A Haven for Vee

Saturday, March 31, 2012

It Turned Into a Rant

I so seldom show you the unlovely and, when I do, I cover it with something pretty.  In *this case,* I covered it with a butterfly, copying a device PW once used. (In fact, I found that post by searching for "rip-off" and I was shocked to discover how often I have ripped people off in this blog of mine. Four pages of rip-offs! Scary.)

~Garbage from here...~

The butterfly was covering a truck wreck sitting in the backyard of a neighbor. This unsightly view is clearly visible to us as we sit at our dining table. (The mess is, in fact, the reason we so seldom sit at the dining room table.) Since that time, nearly four years ago now, the property has become so run down that I use a severe camera angle when taking a photo of my near neighbor's beautiful trees and home.

~to there~

Four years ago, the property was purchased by a family with three boys in their teens. Perhaps they were a hardworking family. Perhaps the man of the house was working hard to raise plants in his basement, if the traffic every Thursday was any indication. Perhaps life was very hard. It is for a lot of people these days.

Anyway, to make a long story shorter, the house went into foreclosure; it took two years to have the process work its way through the system; the family, now a broken one, left a few months ago. The house sat in its own filth over the winter and was finally purchased for a song this spring. (Some of our neighbors looked at it to see if there was any way to purchase it as a fixer-upper and determined that there was simply too much to do. Bulldozing seemed the only option.)

I tell you all this to show you exactly what I see from my windows daily. These days I am encouraged because a new owner is gutting the house and has brought in a giant dumpster. It may be a long, hot summer, but one day there'll be improvement. The house is going to be rented out or flipped. The current owner isn't sure. One thing is certain: he has a lot of work ahead of him.

Thing is, there are many homes in town that are in equally rough shape. (In fact, I have never seen the town look any more in shambles even during the C*rter years, which were difficult times as well.) I grumble about the disgrace of it all because it is one thing to be poor and another to not pick up the trash. It is one thing not to be able to afford new siding (I well know) and another to allow the shutters to hang by the last nail.  There is one thing about taking down the shutters and quite another about leaving the Christmas tree on the front step. I think people's spirits are in shambles, too. Yes, I'm feeling disgruntled today. I feel as if I'm walking around in 1932. Am I the only one feeling this way?

~and this is why I don't open my front curtains...~

Here's to better times ahead.


  1. No, you are not. It's not a problem in my neighborhood visually (yet) but it's how I feel inside every day when I see the gas prices go up and up and up and the grocery prices following suit. It's how I feel when I pray with the woman in my SS class whose husband has been out of work since the plant he worked in closed without warning last year. He does odd jobs to help pay the bills and keep sane. It's how I feel when I see bright, young college grads unable to find a job even remotely close to their field.
    (Not talking about the ones occupying various cities. I'm talking about the ones who are actually trying.)

    Sorry to ramble, but I do feel like I'm living in 1932.

  2. Different posting, is in the air...

    Or is it, in the stars...?

    Or is it just the NE...?

    "I never considered a difference of opinion
    in politics, in religion, in philosophy,
    as cause for withdrawing from a friend."

    ~~Thomas Jefferson

  3. Oh my Dear! What an amazing job you have done, NOT letting your unpleasant views show! Amazing! I always thought you lived in a little village island, of happy home owners. NOT fancy home owners. But home owners, who loved their property. Like all of us want to live in.

    -sigh- Now I see that you do not. -sigh-

    The garbage is horrid! The Christmas tree left on the front steps is... Are they mad?!?!?! Can't they walk-it-to-the-curb????

    (Wrote more, but did not leave it. After all *Big Bro* is watching everything, you know.)

    Perhaps the lesser conditions of our Beloved Country, are due to all that *Hope & Change* which lots of people swallowed, 4 years ago...

    Makes one what to ask them; "How's all that *Hope & Change* strikin' you now, Folks????"


  4. I agree with you about it being one thing to be poor and another thing to treat your property like a trash pit. It is all in the attitude.

    I hope you neighbors turn their Christmas tree into mulch and that your other new neighbor flips the property quickly....

