Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Possum Next Door

At times, I feel very much like I am living in a dream world. Not that things aren't great. They totally are. But too often, situations arise that make me want to pinch myself. And not in a good way.

I have blogged in the past about our somewhat antagonistic relationship with our neighbors. I wish them no ill will, and I understand that a "transitional" neighborhood, by definition, will include homes that are in some state of disrepair (or, let's be honest, should be condemned). Our neighbor to the north is approximately 174 years old, appears to survive on soda, cigarettes and pot, and lives alone, though her daughter visits daily, and they have daily arguments about any variety of issues. These arguments invariably take place on the front porch. Neighbor spends the rest of her time picking up leaves, helicopter seeds, and blades of grass from her lawn--individually. While bent over at the waist and wearing a house coat. You can see the danger this poses on a windy day. The yard is so picked clean, it can grow no grass. Ahh, the irony.

Anyway, she's old, almost certainly has dementia, and in general, leaves us alone, except for the half dozen or so times she's accused us of stealing her broom or rake or porch furniture. We can handle it.

However, last week, Eric was out on the deck doing whatever he does, and heard a scratching noise. Neighbor's soffits are hanging by a thread--literally. They're vinyl, which I'm sure is a violation of the Historical Preservation Commission (one of my colleagues at work calls it the Historical Persecution Commission--ha). Eric stops what he's doing and takes a look around, and sees a possum--a huge possum--emerging from the soffit.

It's my understanding the possums are nocturnal animals. If this possum was so bold as to come out in the middle of the day while someone was making noise nearby, I can't imagine what else is brewing up there in her attic. We've seen birds, dozens of squirrels, and mice making their homes in her house. I draw the line at a possum.

So, Eric and another neighbor put out some humane traps to catch this guy. Of course, nutty neighbor to the north stole the traps. We've spoken to the daughter, who, by all accounts, should be made a saint, except for the fact that she lets her old, dementia-afflicted mother live by herself in a 4,000 square foot home that is literally falling apart. She had a concerned look on her face, but a blank look in her eyes. I doubt this will bring about any change.

My issue is whether to be an understanding neighbor, or to do what I really want to do and call the city and force them to make the fixes. I take no joy in being "that person"--anyone who lives in a historic district knows at least one person who has way too much time on his or her hands and goes around reporting people for minor issues. But in this case, I'm just going to do it.

In other news, and I know I've said this before, Eric is nearly finished with the attic. We should be able to start painting tomorrow. We're going to paint all the beadboard and trim white, and will probably do a nice sage green for the walls. Then, it's nursery time. As I mentioned our progress, or lack thereof to my mom the other day, she said, "Eric doesn't have a timebomb ticking away in his tummy." No, he doesn't, but as more and more of our time is spent either at the doctors office, on the way to the doctors office, or doing some other form of preparation for this child, I think it's starting to hit him that we don't have a lot of time to get things done. We're kicking it into high gear.

We're also taking the dogs to get groomed this week. At this point, it's an expense I really don't want to make, but it became glaringly obvious this morning as Eric hugged Yogi and came away with half a dozen clumps of hair stuck to his shirt that something has got to give. We've attempted to preserve Yogi's fragile male ego while grooming in the past and just stuck to trimming his feathers. No more. Dude is getting SHAVED. I don't care if he looks stupid.

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Five finalists will be selected by our judging panel and a synopsis of their posts will be published on the OldHouseWeb blog (with links to original posts). Visitors to the OldHouseWeb.com will be able to rate and comment on the finalists. The judging panel will then select a winner based on the highest ratings and the above the criteria. The winner will be awarded $250 and an opportunity to become a paid contributing blogger on OldHouseWeb.com.“

If you like my blog and feel so inclined, go to the link above and leave a comment "voting" for me. We could use a Lowes gift card (new nursery ceiling!!!), and we certainly have enough houseblog material to last a lifetime...

Thanks to everyone!

1 comment:

Lucy O'Neil said...

So, how does the story end? Any more possums? Have you broken down and made the phone call?

Funny post, Haily. And just took a peek at photos of the baby-to-be's room. Congrats!


Lucy O'Neill from Old house Web