Hey Joe, thank you for all the comments. I’m reading them now. As far as my neighbor, I struggled with this one. Eighty percent of the time, I think I’m right. The other 20 percent of the time, I wish I’d have done something different — I’m still not sure what though. Even the bucket of water, which was childish, just ended up watering the plants behind them. (When they left, I went outside with that same bucket of water about three more times to water the rest of the plants. They were really getting dry on Chicago’s 90-degree days. A gardener/maintenance tech came to water the whole lawn the next day though.)
I called my mother — the biggest peacemaker on Earth — expecting her to curse me out and tell me I was totally wrong. She paused and agreed with me. That’s how I know those 80 percent days are so strong. As you said, I’m entitled to peace and quiet. I should not have to reevaluate where I hang out in a place I’m paying the mortgage on!