Having my own house was nice. I could nail things to the wall of I wanted to and decorate the inside and outside (to a lesser degree) however I wanted. I had my own space and if I wanted to make ruckus, I could … until the hour became uncivilized for ruckus-making, anyway.
There was one major downside: yardwork. Running a lawnmower around the yard was not any idea of fun, but weedwhackers were even worse. That’s why W is for Yardwork.
One of the places where I lived had a Home Owners Association (HOA) and one did not. The one that didn’t quickly ran downhill and before long, there were junked out cars in front yards and trash everywhere. Not good. The one with the HOA was supposed to be better because they enforced a certain standard, right? Well, it really was better as long as the builder was in charge. As soon as the builder had completed 95% of the properties, the HOA was turned over to the Home Owners. I guess that comment about Power Corrupts found proof in that HOA.
I got hatemail from the HOA for having brown grass in January. Yep. January. Y’know, like it’s still winter, even in Texas. Nothing grows naturally then except for a few enterprising dandelions. Apparently, I was supposed to have seeded winter rye so my yard would stay green all winter. Then, too, I got grouched at for not watering my yard enough in the summer to keep it green. Mind you, there was a major drought going on, and the city we lived in forbid watering yards to maintain the water supply for dumb things like drinking.
Even before we hit that stage of drought, though, I was admonished for not running my weedwhacker and lawn mower often enough. Once a week was the expectation whether the grass needed it or not. So, okay, I made noise with my lawnmower and weedwhacker as expected, but that meant they occasionally picked up small rocks and chucked ‘em. The lawnmower was nicer about it. The rocks would hit the underside of the lawnmower and no harm was done. The weedwhacker, though, was out to cause mortal damage.
Fortunately, I figured out very quickly that a set of safety glasses was not optional. The weedwhacker chucked a pebble at me and it pinged off my glasses, leaving a small personality ding. Good thing I was wearing glasses. Better, I’m farsighted, so I do okay without them if I don’t need to see fine detail up close. The next time I was out, I picked up a pair of safety goggles from Home Depot, and I was good to go.
Next time I had to run my weedwhacker around the yard, it threw another couple pebbles at me. One pegged my shin, but that only caused a small bruise. I wear jeans when I do yard work, and the heavy material prevented other harm. Another flew up and hit me in the face again.
I moved not long after that because I had a brilliant idea to go pursue a Master’s, and most of the money for that came from the sale of my house. My next stop is going to be an apartment complex, so yardwork is someone else’s problem. If I ever move into another house – especially if there’s a power-mad HOA involved, I think I’m going to need to get a hockey mask before I try running a weedwhacker again.
The next prompt? X is for Band.