Thursday, July 25, 2013

Well hello new neighborhood! (and I didn't even move!)

I do not understand my HOA.  The dues are very reasonable.  The neighborhood is nice, not gated, not fancy, just nice.  There are sidewalks, there are 2 frog ponds the boys frequent.  They even find a leech or two.  There are cattails in the frog ponds and lily pads.  There is a small park along the back side of the subdivision backing up to the small woods the boys have airsoft wars in.  We are THE trick or treat neighborhood.  People come from all over and an average night there will be 800+ trick or treaters and 4 horses I get apples for.  There are dogs and kids in wagons trick or treating, I have pup-peroni or sometimes a small box of dog biscuits for them.  My cat eats pup-peroni.  (Shhhhh....We don't tell him it's not for kitties).  Kids play basketball in the street, lacrosse in back yards, football, soccer, ladder ball,  they ride bikes on the sidewalk or in the street.

We are located directly across a 4 lane divided highway from an elementary school, the highschool campus, and a middle school.  We are, as the crow flies and as the kids cut across campuses....less than 1 mile away from 2 elementary schools, the freshman campus, the highschool and one middle school.  This is a very kid-centric neighborhood.

This is the kind of neighborhood that when your child asks you if he can go play basketball at other friend's house, you know that's exactly where they are until they appear inside clutching popsicles swearing they are dying of heat.

Does this sound like utopia?

I almost could be except for a few things.  The people who bought one of the houses that "sort of" have the small subdivision park and a frog pond in their yard, tried to start a neighborhood watch to keep kids from playing together after dark.  There is some "new" rule being whined about stating that portable basketball goals can't be near the street.  They lose their ever loving minds if a trash can is left in view of the street. I've heard they also want all toys out of sight.   They "decide" the best way to spend the HOA dues is to purchase unnecessary flowers to decorate the two entrances and make those entrances look great!  But they also allow vacant homes to start looking derelict, because they don't help maintain the yard or even bother shoveling snow in winter.  We bought our house in Feb.  There was over an inch of ice on the front steps and driveway.  We were moving from CA to MI and the truck was arriving the next day with our furniture.  About 8 or 9 at night I was out with a sledge hammer trying to break up the ice.  When you set of legal fireworks responsibly with 2 adults and 3 children all VERY supervised wearing eye protection, nosy neighbors chastise you and call you "F^&*ing foreigners"  Really confused about that one, I have some ancestors who arrived in 1667 and one helped settle Westmoreland Co. Virginia.  So the whole foreigner's comment was lost on us!

I think the board needs to relax a bit and decide if they would like this subdivision to remain kid friendly and enticing to young families, people who want their kids to grow up together, attend the same school the required time (k-5) then on to middle and highschool.  Do they want people to feel comfortable here or do they want to turn it into an adults only community?  If this is going to become geriatric-land I need to know now so I can start amassing old lady clothes to don while i stand out front and cluck officiously at people having fun.  

I can sort of understand some of the ideas, but really a nice entrance does nothing for me if the house I'm looking at has a jungle out front or worse, I fall and break a bone looking at a house in the winter because it's all iced over.  I am not a connoisseur or devotee of yard and landscaping techniques.  I think weeds are fine...but I should be able to find the front door of a house.   I also feel that HOA's need to put the rules in writing and provide those regulations to the real estate agents so those rules can be considered when the home is being considered.

I am a fine one to talk, we've not made one single HOA meeting.  They have one, once per year, on a Saturday...but we always have a game or some sporting activity for our son so we can't attend.  I have a dream that one day people will get their heads out of their behinds and realize a spotless house and an immaculate lawn with no basketball nearby does not prove that you are a good person.  It proves that you either take pride in your home and yard or that you have some sort of emotional deficit and want to punish yourself with needless work.  A weedy lawn, a basketball goal and dirt on my floor means that my son is awake, he has friends, they do silly things and we don't have time to weed a stupid lawn we don't like anyway.

I am not liking my new neighborhood

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