Sometimes, I really hate my neighborhood. It’s noisy. High traffic. Crossing the street is like playing a game of Frogger. There’s a gas station and quickie mart across the street, so you always have people who should have spent the money they used on their sub-woofers on a new muffler sitting outside the store, or people who have ultra-sensitive alarm systems going off, or tractor trailers idling and rumbling the whole house. Not to mention that I’m pretty sure Dante and Randall of Clerks work there. That’s actually pretty entertaining, when they get punchy and start cracking jokes on the loud speakers. Like the time one was breathing heavy and saying, “Luke… I am your father.”
It’s hilly. Very hilly. I can’t jog in any direction without encountering steep climbs. I suppose that’s a good thing. It makes me healthier. But it’s exhausting.
Then there’s the smells. Diesel fumes, petrol fumes, second-hand smoke, and on hot summer nights, the fragrant aroma of horse-poop drifts into my back yard from the racetrack a mile up the road. And skunks. Lots and lots of skunks.
And there’s all the motor vehicle to stationary object collisions. My husband’s parked car has been hit three times. The telephone pole in front, plus the one alongside the house, both hit. My house was hit last year, and the driver wasn’t even IN her truck. My house to the right has been hit three times, the neighbor on the left once. The gas station, the barbershop catty-corner, the car wash… all hit. The concrete post street sign was hit so many times it’s now gone. The stop sign has been replaced countless times. It’s like Hellmouth, or the Bermuda Triangle. Some type of strange portal to another dimension that makes people not be able to drive a straight line, or constantly mistake the gas pedal for the brake.
That’s the biggest excuse. “Hit the gas instead of the brake.” I can understand, to a degree. Sometimes your foot slips. Sometimes your mind slips. But at some point between being trying to stop at a stop sign, and traveling 40 feet across the road, over the curb, and into someone’s porch, don’t you think they should realize, “Hey, maybe my foot is in the wrong place?!”
All that said… I’m thankful this morning that my house has one great, shining redeeming quality. It’s not in a flood zone. All the low-lying areas in my town are being evacuated today as the Susquehanna River reaches historic levels. My house may be small. It may be loud. It may require gratuitous amounts of Febreez. It may have a truck in the living room at any given moment. It may be an annoying neighborhood in many many ways. But at least it’s on dry land.