And just welcome to the neighborhood.
The house we lived in before this one was huge. It had five hot water heaters which is nice, but means a bottom element burns out every 12 months. Of one of them. It also means somebody needs to be cleaning on that sucker 24/7 and we're all pretty much agreed...not my job. Unfortunately, that's the general attitude of the rest of the Inmates so...we live in squalor. I'll get around to it eventually. Maybe.
So when we moved back home and I looked up one day and I was 44 years old, seven months pregnant and in the midst of restoring a 120 year old farmhouse? I folded. Like an old chair. The Big Boy came home one day and I said, "I need a house. I need it in two weeks. It needs to have heat and running water." And then I went back to bed.
We bought this house to live in for a year. That was nine years ago and...we are so lucky. Small house, small bills. We went from $1800 utility bills to...in the past nine years?...$230 highest. No lie. This works. The big house was fun, I'm glad I did it, and now I'm glad I'm here. Things change.
HOWEVER. Some of these people are in these small houses because this is the best they can do, not because they want to be here. And that makes for interesting neighbors. Realll interesting neighbors.
The guy across the street died two years ago and it turns out? He and his first wife bought the house, he and his second wife still jointly owned it, and his third wife had no ante in the pot. His son, from the second marriage, semi-moved in while everyone involved waited on the house to sell. Apparently, moving in wasn't that good a deal if they had to maintain insurance. And utilities. And on a four bedroom/three bath with a pool...insurance and utilities weren't worth it. So they showed up every now and then, camped out there for a while, then left. The authorities showed up more than once...I never asked why. I'd look out the front window, there would be a sheriff's deputy over there, I'd let the dogs out and wait until everyone was gone. Strange way to live.
Yesterday afternoon I pulled onto our street and SON OF A BITCH. All up the left side of the street was trash. Not old trash but someone...and I knew who it was...had thrown out fastfood sacks, a plactic grocery sack of beer cans and some napkins and stuff. And since I have MY kids keep that section of the road picked up, it just flew all over me. Flew ALL over me.
I will pause here to admit that yes, alcohol was involved. It was Friday afternoon.
I slammed on my brakes, got out of the car and picked up every scrap of manmade material I could find. Every scrap...there was a can in there with a pop-top. I had HAD it with that sorry-ass kid and his sorry-ass attitude and his sorry ass on my street. I don't care if you live there, ASSHOLE, but work with the crowd. We don't ask a lot.
Got back in the car. Pulled up to that driveway. Emptied every scrap of everything I had picked up all OVER that driveway. Got in my car, pulled up to the next driveway and turned around and when I came back? They were coming out of the house.
You want to TALK ABOUT THIS? Let's talk. Last I heard, littering carried a $500 fine in these parts and I am sick and TIRED of sending MY kids to pick up YOUR shit. Done. Finished. Won't be happenin' noooo more. Get your ass down here and let the TALKIN' begin.
And then I realized...I've never seen these people in my life. And as I slam my door and stomp up the driveway? The new owners introduced themselves. The NEW owners. As the man gathered up the trash I had slung all over his NEW driveway.
Turns out, apologizing and kissing ass profusely count for a LOT. We have mutual family and he went to TBB's high school and we know the same people. We swapped cards and I promised to call if the FORMER owners showed up again. I gave them my number in case I needed to run over and check anything for them. They're not moving in, but improving and flipping the house and that works. It needs improving.
Welcome to the neighborhood. Met the 300-pound asshole with the pit bull next door yet?
An hour later, I was at the farm with my 70+ year old neighbors and I got the truck stuck in the mud and my mom had to come get us. It's possible my weekend drinking doesn't need to start until Saturday.