    You and John are setting an example of good stewardship of what God has given to you. Keep up the good work.

    I am proud to call you my friends...

  5. That is a sad testament of our times isn't it? People don't seem to care and are so discouraged with life they can't seem to get back on track. I'm glad for you and your neighbours that the ill fated house is now in new ownership and will someday look beautiful again. As for the
    Christmas tree in the stand! on the front step?? Wow. Fire hazard and fire escape hazard too.
    Call the fire dept.? I hope your dining view improves or you may have to put up a fence. Pam

  6. Oh how very sad....your right, it is one thing to be poor, and quite another to be soo negligent that you just throw your trash around. It just seems everywhere I look anymore you see people suffering with hard times. Happy for you that this is FINALLY being all cleaned up. Hope you have a good week-end!

  7. We have similar issues with a neighbor right next to us. A bit closer then yours appears to be. A car in their backyard right next to our fence and their bedroom windows covered with a tarp...a boat as well that has only been moved twice, maybe in the last 3 yrs. Also, lots of little this and that laying all over the yard! Don't get me started, I'm right there with you! The city needs to be called. There is a property blight rule that needs to be upheld. Nothing is wrong with these people either except they are just too d**n lazy! Period! They have lived there forever....lazy I say! Sorry!

  8. My neighbor whose yard is (unfortunately) the one I see looking out my kitchen window has a tendency to park rusted items in his backyard.

    I know the people who lived here before me didn't care for it because they planted two more small trees.

    There is also a huge bush that I used to trim back each spring but last year I had to let it go (neither hubby nor I could get to it) and I found it became large enough to really block their yard so it is not getting clipped this spring.

    Hehehe, when we moved in the house next to us was owned by a young single mother who kept the house and properly very pretty.

    About four years ago she had a guy move in with her (I don't know if they ever got married) that we like but who is MESSY. Now that house looks like a junk yard at times. There is nothing between us, either.

  9. This post made me think of one of my grandmother's sayings, which was "always leave a place more beautiful than you found it". This was a woman who raised 7 kids during the depression. She and my grandpa were homesteading in Kansas when he decided to pick up and move the family to Detroit. Shortly after they arrived and with only the start of a house built, he commit suicide and left her to raise the kids. The oldest son who was 16 at the time had to build the house. All this to say that times were really tough then, but she always took great pride in her modest home and yard. It may not have been much but it was well taken care of.

  10. I guess when some people get depressed they just don't care about anything.
    I know times are hard for many people but I am lucky to live in an area where it has not been as bad as other areas.
    Hopefully your new neighbors will take care of their home!!

  11. I think it's hard for us happier people to put our heads around what deep depression can feel like ... none the less it is hard to believe one could not pick up a bit ... we have healthy employed neighbors who just don't seem to SEE what we see ... I've watched branches sit all winter, weeds grow knee high and other things.

    We have rose bushes growing that help cover the view. And yes there are many houses like your neigbor's around here. Hoping for better days ahead ....

  12. It is shameful when folks have a lack of pride. And lack of pride is a whole lot different than a lack of money. One can have very little resources, but things can be kept tidy and clean. We were relieved to leave an adjacent neighbor when we moved. The sorry state has gotten even worse since we left, which is quite a feat. So I completely understand your frustration. Now we are dealing with the developer and trying to instill a sense of pride in our new subdivision. Thankfully, our encouragement efforts to him our paying off and vacant lots are now being trimmed regularly. The flowerbeds have turned into disaster zones meanwhile, LOL. It's always something.

    I understand your frustration. I'm afraid that the lack of pride by the general population is a sign of our current times. All we can do as individuals is set a standard and gently encourage others. And shutter the views until they come to their senses.

  13. Wow Vee...you are not the only one that feels that way. I walk in our neighborhood most mornings before work. Just in our neighborhood alone we have three deserted empty houses and one that is for sale.

    We also have a couple homes where the yard has been left unattended for a long time.

    It's sad and greatly disturbing. It's more than me being troubled that our house value is going down, it like there's a creeping wave that's still coming. Very troubling indeed.

