Our court backs up to a huge hill that will forever be open space. That in itself is why we chose our house, although we've seen some unwelcome visitors come down off that hill and wreak havoc with our lives: a skunk, a couple of coyotes, two snakes, lizards and most recently a fat raccoon who apparently loves tartar-control cat treats. The bottom line, however, is that we welcome the wildlife and love our beautiful hill.
That's why we now feel very picky about who's going to move into the vacant house. We don't want any people with air rifles using the open space as their personal target-practice range, unless of course there is a rabid bat flying around or something. And hey, I love dirt bikes. I think motocross guys are hot! To my kids' embarrassment, I wear clothes with "Fox Racing" logos (though I've never even sat on a dirt bike). But I draw the line at dirt bikes screaming up and down our hill.
I keep a close eye on the vacant house because one day I saw two hobos snooping around the house, testing the doors and trying to pull open the garage door. They appeared from out of nowhere - no car or even a bicycle. They were scruffy and looked suspicious. Little did they know that Gladys Kravitts was on the job.
Peering through my blinds, I watched their every move. I tucked my dog under my arm and opened our garage door. I made a lot of noise, opening and closing my car doors. My dog went crazy just looking at them. I pretended I was talking on my cell phone and then gave them a hard look. They took off up the hill. Hopefully they ran into a coyote or two.
A couple of prospective buyers showed up one day just as I was unloading my kids from all the school pick-ups. The boys were fighting over who was going to get the last can of Coke and my 5-year-old was crying because she didn't get to take home Wish Bear from kindergarten that day.
The dog got out and instantly decorated the neighbor's lawn in plain view. Wanting to appear politically correct, I ordered the boys to grab the pooper scooper. I waved at the men and made small talk. They wanted to know what the neighborhood was like. I chatted away about what a nice court it was, and kidded that I was "Gladys Kravitts." One of them extended his hand and said, "I'm Bob Watson." He actually thought my name was Gladys Kravitts! OK, these two had no sense of humor and obviously had never watched "Bewitched." I instantly voted them off the island.
I was glad the kids were now hurling backpacks at each other and acting possessed. The icing on the cake was my 5-year-old waddling toward me with her pants around her ankles asking me if I could "wipe." I never saw those two men again.
I learned that day that I had the power to pick and choose my neighbors.
I remember when we first moved into our house on the court. I don't think our neighbors liked the looks of us. I was very pregnant and our four other kids were running all over the place screaming. We used a big, dilapidated flatbed truck from my father-in-law's machine shop to move a lot of our stuff. We must have looked like the Clampetts from "The Beverly Hillbillies." The only thing missing was Granny in her shawl rocking away on top of the truck.
My neighbors told me later that for a long time they thought - with all the kids - we were Mormons. I told him one look into our recycle bin would quash that idea.
Well the "Bank Owned" sign has been replaced with a "Sold" sign and we saw a cute family happily checking out our beloved hill. The two young boys were giddy, the dad looked elated, Mom was smiling as she unbuckled a baby from a car seat. They reminded me a lot of us six years ago.
Yes, I think they'll make a fine new addition to our court - even Gladys Kravitts approves.