Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Of Yard Parking and Housekeeping, Blog and Otherwise

Astute readers may already notice that this is my second post of January 1, 2008.  In my first post, I referred to myself as Betsy.  While I much prefer this assumed name to Betty, in order to start this blog, I first had to get a new e-mail address, and I called myself Betty in that, and when I first set up the blog yesterday, I called myself Betty as well, and now I cannot figure out how to undo those.  (Don't expect this to be one of those blogs with pretty pictures, at least not for a while.  I can't figure out how to do that, either.)  So call me Betty.  But know in your heart that my essential nature is somehow Betsier than the name Betty suggests.

Good.  We've got the blog housekeeping out of the way.  The house housekeeping is much tougher, but this being the first day of a new year and all, I thought it would be appropriate for me to undertake at least a little of that kind as well.  The good news is that I'm on load of laundry No. 4.  The bad news is that there are six more where those came from, and there's still Christmas stuff everywhere.  Being an Episcopalian gives me a few extra days, but by January 6, even those whose 12 days start on December 25 would expect me to have pretty much everything packed away.  I'm here to tell you it ain't gonna happen, no more than I'm going to exercise today and the following 365 days.  (You forgot this is a leap year, didn't you?)  It seems to me that if our culture is going to begin rubbing our noses in Christmas on November 1, a full 55 days before the actual day, we should get at least 55 days after the 25th to get everything put away.  By my calculation (but I'll admit I'm bad at math), that means I have until February 18 to finish, which is why I'm sitting here writing instead of wrapping ornaments in tissue paper.

Besides, I have other things to do, like spying on my neighbors.  This brings me to yard parking.  (Southern readers likely know what I mean by yard parking, but I'm not so sure about people from other regions.  Somehow it seems quintessentially Southern -- or at least a certain type of Southern -- to park a car on grass.  But I'm not sure if blue state people engage in this kind of thing.)

Now I believe God and good taste will forgive anyone a bit of yard parking.  Your street is being paved, or seven cars attempt to park in your driveway and a few of them slip over the edge onto lawn; it could happen to anyone.  What I find far more questionable is the wholesale parking of a number of cars up very near the front door of a house with a big front yard that is not paved.  That's yard parking, and it goes on daily at a property on my street -- more importantly, a property within the area from which a hypothetical agent representing a hypothetical buyer of our house might someday seek comparable listings for the purpose of determining a reasonable offer.  (I once had a dear friend who said buying a house turned you into a Republican.  I think this is what he meant.)

The property in question serves as home to only a handful of people, not all of them adults. Apparently, however, everyone residing there entertains a lot.  And, though a few of their guests park on the street or in the driveway, most of them park in the yard.  Often the only cars at the house will be on grass, not pavement.

I would like to say this doesn't bother me, especially since the family in question has been through very difficult times in recent years.  But I am my grandmother's granddaughter.  I find it tacky.  (Didn't I tell you -- I'm saying what you're thinking.)

The yard parking, however, pales in comparison to the sofa that appeared in the same yard over the weekend.   We headed out of our own driveway midday on Saturday and there it was -- a brown sofa with split cushions and a missing front leg.  (Here is where the photo would be really illustrative.)  Sunday morning it was still there.  Sunday afternoon it had moved to the other side of the driveway, closer to the broken trampoline, not far from where the refrigerators (plural) sat for more than a year.  (I am softhearted enough that I have not called my council person over these issues every other day, as some would say I should have.  But after the refrigerators sat there for many months, I finally did make my one and only call to the authorities, and learned that local municipal laws forbade property owners from keeping refrigerators in their driveways for safety reasons.  Not long afterwards, multiple strands of duct tape appeared on the refrigerators, but they didn't actually disappear until several months later.)

Now here's the thing.  Today would normally be our trash day, but because of the holiday, it won't be until tomorrow.  Is the sofa in the yard because its former owners intend it for the dump? Or is it just an accessory?  I guess we won't know until tomorrow.  Even if it is meant for trash pickup, however, will a sofa fit in the back of a garbage truck?  And given that it's rained the last few days, will the garbage men even be able to pick it up?  I'm assuming the stuffing in a brown vinyl sofa is comparable to what one would find in a Pamper, and as we all know, those things get really heavy when they're wet.  Stay tuned ...

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