So greetings and welcome once again (I assume you have been here before) to my blog of thoughts!
Recently my girlfriend and I have been looking at the possibility of buying a house. Presently we live in a townhouse in the middle of a larger complex alongside a very busy and noisy street. The complex does have a playground and a pool and several dumpsters but nothing is quite the same as owning your own space. Yes renting does have it’s upside: free maintenance, no long term commitments and a plethora of people watching opportunities. But being able to own your home and customize it and ‘nest’ if you will can be more satisfying. The downside is that is also tends to be a bit more expensive and the risk goes up significantly.
If the stove breaks the renter calls the landlord to fix it at no cost but the homeowner is forced to call a repairman or contemplate buying a new one if the other is unfixable – probably not cheap either way for the homeowner. But the renter generally cannot do any real decorating or landscaping for their place, whereas a homeowner can put in a garden, build a fire pit or add a hot tub. So I guess it really boils down to the person or family and their lifestyle choices.
This was a roundabout introduction to a little of my philosophy on the personal habitat preference. Previous to living in the townhouse and apartments of the last few years, I did live in a house I was buying from the bank. It was a ranch style home in the Imperial area with a partially finished basement, decent sized wood deck off of the back of the house and a fenced back yard.
Now we are getting to the real heart of what I wanted to write about. In viewing a handful of homes for sale, we have traipsed through the living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, bedrooms and the basements. Most have had decks and back yards. One of the homes we really liked had a chain-link fence on three of the four sides of the yard. On the fourth side was an older looking wood privacy fence. Seeing this was a little nostalgic as my previous house had a similar section of fencing.
In my previous home if you were standing on the back deck, the right fence line and the back fence line were chain-link about waist high. On the right side there was a small section of chain-link fence and a chain-link gate that connected the side fence to the house. On the left side between the yards there was a sad looking pointed board privacy fence that was attached to the back of the neighbors square top wood privacy fence. Connecting the left side fence to the house was a chain-link fence gate on a post and next to the gate there was about eight feet of badly rotting wood privacy fence.
The story behind the partial privacy fence was that the owner we originally purchased the house from apparently was in a feud with his neighbor to the left and when he was in the back yard he didn’t want to have to look at him. However, since the deck on the back of the house was above the basement line, if you were on the deck you couldn’t help but see the neighbor’s yard and vice versa so I don’t understand that rationale.
Anyway, on this small section of privacy fence, some of the boards were badly rotten. Just a little bit of an eyesore, no big deal right? Did I mention I had two dogs? The older one was a girl, her name was Ginger. She was part husky, part mutt and part Energizer bunny. She was colored like a yellow lab and had one brown eye and one blue eye. She was the sweetest damn dog in the whole world. Gentle and yet hyper like a five year old boy hopped up on soda and chocolate. Her running mate, Rio, was also a girl and a smaller German shepherd. Rio was smaller in size but dominant in personality unless you were a human and then she was terrified of you.
These two when loose in the backyard, which was about 100 feet wide by about 80 feet deep, would run around for a bit before becoming zoo tigers. If you watch tigers at the zoo for awhile, they will generally pace the boundaries. My two pups would do the same and invariably they would end up by that section of rotting fence. Once I left them unattended to run inside for a few minutes to check on the laundry or make a sandwich (I forget wich, I mean which!) only to return to an empty yard!
After a panicked few moments I noticed a dog-sized hole in the fence about a foot up from the ground. One of the pups, I presume Rio as she was generally the instigator, appeared to have tested the fist-sized hole and found that the brittle wood would give. Luckily I was able to call Ginger to return by shouting her name and her trouble-making sister came along about 30 seconds later. I put them back in the yard and rigged some boards to cover the hole but many times after that they would both sniff and investigate that area to see if they could go on another adventure.
Years later after moving out of that house and into another one in Fenton, there was a fenced backyard. This one was chain-link with gates on the sides by the house, chain-link on the right and left sides backing to a waist-high section of plastic fencing along the back. However, at the very back left corner, there was a diagonal section gap where the left fence stopped and white plastic fence started. Since the house’s yard behind the left yard had a dog, they put up like a three foot section of wood privacy fencing. This fencing had been in place for awhile it appeared as one of the boards were rotten and cracked. And wouldn’t you know it, my dogs made a beeline for that spot on the very first day there?
I just found it funny and a bit nostalgic how a new experience can jog your memory and make you smile and yet feel wistful at the same time. Ginger and Rio were such great dogs and I miss them. I lost Little Miss Rio (her proper name) in the spring of 2013 due to cancer of the mouth and then the next year her sister fell ill the week before my 42nd birthday and had to be put to sleep. I miss them, their stinky breath and all their quirky stupidness that comes with goofy dogs.
I have basically lived my entire life around dogs and cats and I couldn’t imagine not having them in my daily life. It’s just funny how out of nowhere memories can unexpectedly stick a cold nose on you. Lick Lick.
If you have a real pet (no birds and ants are not real pets) remember to hug them and smile. Have a voraciously smile-filled day.