DEAR ABBY: My husband and I returned to our hometown and bought a bungalow in a cute older neighborhood. The homes are close together, separated by a single driveway.
Our neighbors on both sides of us are smokers. They smoke on their front porches and flick their smoldering butts onto the driveway and yard. The ground is littered with them, which my two toddlers want to put into their mouths every time they go outside. Often I'll go out with a bag and collect the butts, but it's annoying having to pick up someone's easily discarded trash -- particularly trash that has been in someone's mouth.
My neighbors are pretty rough, and I'm afraid a confrontation could result in an escalation of the problem. Should I continue gathering up the butts and keep my mouth shut? Or should I just "butt out"? -- BOTHERED IN MISSOURI
DEAR BOTHERED: If you are concerned about a hostile reaction from your neighbors, do not approach them -- particularly if you're afraid that doing so could become confrontational. Instead, plant hedges or bushes between your property and theirs, and have your children play -- under your supervision -- in the backyard.