Sunday, April 13, 2014

Love thy Neighbor

I guess I've always been a Nosy Neighbor. I like to think of it as being "Keenly Aware" of my surroundings. I've lived smack dab in the middle of the city, and I've lived 20 miles out and hardly within hollering distance. Strange thing is, I've always felt safer within the comforts of a few close neighbors. In my little city house, Randy and Donna watched over my house, more than I did. Randy worked from home and preferred to run 3rd shift. There he was, every Friday and Saturday night, watching from his office windows, to make sure I made it in alright.
I know exactly when the guy across the street leaves for work in the morning by the sound of the diesel truck engine. I know every Tuesday afternoon the teenage boy next door will be wheeling the garbage cans in. And I know when the lady that drives the green Jaguar, that's an emergency heart surgeon drives by: It's serious.
See, when it comes to housing, I have a bit of a split personality. In my much younger years, I never, Ever wanted a house. I wanted a whole warehouse to myself. 8 years old and I want a warehouse full of concrete, brick and lots of windows. Preferably with an elevator that held my car and I parked in my living space. 8 years old and this is what I had planned!? As I matured, my inner Martha came out, and I relished the small bit of green space I could get. Suddenly I wanted chickens, the fancy ones with colorful feathers on their feet. And a fancy chicken condo on the grounds.
Years before I moved into P's home, I begun planning the renovation of a lifetime. The home we live in now is one of the 2 original farmhouses of the town. The house across the street from us is a rambling white Victorian with green lattice trim. Steve,,or Dave?? lives there with his wife and barky small dog. Steve,,err, Dave helped my Mom and I trap a bat that was in the house last summer!! Their home was converted, like ours, into a duplex as a series of "improvements" in the 60's. It luckily was converted back to a single family home in the early 90's.
So after the last 2 tenants we've had, Thankfully, P's on Team Reno. Why doesn't he ever just realize early on my ideas are genius?? There was the couple in their early 20's that lived above us until last summer. They seemed really great in the beginning(of course). They had a bulldog that slept most of the day, and needed its backside wiped after doing his "business". Unfortunately, I was cleaning up all of his "paperwork" in the yard. We finally had to call it quits after a few subsequent months of every Friday and Saturday night pre- game, after- bar, and 3am karaoke parties. My sage advice to them: Go buy a home of your own that you and your lovely dog can "fertilize the lawn".
Our latest tenant is a woman in her late 50's? Divorcee, and her children are grown and live on their own. She formerly worked as an adult health care provider, working to get her Master's to run the joint. Apparently those plans went awry, and she's now a waitress, who walks to work because of losing her license to drive. Her mid 90's Aerostar van needs to GO, and so does she. We refer to her as "Pills" because of a number of police escorts she has been given home by the local Po Po. Very forgiving of them. And according to her, she doesn't imbibe.
So as we plan to bust through the top floor and create a closet of my dreams, I can't help but think it will be totally worth it, for us to Love thy Neighbor, and loose the rent check.

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