    I guess I need to ask the Lord what He would have me to do.


  14. Oh I am so with you and all who left comments. Hope and change....I think not. I am hoping for real change, then I can hope again.

  15. There seems to be one in every neighborhood. I think some people are just naturally lazy and sloppy and don't have respect for themselves, let alone being respectful, or mindful, of their neighbors. Home ownership is NOT for everyone; unfortunately, everyone wants to be a home owner! Good luck, Vee, and I hope you get to see prettier things when you look out your windows. xo

  16. This is a problem in most towns that I know of. Our community is no exception. I agree with you though. One can be poor but should have pride in what they have.

  17. Yes, times are bad. I believe they're getting better, for me and for others I know. Changes for the better are that you have a new neighbor who is cleaning up the eyesore for one. Look at the improvements you made to your own home, they were for the better! How long did you wait to make those updates to your home? It takes time, be patient. I was patient and it seems I'm being rewarded with a new job and weight loss. Keep the faith Vee, better times are coming! :)

  18. I know whereof you speak! We have no control over what happens on our neighbouring soil.

  19. No, I don't think you are the only one. Our little town used to be, I thought, a very pretty town. There are a lot of older homes here and people kept them up and looking nice. Not so much anymore. Many homes have been bought up and rented out and now they are looking run down. These aren't confined to one area, but dotted in amongst the nicer homes. And it only takes one such ratty looking home to make the whole neighborhood unappealing.

    We're lucky so far in living on the edge of town where we have good neighbors. How long that will last...who knows? Two of our neighbors are getting up in years. We talk about selling before our neighborhood goes downhill and therefore the property values.

    I do think part of the problem with not keeping property kept up in our town is just laziness and yes, some folks are just discouraged or depressed and prefer to spend extra money on other things...like that 12 pack of beer they stop and buy after work every day. Ah, the light bulb just came on! :D

  20. Just wanted to add that I didn't mean to imply that everyone who doesn't keep up their property have drinking problems.

    You are right in suggesting that a lot of folk's spirits are in shambles. That may be why many try to anesthetize themselves every day and the chores around the home don't get done.

  21. Speaking as someone from the other side of the fence, I have a neighbor who has called the city on me probably upwards of 50 times in the last six years. I didn't know about it for a long time because our mayor considered it too petty to be brought to my attention. I deliberately bought a neglected house so that (I hoped) my family living there would be an improvement. BUT, I do have five teenagers (plus lots of other kids in and out), a husband who is a hunter, pets, a garden, etc. Money and time are spread thinly, and everything has to be done bit by bit. And there are always projects going on.

    My neighbors, on the other hand, are a working couple with no kids in the house.

    All this to say, it is easy to be judgmental and harsh, but harder to give people the benefit of the doubt. I'm not wanting to stir up trouble, but just want to put a word in for grace:)

  22. Vee
    You and John need to move out to the boonies where I live! No neighbors with disgraceful yards here.
    I do feel for you-it's so aggravating to have to look at such
    messy yards.
    I'm sorry but I did have to laugh at that Christmas tree-unbelievable
    Maybe someone could pull an April Fools prank and steal it!!

  23. There are people who just don't care - for whatever reasons.

    The house across the street from us was such a house (plus they would come outside to have their arguments like the kids inside couldn't hear when all the rest of could easily hear in our own houses). Nobody else on this street lived like that. It finally went into foreclosure last year and sad thing is no one was sad. We're so happy to be rid of these people. I hate to be that way. Somebody bought it and has been renovating for that past 6 months. Happy Day!

    We just all hope we get some nice neighbors this time!

    Now if only I could do something about the house behind me that's a rental!

  24. That is sad to think about people going through tough times, like your neighbors losing their house. You are right about doing what we can to keep things looking nice. Good post.

