I need to vent.
When we moved here a little over three years ago, we had nothing but positive vibes. The first joy was that the house was for sale by actual people, not owned by a bank! The place is small, but the lot is large and there's plenty of room for improvement. The neighbors were all really nice people and everything was fantastic.
About a year and a half ago, our good luck with neighbors came to an end. Old man Bob (the sweetest man ever who lived next door) and his wife moved away. We then became acquainted with the landlords. One was nice, the other, not so great. Some drama ensued, but things have been quiet now for a while so it's not so bad.
The guy on the other side of us was pretty cool. Not someone you'd feel comfortable meeting down a dark alley at night, but we knew him to be friendly, caring, and a good neighbor. Last winter we accidentally offended him by making noise after dark. Mind you, it wasn't even 7PM and when he yelled over the fence to knock it off, Barry and the guys cleaned up and came inside. However, a week or so later when Barry tried to apologize, Neighbor Man wouldn't hear it and refused to accept an apology. Things between us haven't been quite as friendly since. Now, we've managed to make it even worse. Through a few separate events we have unintentionally made Neighbor Man hate us to the point that he wants to beat Barry up and tries to get in a fight with him any time they can meet on public land.
My first response has to be, REALLY?!?! Really?!?! People act like this outside of elementary school? It's ridiculous and absurd and upsetting. My second response is fear. I do not like living next to someone who thinks the best way to solve problems is with his fist. What happened to civilization? To acting like a grown up and working together to find a solution? He won't even let us apologize, he just wants to hurt my husband.
So, we've taken to praying for the guy. It's weird and challenging and it may not even help him at all, but it's helping us learn to forgive.