I can't remember my first encounter with a creeper and how I learned that they explode, but the earliest memory of one that I can recall is the time I exited my wooden shack one morning and there was one right there, and it blew the side off my house. That's when I decided to upgrade to cobblestone.
I prefer glass. I built my home in the side of a cliff, with a big glass wall overlooking a field strewn with torches. Nothing sneaks up on me. I only wound up building a fence in front of the house yesterday because I got tired of hordes of cows mooing at my door while I tried to work on things. Yes, I'm more worried about cows than creepers.