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Sat, July 20

Dear Abby | Pumpkins present a predicament for pair of petulant neighbors

Dear Abby: I’ve had it up to here with my crabby next-door neighbor. She grows vegetables in her garden – squash and pumpkins at this time of year. Our properties are separated by a wire fence.

A few days before Halloween last year, a friend brought her two grandsons, who are 4 and 6, for a visit. They were excited to find a pumpkin in my yard that weighed about 10 pounds and managed to get it into my house because they wanted to make a jack-o’-lantern. No sooner did I reach for the phone to tell my neighbor what they had done than she came banging at my door accusing the boys of theft! To make peace, I handed the pumpkin to her with my apologies.

This morning I noticed two pumpkins have tendrils that have crept through the fence and are now growing on my property. I think a fair solution is to keep one pumpkin and give her the other. But “Crabby Cathy” might have other ideas. Before this gets ugly again, what do you say? – Pumpkin Pilferer in Petaluma, Calif.

Dear P.P.: Your “crabby” neighbor was correct. Your friend’s grandsons DID help themselves to her pumpkin, and it was wrong. If you pull the trick you’re planning, it won’t necessarily be a treat. You may escalate an already unpleasant situation beyond pumpkin season, and I don’t recommend it.

Dear Abby: I volunteer for a group that supports a cause close to my heart. Our group supports the local chapter in any way we can, and we’re currently preparing for a fundraiser.

In an effort to get donations I have contacted some large national businesses and some small local ones. I try to send an email if I can.

Many of the small businesses have not responded, and it has been well over a month since I contacted them. Would it be rude to contact them again to ensure they received my original message, or would it be better if I went in person to talk to someone? I understand not every business can afford to donate, but having a definite answer would be helpful.

– Welcoming Donations

Dear Welcoming Donations: I have always believed the personal touch is the best, particularly when you’re putting a “touch” on someone for money. By paying a call on these businesses, if only to schedule an appointment so you can talk, you may have better luck.

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