Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Biker Gangs Move In or There Goes the Neighborhood

Some background info.  Ross and I have lived in our "active" "adult" community for 10 years now.
There are 1200 homes in this community.  That means there are probably at least 2000 people.
In the past 10 years, of those 2000 people, I would say that I have had a conversation with maybe 25-30 people.  And since this is an”adult” community, some of those 25-30 people are no longer here, due to attrition of one kind or another, if you get my drift.
Therefore, this might lead the reader to believe that I do not participate in community activities, am not very neighborly, nor do I get out and about to socialize very often with my fellow "adults".
And the reader would be correct!
But,  I am a nice person.  I do the pleasantries.  If confronted I will smile, say hello, you know the ushe.
When we first moved in, I tried a couple of the many offered activities.   For instance, the ceramics class.  But, I don't know...I mean how many bunnies, squirrels or roosters can I fit in my front yard.  Besides there is a regulation limiting the size and quantity of garden gnomes. And apparently "the powerful" are starting to crack down on the crazy and loose behavior that some of the more rebellious rule breakers are exhibiting.
Now that you know where I stand, this next little story might make more sense.
So, a couple of days ago as I was walking Rico, minding my own business, while patiently waiting for Rico to do his, one of the other "adults" was out for her evening stroll.  Unfortunately for me, she and I were walking in the same direction.  She stopped to pet Rico and asked his name.  I had never met or talked to this woman before.
Normally, people, especially walkers, will not stop.   They tend, instead, to brush on by with a simple nod or hello.
Uh oh, this was my luck day because this woman apparently, desperately needed someone to talk to.   She began by telling me how irate she was.  She had just come from the "club house" and had been talking to another woman who told her that "the powerful" have decided to allow homeowners to rent out their houses.
I told her that I thought that was always the case.  She became very agitated and animated and raised her voice, saying, "No, don't you understand?"  "Now everyone can rent to anyone for any length of time.   I kind of shrugged my shoulders.  Wrong move!
"Don't you care about this", she shrieked.  (yes, that's right, she shrieked!)  "This is going to devalue our homes."
This next statement is a word for word quote from my new best friend:
"I mean who's to say, we could have five families living in one house.  Or what if a motor cycle gang moves in?"
At this point I was mentally shaking my head, and physically trying to inch my way away and murmuring, "okay come on Rico, this way..."
She followed me.   I figured that maybe I should try to empathize or offer a solution of some kind.
I told her that I believed that motor cycle gangs and multiple families are probably against the rules and that if she were aware of this happening, she could report the problem to the "powerful"
"Humph",  she sneered.   "Do you think they care?"  "As long as they are collecting our money, they don't care."
I have to say, I was having a private conversation with myself all during this.  At this point I was saying to myself, "doesn't she realize that they are us?"
Of course I didn't dare say that out loud.  Who knows what she was packing in that fanny pack?
I quickly realized that there was nothing I could say that  would dissuade this woman from her rant, so I let her go on for a few more minutes without responding.
Apparently this infuriated her even more.  She yelled at me, “Don’t you care!”
That was it.  Enough!
My answer was this: "You, know I don't care about much of anything lately.  My son passed away 10 months ago after battling colon cancer for nearly 2 years.  He was 36 years old, newly married with a 14 month old son.   So, no I don't care about who lives next door to me, or if they paint their garage door pink."
The woman quietly looked at me and told me how sorry she was.  She asked if she could give me a hug.  I said yes.
It was kind of awkward though, hugging her with Rico's leash in one hand while patting her on the back with the other hand, the hand that I was holding his bag of poop in. But we managed.

Turkey Vulture
Actual photo taken yesterday of a roof top in our community.
I'd like to say that the conversation ended there and the woman calmed down and realized how foolish she sounded.  I like to be able to say that what I told her made her remember that as an "adult" she has lived enough life to understand that far too many big things, good and bad, happen in this life to worry about how much her house would be devalued if someone whom she may consider undesirable moved into the neighborhood.  I'd like to be able to say that she may have read my mind, the part where I was thinking, "lady, we are adults.  Do you know how many of us never make out it of here?"  Have you seen the vultures that hang out on our roof tops?"
But, after we separated from our poignant and touching hug, she looked at me and asked, "You really don't care?"  And then proceeded to continue her exuberant monologue.
I sighed, and under my breath muttered "Aye Yigh Yigh".  I told her I had to get moving.  She asked my name and I told her.  She said, I'm "Marie."  I'm sorry about your son.

Except for the fact that I have changed the woman's name to protect my fellow "adults", I am sad to say that this is a blow, by blow, unembellished true story.

I think I will bust through the gates of this community and head out into the woods where the birds chirp instead of screech.

I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.

Here are the catch up entries from Anna's diary:
Sat. September 21, 1929
Helen Carr phoned.  She is going to spend week-end here with me as Ray is going to the country. Cleaned house.  Had supper. Gang stopped from tennis court and all stayed.  Helen and I up till three.
Sunday September 22, 1929
Helen and I awake about ten.  Had late breakfast.  Jean and Ted went to church.  I put baby to sleep and cleaned kitchen.  Edythe came over for late lunch.  Took a ride to Singar's. Then brought Helen home.
Mon.  September 23, 1929
Parents drove Bill to Princeton and Slim to  Villa Nova this morning.  Went over for supper to hear the news.  Ted came home with me and Jean stayed at 360.  Went to Cemetery today.  Feel melancholy. 
Tues. September 24 1929
Went to visit Frances again with Junior.  Had lunch with her.  On way home went to Bambs andbought Baby his first bike.  He was so happy with it.  We took it right home with us.
Wed. September 25, 1929
Went to 360.  Nobody home.  Went to seeGrace for a while, then Ma came over.  She drove with me to Solio to see about a policy and make the visit also.  Drove Ma home and came back to my own home.
Thurs. September 26, 1929
Car at the garage getting brakes re-lined. Home all day.


  1. What a horrible experience. I can't imagine. I live in a house that I love, but now have a really bad neighbor who moved in and is making life horrible. My hubby wants to move, but he doesn't have the "connection" to this house as it was left from my late hubby and the garden is my favorite place. They are penning pitbulls (I have no idea how many) and they are blasting music so loud everything shakes. I am told they can do this until 11 pm. It is truly ridiculous. I am ready to move to the woods myself. I hope this neighbor of yours takes a chill pill and give you your space.

    1. I think I would choose my neighbor over yours. How inconsiderate and rude and disruptive your neighbors are! Penning pitbulls sounds scary and dangerous to me. I'm sure it must be very difficult for you to consider moving. I hope you can find a reasonable solution that does not involve forcing you out of a home that you want to stay in.

  2. Seriously? and YIKES - chill, woman. Sounds to me like your new best friend needs a reality check and a life.
    btw, I would fit in well in your neighborhood - the friendly but private, "sticks to herself", chick who hangs out as far away from the clubhouse as she can get.

  3. Yeah, I tried the "all you can eat roast beef dinners" and the "oldies but goodies" dances. Just not me.

    1. Oh sh*t - soooooo not me either.......I might do a hike or a walk or something but no thank you to any kind of potluck ....

  4. I'm with Gracie on this--this woman seriously needs a bit of perspective and something healthier to occupy her time. This sort of drama and intrigue are usually only dramatic and intriguing to people with very little of significance to compare it to.