Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Porch Saga

When I was getting ready to retire, I chose to leave California and move to Central Texas. My main reason was economical. My children reside in CA, CO, and Texas...with a granddaughter who spends the majority of the year in FL. Living in Texas was way cheaper and allowed me to travel more to visit and spread the love.

Back in California, every single town had complexes for seniors 55+. Really and truly. There are condos, apartments full service, gated communities....some have golf courses. But, there are plenty of options. Here in Central Texas there are few. There is only one within 40 miles of my daughter in an area with a population of over 150,000. There are several down the highway but the whole purpose of moving here was to be close to one of my children and their family. So I put my name on "the waiting list" and wait.

Fast forward ten months and I'm finally moving into my own little apartment.
My first day in my new place I told the gal in the office that the old tenant left some hanging plants, ceramic animals and wind chimes. She told me my neighbor put them there for "me" to enjoy. She loves decorating the exterior and the old neighbor pretty much let her. I asked for them to be removed.

This is my side once the stuff is removed.

This is my neighbors side....and this is probably more pleasing to a whole lot of folks. I don't make an issue about the hanging stuff on my part of the wall because I don't want to get off on the wrong foot now, do I? We aren't allowed to have BBQs on our porches.
So this is the front. We are the only ones with a friggin archway with dead stuff on it. I know...right about now you are sooo glad I don't live anywhere near you. I guess it wouldn't be as bad if the archway was painted to match the trim and those pots weren't tipping over and there weren't so many flamingos, frogs and squirrels. Have you figured out that I like things orderly and neat? I'm not totally mean because all the stuff you see out front, I let go because it's really not on my porch.
This oil derrick has "classy" written all over it, doesn't it?

And this? It's across the walkway next to the laundry room. The landscapers pointed it out to me. They know her gardens by her "signature" fencing. Evidently she has several throughout the complex. I just wanted to give you all an idea of how this woman likes to spread out. God love her, she really loves gardening!

So this is what I ended up with. I know, it really needs plants but there is no way I'm going there. It's bad enough she sweeps my side everyday. If I had plants she'd be tending to them. The fact that I like to go out of town, and I have three trips on my agenda, I don't want my neighbor stepping in.....to help.

Just a bit of trivia for all you folks who don't live in Texas. Everyone has a Lone Star somewhere on their property or vehicle..... Texans love Texas...I really admire that about them. Cortney, do you have one? Briana? Veronica?

So, there you have it. Of course my neighbor isn't too thrilled with me and I feel bad. Another gal moved across the way on the same day I did. They have become good friends and for that I'm happy.


The Running Girl said...

Well, I think your side of the porch looks just fine and is very inviting with the new chairs. And I can actually say "no" I don't have a Lone Star anywhere.

Tami said...

Oh my... I have these images running through my head of what the inside of your neighbors place must look like. Wonder if she has any of the pets that Hallies son Schmoops now has in his barracks?
I love your side of the porch. Let her torture the lady across the way.


Anonymous said...

Your side is inviting and non-cluttered (what I like). If you befriend your neighbor, however, you might be the lucky recipient of some yummy fresh vegetables. Please tell me that at least some of her many gardening efforts include edible things.

I tried to leave you a comment previously (about your AWESOME peeps), but keep getting zapped for some reason. Hopefully this one will get through.

Karen B. -- RPV

Anonymous said...

WHAT! you didn't tell me you have a blog. Here I was working my butt off when I could have been reading your blog instead.
I can totally see you telling that poor old lady to move her stuff; you’re just mean like that, too funny! Well I put you in my favorites so I will be checking in on you all the time now. Oh, now for my question, when are you going to visit your old friends in the OC? I know I could visit you but I'm afraid that you neighbor will decorate me.

Carol Z. Geomatics

Unknown said...

Ok, I have determined that Tami is psychic! I brought my neighbor homemade cookies to try and show her my softer side. She has several cats. Also, her apartment has more furniture that you can ever imagine. It actually blocks her windows...even her portable fireplace is huge. She also has about three layers of curtains/drapes over her blinds. I feel bad for the lady across the way because we are the only ones with vehicles in the immediate area, and guess what? She's driving "miss daisy" somewhere everyday..so I'm lucky there!

Welcome Karen and Carol...I am slower emerging out of my cacoon...but I knew you guys would eventually find me, especially Carol because she's a former co-worker friend/civil SERVANT who needs something to distract her from work. HA!

Karen, I just as soon get my veggies at the store. Less is more as far as interacting right now.

Anonymous said...

Good job! I love the new look. That lady is WAY too much! you should start moving stuff on to her stuff. REALLY UGLY stuff and see what she does! I can see that's she's trying to be nice but it's very pushy! Especially planting gardens all over the place! Atleast you have that lady to keep you entertained!

The Texas Star Business - I do have to say that my parents have one at their house. It was actually one of their first purchases when they moved into their new house in Brenham. They said they had to have one because everyone else has one!!!

It's a very odd thing.

The Dorsey Boys said...

Talk about gettin' er done- WOW!

heartshapedhedges said...

The simple solution is just screaming out at me when I look at the porch...Get one of those room divider/screens.

Obviously, you dont want to turn your porch into a "yard sale" type arena, but you can find a screen thingy that is simple, uncluttered and stylish, and most importantly it sends the message;


It reminds me of the Brady Bunch where Marsha and Jan divide the room in half, (UH, is her name Marsha?) anyways, you shouldnt have to be juvenile, but it is your space.

If you get a divider/screen, make sure it doesnt have holes in it, or she may start hanging stuff on the other side.

You could always get some sort of furniture, like a bench or a large type container that you back up to the mid-line, so as to give you that division and a bit of privacy.

I blame this whole thing on the landlords, they should have never let this lady intrude this way. Shame on them for moving in a new tenant, without having made sure your porch was free from all her stuff. (I dont think you made clear to your readers, that when you moved in, you had to remove a lot of her stuff, and it wasnt fair to put you in that position.)

The Dorsey Boys said...

Maybe two of your older children can come out and let her have it, huh?