Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The one where my home life resembles national politics

I knew when I bought my home 26 years ago, it would be a good investment. A quiet street where people stroll. Within walking distance of a great neighborhood public school. About fifty years ago, several dozen ranch-style homes were built on my circle/street here, on land where Geddes-Douglas Nursery grew trees. Today it is a demolition zone, where the land for my home outweighs the value of its shelter.

It is distracting & depressing to work from my idyllic home-office when nearby homes start coming down. Dust covers my property, porta-johns go up and privacy goes away. In this I have no choice. In the past ten years, gentle growth that accompanies upgrades and remodeling was pushed out with violent surges. Showcase homes with crews of landscapers, pool cleaners, carpenters, long-haul deliverers and even sight-seers laid claim to the benefits our sweet neighborhood historically shared.


Homes have gone from being 2500 to 7000 square feet big on our half-acre lots in the last ten years, so it's not editorializing to say the character of the neighborhood has changed. Instead of feeling pride and welcome, I can't help but see visitors now as possible property investors, not possible neighbors. Today I am sad and sorry to see another home go. We enjoyed a simple, satisfying way of life here for so many years. We live abundantly, amidst prosperity. When we bought this home we knew it was going to be a good investment anyway. So why do I feel invisible & marginalized today? Is my community at-risk or getting stronger? It's all in the definitions you use, I'm sure.

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