Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Community Part 2

So Community part 2. It's only taken me three or so weeks to finalize this post. But I have another hour in an airport until my flight boards, so here I am!

I thought I should say that there are different levels of community that I am referring to throughout. I hope that it is clear from context which I am speaking about. Part 1 I discussed my community as my City and my neighborhood. The things that make AB and I say "this place, this location where I am residing is not right". 

I have heard people in passing over the past few weeks reference "community" and my ears always perk up. It's my current fixation I suppose - what does community mean, what makes one good or bad, what do I want in a community, and how do I get there? 

I pulled out of my driveway one morning this past week and there was a City vehicle with someone in it sitting in front of my house. Again. The stress that this is causing me is ridiculous. I ran through the list in a note to AB - the dogs are locked up and not barking (weren't barking this morning, I have read what a nuisance dog barking violation is and our dogs aren't it, and the animal control agrees, we don't have that and then they thanked us for choosing rescue dogs), the yard was just fully trimmed and there are no weeds or plants extending onto the sidewalks, the trailer is parked within guidelines and has moved several times in the last few weeks and will be taken out in one week. All within City regs. What is it now? 

Then another day, I drive up my street and see an older woman photographing my buses. Why? Because it was extending onto the sidewalk by 3 inches? Or am I just paranoid and she liked the bush. Somehow I suspect it the former when I parked and went to the front yard and she turned around and walked away and wouldn't speak with me.

I tell myself it is just nosy, cranky, mean, busy bodies. I can hope that the city vehicle was there to investigate the many reports of speeding up and down our street? But my guess is not. They are loathe to deal with anything that is ACTUALLY a documented issue. 

I have taken a new and strong interest in our current City Council election. AB even managed to utter the words that I should run someday. Yeah no, politics is NOT my thing. But I am spending these couple of days researching each individual who has put his/her hat into the ring. I am not confident much would change, but it is reassuring to see that several people have identified the issue of "the city is NOT listening to the residents".

I know, I am a professional and I don't always listen to the general public either. There is just so much depth to the issues that people who read the internet for their source of news just do.not.get. There is never enough money, wheels are already in motion that are hard to stop, etc., etc. I guess I think the difference between them and me is that I can counter the arguments with facts. The city's only response to me is that 75% of the vehicles driving on my street are not going 35 mph or more (10 mph over the speed limit). According to their little machine that they conveniently set at intersections and next to corners. 

I told AB the other day in the midst of tears that I am done. I want to move. He said that another neighborhood probably has similar issues. I replied that I don't want another neighborhood. I want to be in the boondocks where nothing that I do is going to bother anyone. Where I don't feel rage when I see a city vehicle on my street or someone on my street photographing. 

Anyways... how can this one aspect of where I reside and pay taxes cause me so much stress? When I have other aspects of community that I love? The community I am talking about here is my work. I am so lucky that everyday when I drop off my kids I get to go somewhere where I feel appreciated, helpful, viewed as a resource, people are kind to each other... And that for both AB and I is part of our light. 

I spent some time recently with my mom's brother and his wife. They raised their girls and had a great one career family in Casper, Wyoming. They hated Casper. I recall when he went to medical school and his raving about how it would be a cold day in hell before he returned there. But he did, he married, had a family, raised my cousins, and then left. Ran fast and hard and (as he told me the other day) will never ever go back now. He said though, that despite his hatred of the place, it had awesome schools, his kids were away from many influences that young kids shouldn't have to deal with, he made a good living, and they made lifelong friends. And that's what is important. 

This is calming my frayed nerves and my desire to box up my house and leave. I have those things (mostly*). I need to calm my heels, enjoy what we do have, count our blessings, and pray to God that I live to see the age that I will get to retire and run fast and hard from here. My mom didn't get that blessing of retiring and starting the next phase, and I hold a deep fear in my heart of the same fate.