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We Have the Privacy of our own Home

Story ID:11149
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Caldwell Idaho United States
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In 1996 I moved from my home in Nova Scotia, Canada to the neighboring province
of New Brunswick. At first I lived with an older couple and later in an apartment over a
doctorís office.

I made the migration across the border into the USA. We settled in the state of Ohio.
We lived in a townhouse, which was in a group of four. We had neighbors attached to our town-
house on both sides of us.

I heard the noise they made filtering through the walls.

We ended up living in New Jersey. I was in an apartment at first and then my family
and I found a duplex. We had a very polite neighbor. But they heard our noise. I never heard
them, but I know they heard my son and I arguing. He was going through a bad time. His mother
just died, and I moved him away from his friends in Ohio during his teenage years.

My son grew and moved out. Ginny came into my life. We moved to Idaho, where we
lived in a detached home for less than a year. Soon after, Ginny and I moved in with her
daughter, son-in-law and their four children.

Ginny and I were conscious of being quiet. We were in their home and did not want
to upset them.

Afterward, we all of moved into a rental home. Ginny and I had a little space to ourselves
there, but it didnít last long. Our son-in-law wanted to finish his degree, which required the
family to move to California. Ginny and I moved into an apartment. We had neighbors beside us
and below us. Every time I dropped something on the floor, Iíd cringe, concerned I disturbed

In our new home, while unpacking, I dropped something on the floor. It made a crash.

I stopped in my tracks. ďMy neighbors are going to curse me.Ē Then the realization that we were
in our own home hit me.

It is ingrained in me to respect my neighbors. They hear everything. Now we are in our
own home. I canít get it into my mind Öif I drop something on the floor, no one will hear it.

If I felled a tree in my living room, it would make a noise Öthere would be no one to hear it.

Wherever Iíve lived, I respected my neighbors. I will continue to do this, but
if I make a noise in my house, it will only be Ginny and I who will hear it.

We have the privacy of our own home and not one we share with attached neighbors.
Itís a freedom I struggle to get used to.

Michael T. Smith