Thursday, February 26, 2009


I've never regretted moving into our house. Maybe I've felt a little undeserving. Maybe I've felt a little anxious that my siblings might be mad that mom and dad bought me a house just because I asked for it.

The truth is we planned on living in campus housing the whole time we were here. In fact the campus family housing was one of the main reasons we chose this school. But it didn't work out as planned. The health of our family and future family was at stake, and we needed out. . . fast.

There were a number of houses within a "price range." 98% of those houses were built right under the dam. Cheap land=cheap house. With all of Jeremy's Landscape Ecology learnin' we didn't feel like buying a home in the flood plane of the dam was such a good idea. So we got this house.

Of the permanent (non-college) residents of our neighborhood I'd say it's 98% African-American. But moving into this home we made a conscious effort to not feel uncomfortable in our neighborhood. We need not fear just because we are the minority.

When we are out on our walks and pass a gaggle of pre-teen boys. Jeremy says: Good evening. And usually they reply politely. When we are driving down the street and pass one of the many groups of three-or-more adult men that will hang out on the street by their cars, we wave. I even wave when I'm driving by myself.

We've recognised that we don't need to be afraid of the people on our street, because really they are our neighbors, and it's only televisionesque stereotypes that are telling us we should be wary of our neighbors in broad daylight anyways.

So yesterday, when Jeremy got home from school the college kids across the street were driving a remote controlled car in their driveway. So he took the boys across the street to watch. Thankful for the break I took the time to vacuum the front room and toy room, and I thought about how happy I was that Jeremy was out there building happy neighborhood relationships.

Later that night. It was 12:30. Jeremy and I were in the kitchen talking, and we heard something loud slam at our front door. We went to check it out. We assumed it was going to be the screen door which got bent out of shape int he last wind storm and is now having trouble keeping shut. What we found was one of my 8-gallon plastic flowerpots had been taken from our front walkway and thrown at our door. The pot has burst into pieces, and the porch was covered in potting soil.

We called the police. We did so out of concern for our neighbors. If there were Hooligans about we didn't want to give them the opportunity to hooliganize anyone else on the street. When we were talking with the officer he noted that this didn't look like whoever it was was really out to do major damage. If so they could have thrown the pot at one of our windows, or picked up one of the heavier clay pots to throw.

But thinking about it, which is worse? "I'm going to totally ruin some random person's night just for the heck of it." Or "I'm going to destroy a monetarily-significant amount of someones property, just for the heck of it."

Is there really that much of a difference? I don't know. We don't feel like we were targeted in any way, it was just the roll of the dice. But it's frustrating, and it makes me annoyed, and scared for my boys and the world they have to grow up in. But I will not regret moving here. I will not be afraid. This is our home. And just to prove it--I went outside this afternoon by myself and trimmed the shrubs in front of our house.


Melissa said...

broken pot and all it is probably a 100 times better than that little apartment on a noisey street, just down from the liquor store,above the chocolate shop, with out a yard of any kind that you survived for the summer, we miss our hippie friends and hope you don't get anymore pots thrown at your house.

Christi said...

I'm sorry that happened to you! We had people steal stuff off of our porch and I totally understand your frustration. It isn't the things they destroy or take it is the whole idea of someone thinking that is okay. It is kind of scary but you have the right attitude :) Hope everything is going well.


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