Thursday, December 3, 2009
we have rats?
This is totally a pity party email, so I apologize in advance, but I just had to get this out. I can't let it get any more of me than it already has.
Today I received an email from a concerned neighbor who lives about 5 streets away, but talks to many people in the neighborhood. Some of the people they talk to include neighbors who live on our block. I don't want to turn this into an overblown thing and I applaud her courage for sharing with me, but I had to write this out because, well, I'm really hurt and confused.
Here's the gist of it all: We've been accused of housing rats in the backyard. Apparently, they've been scampering around and it has caught a neighbor's attention who not only reported us to the city, but also told this concerned neighbor of ours. Not once have we heard a single complaint from any of our neighbors, who we actually talk to on a weekly basis. So my first question is, when did things get to be so bad in the world that a neighbor can't walk a few feet to your house to talk to you about something they are concerned about? Or heck, pick up the phone or shoot an email. Lord knows our information is splattered all over the Internets.
Also, the city has never contacted us about having a rodent problem. When we first moved in, we were cited because the backyard fence was old (the original fence) and needed repairs. We had made the requested repairs at that time. One terrible storm passed through a couple of years ago and well, our rickety old fence was no more. We tore the whole thing down. We knew this would expose the world to our backyard. Which is even more concerning because we back up towards an extremely busy street. There's the city's brick fence that acts as a barrier between that street and our alley, but it isn't much. We have some trees that block the view, mostly. When we priced fences, I about had a heart attack! Even if we did it ourselves (which is totally do-able), there's still a cost factor, but most importantly, finding the time to install it. Regardless, we said we would hold off on putting up a fence until we had a proper play area for the little one. Everyone needs their own personal slide, right? And since someone ran off with our fire pit (an awesome wedding present, stolen in the night), we didn't want to spend money on something else that someone would run off with. Seriously, do you know how expensive swing sets and playhouses are?
I feel sick to my stomach at the thought that people think we are those people. We're the dirty neighbors who don't have pride in their home. What does that say about us?
I guess what hurts the most is that I actually thought our backyard was nice. Yes, it could use some work, but this past spring and summer, we toiled and labored. I concentrated on the patio area and Don focused on the yard. I like how he stacked all of our firewood on a makeshift platform at the base of the trees. He planted a garden for his family. He nurtured our trees, especially the Magnolia tree that we planted that first year. I put up some hanging plants and decorated the patio with other potted plants. We created many memories back there, enjoying the shade, and laughing as Mari hesitantly ran through the sprinkler during the summer. I made sun tea back there, we had evening dinners al fresco, and there were times I found myself hanging out there in the evening, thinking, pondering, and praying.
Not once did I see a rat. The rabbits no longer hang around there for fear of Guapo. He's caught a few of them, which is rather surprising, and he's even caught a bird. He's never caught a rat. I believe it is his antics that allowed our garden to thrive and prosper. We actually quite quite a fruitful crop this year!
But still...we're the neighbors with the rat problem, who people are afraid of approaching to voice a concern, I guess. Pretty heavy stuff that puts a dark cloud on a happy Thursday. *sigh*