Home Sweet ‘Hood

I moved into a duplex five years ago, from a one-bedroom apartment. I was so excited to have a garage, washer and dryer, an extra bedroom for my office and crafting. And the yard, if only because it offered some privacy.

At the time of the move I noticed some unsavory apartments across the street but didn’t think too much of it. Then I moved in and found out it is basically a miniature “hood”. Lots of drug busts, several gun shot reports, cop cars blocking my driveway, domestic arguments in the middle of the street.

I’ve had a couple different neighbors, but the current ones are quite strange. They park their cars on their front yard. There was a broken down car parked there for a couple months, with flat tires, windows open, trunk open, and dresser drawers on the roof of the car. I was starting to think they were opening a junkyard or a Pick-n-Pull. They also have an oriental rug in their driveway, and most recently they brought out a floor lamp to use next to the BBQ. This is all in the front, as I can’t even see what goes on in their backyard. At least there’s always something to look at while I’m watering the rose bushes.

And I’ve found some interesting objects inside my fenced yard over the years. In the front I’ve found an almost empty bottle of vodka, a steak knife, a bike helmet, and a pumpkin with a hangover, although that was staged by a friend so I guess that doesn’t count. I recently cleaned out trash from the backyard as well and found beer cans, a pair of stiff boxer shorts, a stiff towel, a moldy pillow, dog toys, and other miscellaneous trash. Somebody must have had a wild party in my backyard and forgot to invite me.

I’ve had kids asking to retrieve balls from my yard. I’ve had dogs with diarrhea stop in my driveway. I found dead birds and unidentified bones. I’m pretty sure they weren’t human bones, but I didn’t get close enough to check. My friend and her husband picked me up one day to go to a movie and pointed out that next door “grandpa’s asleep outside in a recliner”. And he was still there when I got home.

Just to make it even more interesting, this past year the neighborhood cats decided that my front yard was their personal litter box. Sure, the dirt is soft and I try to keep the weeds at bay. But I didn’t realize that was a big flashing sign for cats that says “Come poop on me. And barely cover it up.” I tried some strong-smelling Cat-Be-Gone but these cats must be smell-impaired because it hasn’t deterred them at all. I’m starting to think these cats are in a nose-less street gang and maybe I’ve been incorrectly blaming the neighbors for feline antics.

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Home Sweet ‘Hood

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