life, thoughts

Neighborhood Hodgepodge

I have more to share in the way of the freak show that is my neighborhood. After the hoarder, the creepy crop-circle man, and the Jamaican juju magic, this time I’ll give you a hodgepodge of stories in one post.

prov lake 2 wmA more appealing view of my neighborhood.

I’m sure you’ve heard about neighborhoods with an elderly woman who has lots of cats. Well, our neighborhood cat dwelling happens to have an older man who feeds feral cats and doesn’t get them fixed. He lives in the corner house on the street behind mine. His yard looks like a jungle, and when we walk the dog, the pungent odor of ammonia-ized cat urine punches us in the face. For years he has allowed the cats to multiply.

catjungle2 (800x450)The cat jungle.

Animal Services was notified, and we learned that the best they could do was send him a letter telling him to get the cats spay and neutered. Of course, we knew he wouldn’t comply.

bw cat wmI’ll let you in on a secret, but shhh, don’t tell anyone. I sent him an anonymous letter in the snail mail. It said that I was a concerned neighbor worried about the safety of those cats.  The more of them there are, the more likely some will get diseased or injured. In the letter, I also enclosed literature with places where he could have them fixed for next to nothing.

In the past, I counted the ones on and around his property, which came to eighteen. Those were only the cats I could see and/or were nearby at the moment. Lately, I’ve only seen about a half-dozen around his property. I hope that means he’s taking care of the situation.

Continuing with the hodgepodge, did I mention the time I was quietly writing on my laptop one afternoon, when an explosion rocked the neighborhood and shook my house? The dog popped up and ran to the window barking. Soon after, sirens rang into our subdivision. I followed the sound, and on the block west of my home, a house literally exploded. The roof was blown off and the outer walls were charred. I never found out what happened. I only heard that no one was home at the time so no one was injured. That house sat as an empty shell for a few years, until it was replaced with a knew one.

Around the first of this year, before my husband’s accident, he got up to walk the dog on a Sunday morning. He was gone only seconds before he returned home. His eyes were wide. “Come outside. You have to see this.”

I stepped out front to see black smoke billowing into the sky right in front of me. Around the block, about seven houses down from the one that blew up, a house was on fire.

Again, I have no clue how this fire got started, but I heard there was a family of five sleeping when it began. They all got out safe. Below is still what it looks like almost a year later.

shpinefire1 (800x393)Those of you who have read my blog before, may now understand why I talk about wanting to move out of Florida besides the perpetual heat and humidity (job keeps us here).

You might say, “But Lori, maybe you just need to find a better neighborhood.”

I wish that were the case, but no. Too many transients in this state.

Lately, there’s been a putrid smell at a particular intersection where I walk the dog. I’ve been considering reporting it to someone, but don’t know who. This may mean more blog material.

Just when I thought the stories were finished, my neighborhood had a shocking incident that topped all the other stories. Read about it here.

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25 thoughts on “Neighborhood Hodgepodge”

    1. Thanks, Kourtney. I tried to add a bit of wit in there, so I’m glad it came through. Yeah, I’m going to be looking for ways to move out of state this year. Always good to see you. Thanks for reading and Happy New Year.

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  1. Sounds like a typical Florida neighborhood. 😉 When we lived there, our neighborhood had a nursery behind us where cats got dropped off on a regular basis, a drug dealer just around the corner who seemed to do most of his work from his house, and a neighborhood gossip whose yard looked like a landing strip for private jets during Christmas. Did I mention I hated living there?! 🙂

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    1. Ahh, thank you so much for giving me validation, Anita. Sometimes I think I’m crazy for not loving it here, because everyone thinks it’s so great without northern winters. You live in my dream area to live. If only the job could take us there.

      You know, I wondered about how that house blew up around the block, and meth lab came to mind

      Thanks for sharing your similar experience.

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      1. You’re not crazy. It’s hard to imagine until you live there. And “meth lab” was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw that picture too. . . I hope the job will take you somewhere great soon. Nashville awaits. 🙂

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  2. Yes, if all else fails and you cannot think of a single reason to keep you in your neighborhood/Florida, you can always point to its potential for feeding future blog posts. Believe me, this will become more and more important the longer you maintain your blog. 🙂

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  3. With a neighborhood like yours, there’s no need to go elsewhere for writing fodder. You’ve got it all nearby!

    As for the cats, it’s as if you’re living next to Hemingway’s house. 🙂 (Have you been to it in Key West? Lots of kitties there, or at least there was. It’s been a long time since I’ve been there.)

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    1. When we first moved here from Chicago, we wanted to explore the entire state and Key West was one of those explorations. Our visit included Hemingway house and his cats with the six toes. I think we’ve visited everywhere in FL now except for Miami. No big hurry to get there. My favorite place in this state is St. Augustine, the oldest town in America. I highly recommend it for its rich history, which is also a good place to come up with writing material.

      Oh, and yes, some fictional stories can definitely be born out of this real life looney bin where I live. 😉 Thanks for coming by, Carrie.

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        1. Where I live in central Florida, it only rains in the rainy season, and it lasts anywhere from 30 seconds to two hours, then the sun comes back out. Well, you probably know, especially since I posted a poem about it some time back. I hope you enjoyed Miami despite the rain.

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  4. Your neighbourhood, the appealing view anyway looks lovely. You’ve got me thinking and both my neighbourhoods also are a source for stories, although possibly not quite so though-provoking as a couple of yours. But yes, there’s parallels of mysterious fires, cat people with no perspective and misfits -some loveable some not!

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    1. Hi EllaDee. As you know, I wrote about my childhood neighborhood in my anthology, and we only had one “nuthouse” there. Everyone else was pretty normal … as far as normal goes. Perhaps some of your neighbors might make good blog posts. I seem to remember you posting about a mysterious roommate you have at one of your homes. 🙂

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        1. Oh, perhaps I got it wrong. I was jokingly referring to what I thought was a ghostly presence at your Taylors Arm. Maybe I’m thinking of a different blogger.

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  5. My aunt who lived in Florida for over forty years always said Florida was full of misfits. Of course, they’re are exceptions, like yourself. 🙂 When I was living there, for six months, I noticed a lot of transients.

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    1. Hah, yes Jill, I like that … instead of the Island of misfits (like on Rudolph), we’re the peninsula of misfits. All kinds of crazies come here for some reason … probably because it’s easier living than contending with cold & snow. The reason we moved here is kind of complicated, but the basic reason is that we couldn’t afford to live in the Chicago area anymore and looked for a place where the cost of living was more affordable for us. Now, my husband has steady work here, and it’s difficult to give up good work to take a chance elsewhere, especially in this economy. Sigh. Thanks for your support, Miss Jill.

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    1. I know what you mean, Anneli. If he’s feeding 4 feral cats and doesn’t get them fixed, he’ll be feeding 16 feral cats. Yes, it is very sad. It upset me when I saw a few of them maimed. They can’t keep multiplying without bad stuff happening to some of them. My neighborhood certainly is a hodgepodge.

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      1. That’s the problem too, as you mentioned, when any of them get hurt, the vet bills for so many cats would be huge, and so many of them end up suffering infected bites and other illnesses and injuries. And don’t even think about the fleas and ticks. OMG the poor things!

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