Tabby, a very old Maine Coon cat, is laying on the day bed in the corner of my ham shack. She looks up occasionally. She doesn’t say anything about the way the shack looks. It’s messy. And she doesn’t seem to mind that I’m sitting here at my radio station, listening to music. Although, no doubt she considers the room her own private domain.
I’ve just put up an antenna, and added a piece that may allow me to check in to the Bible Fellowship Net. If I can, it will have been a very long time since I have done so. Not that I didn’t want to, I’ve been constrained by CC&Rs. While I technically own the property, when I purchased the house I agreed to abide by neighborhood standards that include restrictions on antennas.
The Federal Communications Commission, which licenses amateur radio operators, has ruled that local ordinances cannot restrict hams from operating, within reason. Local governments cannot restrict antennas, either. The FCC didn’t go far enough, however, leaving in place the CC&Rs that are attached to some properties and restrict antennas. Rather, the FCC has said Congress must pass a bill that gives amateur radio operators rights over things like antennas on their own property. Congress has a lot of other things on its mind these days.
My antenna is a temporary thing, put up alongside a tree just outside the room that I have my radio. I’ll take it down soon. But for the moment I’ll try some contacts with other amateur in various places, and see about checking into the Bible net. I’m taking some liberties with my agreement not to install an antenna.
It’s funny to me that we need neighborhood rules. We can’t just get along on our own.
In Ann Arbor, Michigan, I lived in a small house that had cedar siding. All the other homes in the immediate area were brick sided. One day a guy was walking by, who lived down the street, and told me how my house, which was built in 1960, didn’t conform to the standards. Seriously! Across the street from me was a house that had been completely rebuilt not too many years before. The owner literally built new wall around the old house, and sided them in cedar. Perhaps he figured he’d follow my house and set a new standard.
Now we had some rather eccentric neighbors, too. One of the houses had purple shutters. Gasp! So what, I say. They wanted purple shutters, then why not? Not my choice. But, they liked them. Another neighbor decorated one of their trees on every holiday. On Easter, for instance, they hung Easter eggs from the branches. They also had teddy bears lined up along the base of each widow. Again, not my favorite decor choice. But so what? They liked it.
One day, while mowing the back lawn, a lady in the house adjacent to mine, came out to inform me that despite the fence that I was mowing next to, the property line was another eight feet toward my house. I was mowing her grass. We talked. I said that was fine, I wouldn’t do anything to that area of her property, like extend my vegetable garden, or anything. But that I didn’t mind mowing it for her when I mowed my lawn. We reached an agreement and that was that.
Isn’t that how it’s suppose to be?
It’s true that there are things neighbors do that irritate me. I admit it. One of my neighbors has a dog that they let roam about. The county has a leash law. The CC&Rs restrict pets to within fenced areas. The neighbor doesn’t seem to care. I irritates me only in that the dog likes to poop on my lawn occasionally. But it’s such a trivial thing, why make a big deal of it.
There are times when things need to be said. My daughter’s dog jumped the fence, as is the escape-artist nature of a husky. A neighbor came over saying the dog was scaring the children. I immediately went and caught her, apologizing for the problem.
One day I felt uncomfortable with a neighbor setting up a bonfire in the middle of the cul-du-sac. They were having fireworks. At the time I had two teenagers that were having their friends over, all of who drove cars. It seemed a bit dangerous. Not really to my kids, but to theirs. I spoke with the folks, and we worked it out. They put there bonfire in the edge of their driveway.
My take on it is that Life Is Messy. We do well to work together, to live together, sensibly and cooperatively. There’s too many things to be concerned about than to worry about the color a person wants their house, or how high they want their fence to be, or what ever.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you,
live at peace with everyone.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .