Thursday, September 18, 2008

Out of Frustration Comes Fun...

Our next door neighbors are lovely people. A mother and daughter who, unfortunately, have a bit more house than they can handle. These ladies have been wonderful neighbors for the entire 11 years we have been at our current residence. Blunt and no-nonsense, to be sure, but friendly, helpful, and easy to get along with.

In the city of Hazel Park, we have one particular code enforcement witch that is on a power trip. She routinely harasses these poor ladies for minor violations. Yes, their yard gets a bit unkempt at times, but with big trees in their yard and a fence around the periphery, it's hardly an eyesore. This code enforcement witch has often asked for access to our yard to take pictures of their yard to use against them. We, of course, tell her no. Aside from being good neighbors, we figure if it's not an eyesore from the street or a breeding ground for vermin, it's not a problem.

Now our neighbors are going into foreclosure for various reasons...and the witch has trained her flying monkeys square on us next. She stopped by last week, complaining of "improper storage" on our front porch and backyard (from what she was able to see across 3 yards from the side street), and handed us a warning to have it cleaned up in a week or get a citation. The warning quotes a snippet of the city code that says anything other than "patio furniture" must be stored indoor or in a shed.

Now, I'm NO fan of clutter, but having 2 kids it's often unavoidable. Our front porch usually has Liam's roller blades, a gardening tool or two from weed-digging, and a tub of sidewalk chalk. The past 4 months or so, it's also had a pile of stuff from Sonya's trunk from when she had to clear some room for other things. Our backyard has been in transition all summer. Between the gazebo, the new swing set, the 12' inflatable pool, and preparing for a garage sale this week, I can barely turn around in our backyard.

So yesterday after work at 6:30, I stop by the grocery store for charcoal and a couple other necessities, I come home, make dinner, and proceed to clean up the yard while Sonya talks on the phone. I clean up the stray garbage, pile up the remaining wood for the firebowl, put the toys away, put some garage sale items back in our overcrowded shed, and place the firebowl in the only remaining spot in the yard with space enough for a few chairs around it.

As I'm setting up the firebowl, my best friend Lou stops by unexpectedly. At first I'm a bit frustrated at the interruption in my momentum, but figuring I had accomplished enough and it was getting dark, I grab each of us a beer and start a fire. A few minutes later, our friend Leigh comes by, followd a short time thereafter by my brother-in-law, Jeremy. We spent the evening by the fire laughing, swaping stories, discussing life, love, politics and generally having an impromptu party. It was a perfect night for it.

I'm sure Wicked Witch of the Park will still find something to cite us on, as we're clerly on her shit-list and her newest favorite target, but at the very least, the clean-up spawned a wonderful late-summer evening with friends and atmosphere.

More detail on the Wicked Witch of the Park to come, along with Garage Sale Prep, Rescuing sonya's Car, and anticipating a very special visit!

1 comment:

Wes said...

I wonder if the Wicked Witch of the Park has a friend or relative in real estate; she could be clearing out a neighborhood for this compadre to swoop in, buy the houses, and either tear them down or flip them for a tidy profit (which WWotP then gets a share of).