Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Our Neighbors

If you'll excuse me today, I can't contain my glee much longer. Our hillbilly neighbors' house is up for sale! Jen posted about her issues with the cult last year and now I'm going to post about our neighbors from you-know-where.

Michael and I bought our house nearly four years ago knowing full-well it was a fixer-upper and we've done a tremendous amount of work improving the house and yard. We're not finished by any means; what homeowner can EVER claim they're done working on their house? The neighborhood's an older one and we met the folks to our east before we moved in - nice quiet, retired couple. The house to the south was empty, but it looked well cared for.

One week after we moved in, we were roused from sleep at 2 am by the sound of glass breaking, followed by a string of curse words. The new renters had moved in to the vacant house that afternoon, but the "dad" was locked out, so he broke the sliding glass door on the back of the house, verbally abused his spouse then proceeded to beat the crap out of her. (We learned this from the police blotter in the paper the next week. Believe me, I do a search on the courts' web page every now and then to see what new charges have been filed against both of them! He has nine priors, she now has five.)

My son drove past their house a week later and noticed a Confederate flag pinned inside the wall of their garage. Their big screen television was in the garage surrounded by an assortment of beat up furniture. "What," Danny asked "moved in next door?" Danny had a great sense of humor about our new neighbors. This may sound gross, but one afternoon Danny found a deceased squirrel by our log pile. Danny picked it up with a shovel and tossed it over the fence into the renters' yard. "Hey, they'll just throw it on their grill for dinner," he claimed. Oddly enough, the dead critter quickly disappeared and they did grill outside that night.

Since then we've been treated to an assortment of police calls, visits from the dad (usually drunk), noisy fights between the couple and their two boys, and numerous yard sales. Whenever we'd see them at the grocery store, Mr. was buying more beer. The dad was operating a junk collecting firm from the house which meant there was usually two pick-up trucks filled with junk parked between their house and ours, so close we could touch them from our patio. During the summer months, we love to eat outdoors, but lost our "appetite" to do so when we'd be staring at junk whilst we had dinner. We contacted the health department twice about the filth and charges were filed in January that they had 45 days to clean up. Well, at least the trucks are gone, but the house is still surrounded by stuff left out in all weather. I wrote a letter two years ago to the house's owner about her tenants. We learned she wants to sell the house, but since she had to pay for severe water damages throughout the house, she was in negative equity and couldn't take the loss. Apparently, that's changed. Oh, the water damage? Caused by the lack of heat in the house. Mrs. moved out finally having enough of the beatings. But, Mr. couldn't afford to buy heating oil for the house. During a particularly bad cold snap - VOILA - the pipes burst all through the house.

Mrs. got a place of her own on the other side of town, but the police followed her there. She's currently facing a drunk and disorderly charge, two child endangerment charges and a domestic battery charge.

We "lovingly" call these folks the Bumpus Family after the family who was featured in "The Christmas Story" (Ralphie's neighbors with all the dogs.) Our Bumpuses have cats - can't say how many litters we've seen in four years. Well, since Mrs. cleared off, the remaining cats have scattered across the neighborhood. Two of them like our back patio. And much to Michael's dismay, I feed the poor things. Can't let them starve, can I?

So yesterday when I gave the kitties their dinner, I noticed a Century 21 sign in their front yard.

Any wonder we feel like partying? It'll be a while, I think, before they find a sucker (uh, buyer) for the house. Judging from its outside appearance, it probably needs more work than the average home buyer would want to do. No listing on the Century 21 site yet, but they're probably waiting until the house and yard look better before snapping the photos. They may be waiting for while

Will keep you posted.

1 comment:

jillquilts said...

DAng, that sucks to hear about your crazy neighbors. Sounds like a Crazy Mold Family like what I have to contend with! Hopefully, they will be able to sell the house soon!