Dear Abby: Neighbor insists we shovel her driveway after every snowfall

When she feels like it, she hands the man $10 for his labor.

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DEAR ABBY: My husband is close to retirement age and has his hands full with work and yardwork all year long. We have a lot of property to take care of. Two years ago, a retired neighbor asked him to clear the snow from her double driveway during the winter storms. (We don’t own a plow.) She started giving him $20 for his hard work. This year, she decided to give him $10 when she felt like it.

This woman is well-off financially. She has two housekeepers, goes out to eat and vacations on a regular basis. When the snow falls, she calls our home constantly to have her driveways cleared even though my husband is at work. How do we put a stop to this when the snow starts falling this winter? — FED UP IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR FED UP: Your husband has been a good neighbor; this woman hasn’t acted like one. The next time you get a call like that when your husband is at work, TELL her your husband is “too busy” to help her out. Then suggest she hire a person or snow removal service that does it professionally. She can certainly afford it.

DEAR ABBY: I am at a crossroads. My wife and I have grown apart. I thought we could go to counseling to resolve it, but she wants no part of it. My issue is this: My daughter came to me asking why Mommy is kissing “Mr. Jones” and telling him she loves him. I can handle the heartbreak, but for my daughter to see this kills me inside. How do I confront this? — HEARTBROKEN FOR MY CHILD

DEAR HEARTBROKEN: Talk to your wife about what your daughter told you. When couples separate, they usually try to spare their young children the details of their romantic lives until enough time has passed for the kids to adjust to the breakup. That your wife couldn’t wait to do this is regrettable. Because she refuses counseling, if you haven’t talked to an attorney, the time to do it is now.

DEAR ABBY: My daughter-in-law’s mother has a brother who is a pastor. Recently, they held a small Sunday morning service at my daughter-in-law’s house. The brother wanted to do a “laying on of hands,” where he would say a short prayer about each person.

When it was my turn, he put his hand on my head and prayed for “all my bad habits” to be healed. I was mortified. This was in front of my grown sons and other people I know. Everyone has some bad habits, but why would he single me out to shame and embarrass like that? I don’t think his intentions were holy. Advice? — FEELING ABUSED IN FLORIDA

DEAR FEELING ABUSED: You would feel less “abused” had you told that tasteless individual how his “blessing” made you feel when it happened. However, if you have his phone number, it’s still not too late. You deserve an apology. And if you are invited to any more of those small religious services, I suggest you politely decline.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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