Monday, May 16, 2011

Another Letter, But This Time It's Official

We got a letter from our HOA last week stating that there had been a complaint about our lawn. It further stated that we were not in compliance with covenants if our lawn/weeds were overgrown and that we should take immediate action before the HOA was forced to take action at our expense. It then went on to say that if we had already done something about our godforsaken wilderness, abandoned lot that looked like squatters had taken over, statement to the neighborhood that we obviously descended from white trash and my lord what's next a couch on the lawn?, our lawn, that we could disregard this letter.

Don't you love that? Here, folks, read this letter that points to a passive aggressive streak in one of your neighbors. Then think about the ways that the HOA can reach into your wallet just because it can. Then feel shamed because obviously you are not worthy of living in this neighborhood. And oh yeah! Never mind.


Would you like to know what's wrong with our front lawn? Well, I'll tell you, but you have to keep it quiet. It's shameful. It might cause you to think less of me. Are you ready? Okay, here it is: dandelions.

Now, before you run away from your screens screaming and wailing and gnashing your teeth or doing an online search for sackcloth and ashes so that you might properly grieve this horrendousness, (Don't mess with me today spellcheck, I am totally declaring the wordness of "horrendousness." And, by the way, I'm declaring it for "wordness" too. So just shut it, spell check!) let me state for the record: WE HAVE DANDELIONS. Oh, Sweet Mother Jumper do we ever have dandelions.


We have been working on those dandelions. We, and by that of course, I mean my Beloved, religiously spray them with killer and make them get all twisty and brown. Then we mow them down. We have even taken a bid on getting our front lawn re-sodded. But let me tell you what we, and by that of course I mean any of us in this household, DON'T do:

*We don't spend our kids' college funds on getting new grass. (Okay, so maybe that's a bit of hyperbole, but the bid still came in in the thousands. Thousands. For grass, people. Right now, we are just not willing to do the sort of fuzzy accounting that would justify it.)

*We don't go out and spend our time on our knees trying to dig dandelions out of the Indiana clay. We might spend time on our knees praying for sanity to deal with our neighbors--or even sanity for our neighbors--but we just aren't going to do that.

*We don't tell our children that they cannot play on the grass because then it wouldn't look nice and might be a violation of The Covenants. Yes, our front lawn is patchy. I'm sure some of it is due to children playing football and such on it. I'm also pretty sure that this lawn was utter crap when we moved in, after it sat neglected for two years. We have kids. They play. Our lawn will always reflect that. Thank God.

*We don't spend our waking hours critiquing the neighbors lawns.

Does our lawn look good? No. It's not what we'd like it to be, but it also, if we let it, would consume time and/or money that we aren't willing to invest in it right now.

Is it the worst on the block? Probably. But it doesn't look like an abandoned lot. In fact, once the dandelions get mowed, it doesn't look too bad. It's still patchy, but so are some other lawns.

Are my neighbors busybody crazies with too much time on their hands? I'm going to jump out on a limb here and say, um, Hell. YUP! I would respectfully submit that they put their rather large noses to work somewhere else.

Perhaps instead of lamenting the state of the lawn 15 yards to the south, they should start lamenting the state of some of the neighborhoods 15 miles to the south. Perhaps they could put their considerable skills to use in schools that never have enough help and kids who never have someone to listen or advocate for them. Perhaps they could work in a shelter for folks who don't have a home, let alone a lawn. Perhaps they could use some of the time that they spend worrying over the state of neighbors lawns volunteering with the Red Cross where they could worry over people who really need some worry and concern.

And perhaps monkeys will fly out of my butt and sing Jingle Bells. I know that they will not do any of those things, because those are hard things. It's hard to get involved in the lives of those who have less. It's messy to jump in and do the hard work of helping others and become involved in their lives. It's easy to sit on your highly manicured lawn and look down your nose at other people. Happens all the time.

Blogger was broken for a couple days last week and so I was unable to blog about this when I had a full head of steam. That's probably a good thing. It allowed me some space and perspective--two things that are almost always a good thing to have. I have to admit that I didn't have any grace. I immediately started to rant about this neighborhood and its relative unfriendliness and its competitive nature. I might have called the neighbors names that rhyme with "witch" and "hatspit" crazy. I bemoaned the fact that we have worked hard on improving this house and making it a nice place to live, but none of the neighbors would know, because none of them ever come over to chat when we are outside. I was full of self-pity and ready to heap abuse on my neighbors. But blogger was broken, so I couldn't.

And now, even though it makes such great blog fodder, I declare this the last post I will write about these neighbors. It doesn't do me any good to continue to focus on this stuff. I will continue to wave and be friendly. I will continue to pray for all the families in this neighborhood--especially when I don't want to. I (Beloved) will continue to work on the weeds and improve the lawn. And I will start to look for the positives in my neighbors. Short of murder--or something really funny--you'll not be hearing about them from me again. It just isn't worth it for me.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to sit on my patio in my back yard. It's beautiful and lush and full of flowers. It's a pretty and serene place. And none of my neighbors can see it! Bwahahahahaha!!!

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