
  6. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Thanks PM, where have you been? Haven't "seen" you in a while.... [​IMG]

    Yes, I like this idea of baking something nice for them.
     
  7. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Been round and about... got a bag of books from a friend and plowed through them so she could pass them to someone else. That kept me busy for a few days... *shrug* Mostly the same ol' same ol'... though DH did get his acceptance to Grad School AND 1/2 price tuition scholarship so we've been happy dancing for a bit as well.
     
  8. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

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    Penn Valley, CA
    I agree with what the others are saying! It seems like they appreciate your help in watching their house while they're away, and to them that's enough! Just neighbors helping each other out. I agree that it's a very sweet idea to cook something nice for them--I'm sure they'll appreciate that! A shame that they're planning on moving reasonably soon. It's always nice to have friendly neighbors like that.
     
  9. KristyHall

    KristyHall Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 27, 2011
    North Alabama
    Quote:[​IMG]

    you're a good neighbor and they appreciate all you do for them. When they come home, if you feel like it's not enough, you could have a little gift like home made goodies, light cleaning, a gift made with chicken feathers, or something else equally nice for them if you still feel bad.

    I think the fact that you're willing to help when they need it, means more to them than you actually doing the same amount of work that they physically do.
     
  10. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Thanks Kristy. [​IMG]

    Another thing they did last year was invite me for dinner when they returned as a "thank you". I was like, no no, I was trying to return the favor to them! And they know I'm a vegetarian, so they go out of their way to make me a vegan meal, since they aren't sure if I do cheese, etc. It's just too much. I like it, don't get me wrong, but I always feel like I should be giving more to them! I can't keep up; they're always one up on me as far as neighbor-things go. [​IMG]

    I really value them as neighbors, but I don't have a lot to offer, I just want to do my part. [​IMG]
     

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