  25. Oh dear, that is discouraging. It could be worse - my mother lives in the country with two very industrious neighbours and she always jokes about never getting a morning's rest on the weekend because one of them is always on his tractor, running a chain saw, or lawn mower at early hours. Then again, better tired with a nice view than rested with a bad one...
    Yes, poor is one thing, lazy quite another.

    xo Terri

  26. I feel for you! Our neighborhood is not the spiffiest.....and at one time there were THREE vacant houses across the street!

    When I was a child we were very poor. I had heard that saying about being poor but clean.....and I so remember trying to clean our front porch with water only. It is very difficult to be clean without soap and supplies. HOWEVER, you can keep the trash from piling up. I still shudder when I see trash the wind has blown up against a chain link fence anywhere! And I feel like I am living that life again as I struggle with Louis Dean's tendency to drop trash just anywhere when he is working. It drives me CRAZY! I spend so much time doing 'damage control'.....

    But HEY!! I didn't mean to go off on my own tangent!! Glad the property will see better days coming! Hope mine does!

  27. Hard work, accountability, responsibility. There's always something one can do.

  28. Oh it must be so challenging to be a lover of beauty and charm...and to be surrounded by just the opposite! I do feel for you! And I have complained about my neighbor who put a decorative lighthouse (although it is not decorative because it is rotting...and looks silly where they put it) at the edge of the woods, almost directly (but not quite directly) behind our property. So people who come to our house squint out across the bean field and say, "What is that?" because it looks like it is on our land. So now I am feeling that it is not such a big deal compared to junk and dead Christmas trees on the front stoop in March and "hardworking" neighbors who just might be bringing some undesirable business to the neighborhood.

    I can only pray that you be "salt" and "light" while He has you there...or that He change your circumstances in His time. Oh, it is sooooooo hard to be a citizen of "another country"!

    And I am going to put forth a concerted effort to not complain about "my" lighthouse!

  29. It has been very windy here today and up to 80 degrees. Tomorrow it is to snow. Our spring garden clean up is mid-stream, as in messy.

    All this unsettled-ness has me ready to scream. So...I will attempt to grit my teeth and be thankful: We could both be blind and then irritation with what we see will be over.

    Hmmm...that bit of thankfulness has not altered my mood. Darn.

  30. well said! both of my parents grew up very
    poor. my dad had to take the midnight-2:00
    am plowing shift as a SEVEN year old! but
    they never left things unmended or in dis-

  31. I continue to pray for an awakening....spiritual and political.

    Deanna is right, you are a very good example of respecting the things you have been given.

  32. Oh, I DO know what you are writing about, Vee! I have never seen the neighborhoods look so tattered and unkempt. We live in a semi-rural area where there are really nice places and trashy ones right next door.
    One thing I do know is that when people are spending SO much on gas, and food and medical care--the necessities of life, they do NOT have the resources to maintain a home. There are also many rental properties, because there are fewer homeowners. I remember well the Carter years when my dad could not sell my grandmother's house because of the 16% interest rate and he spent years dealing with deadbeat renters. What a headache that was for him in his retirement years. Funny thing is that nothing negatige seems to stick to Obama in the eyes of the media. I am just sick about it! I am so afraid he will get 4 more years and he has proven himself impotent to do or accomplish anything. I'm so tired of him apologizing for this country to our enemies! I think he is the weakest failure as a President we've ever had! I could go on and on with my own rant, so I had better stop. I do know I am praying more and more about the future of this country for the sake of my grandchildren!
    Cowgirl V

  33. I've thought about how to answer this and decided that all I have to say is that we now realize why we liked our country home so much. Our nearest neighbors were a mile away on one side and 1 1/2 miles away on the other side. For some strange reason we thought living in town would be more convenient. I do empathize with you.

  34. thank you for sharing this...misery loves company =o) i could write a book about the goings on of our neighbors. we were turned down by a realtor when we tried to put our house up for sale because she said that in this market the house would never sell due to the conditions next door. the market is flooded with more desirable locations and she just couldn't waste her time on a lost cause...feeling "stuck" is the worst feeling in the world!

  35. There are a few houses in my neighbourhood where the elderly owners have died and left the place needing lots of work. In this current climate it is scary to see some of them being bought and done up to let.


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