November 26, 2020 – Not such a ‘dead end’ after all (PART ONE).

We live on a ‘dead end’. It sounds like such a morbid term but all it really means is that there is no way out. Hang on. I don’t think that description was very helpful at all. That still leaves a lot to the imagination. I probably should clarify that we live on a ‘dead end street’. And what that means is that if you turn onto our street, unless you are coming to visit either me or my husband or our next door neighbor you are going to be pulling a U-turn because the street doesn’t go through, it just stops, or dies, right in front of our driveway. And you would think because it’s not a through street that there wouldn’t be much activity but you’d be wrong! We have all kinds of interesting things happen just outside our front door, things I never expected. This year alone, we had two newsworthy events occur that you will likely think I’m fabricating but I’m not. In fact, the picture I’m including with this post is one I actually took tonight.

As much as I want to go into great detail about tonight’s events, I will begin at the beginning. And it began with this house. I saw the house a few times on the internet before we actually toured it. It was a fixer upper in kind of an odd location but our realtor finally convinced us to at least check it out. When we did, I wasn’t real thrilled with our ‘view’. You can see the view in the picture I included. We look directly at a hospital. Isn’t it beautiful? When people ask if our home has a view, I tell them, “Oh, yes! We have a ten-million dollar view!” But aside from that, there were actually things about it that I really loved. If you read my post about ‘fixer uppers’, you’ll know I always see potential in things, especially in houses, and this house has A LOT of potential! When my husband first walked through the front door, he wanted to immediately turn around and run for his life, but I just saw all of the possibilities. He saw a lot of work!

My husband was not thrilled about the house in the least. It didn’t have the one thing he so desperately wanted, a massive shop. And it was going to take a lot of work to get it livable. However, he knew how enamored I was with it and so he agreed to purchase it. It is a very unusual house and that’s what really drew me to it. I don’t like ‘cookie cutter’ houses that look like everyone else’s. I like things that are unique. And this house is like a ‘Frankenstein’ house. It started out as a rambler and then the man that owned it back in the 60’s went a little bananas and kept putting additions on it. There is literally one going in every direction! In it’s heyday, I think this house was THE party house on the block. On the grounds alone, there’s a pool and a pond and a built-in gas barbecue along with a covered kitchen prep area and even changing rooms with curtains and lights. Sounds pretty neat, huh? But if you’re paying close attention, you would have noticed I used the word ‘there’s’. And in this case ‘there’s’ means there WAS not there IS.

When we bought the house, the pool had been filled in with dirt, the pond was out of commission and had definitely seen better days, the grill didn’t work and the changing rooms were places I personally wouldn’t recommend spending any time in. They were full of giant hornet’s nests and a lot of irritable spiders and after being out in the weather for over 40 years without any upkeep, they weren’t exactly usable. And that was pretty much the state of the outdoor kitchen prep area, too. I could probably write a book about all of the fun ‘surprises’ we’ve encountered in this house, but I think I had better get back to the whole reason why I’m writing today, and that’s to talk about our ‘street’.

On a day-to-day basis, our street is actually pretty quiet, aside from people continually driving down it and turning around. We face a hospital and between our house and the hospital itself is a sizable parking lot AND A CANAL. That’s where things get interesting or at least why they do, at least for 2 of the 3 incidents I’m going to share with you today. The first time anything ‘unusual’ happened, it involved a ‘girl’. I was awakened one morning around 5 am by the most pitiful, heart wrenching sobbing I’ve ever heard. At the time, our daughter was living with us and staying in one of our rooms on the first floor. I thought she was having a bad dream so I went downstairs to check on her and when I opened the door, there she lay, deep in a dream, the room still and quiet. I thought to myself, “That’s weird!” I was certain it was her! After confirming it wasn’t my daughter, I returned to my room and climbed back into bed. And then I heard it again! Oh my gosh, the most mournful, distressing cry! It was coming from somewhere, but where?

I stood in bewilderment for a while, trying to pinpoint where it was coming from and then I finally decided to look outside. I peered through the window but it was difficult to see much as it was barely dawn and I didn’t have my glasses on. But after I rubbed my eyes and squinted, I thought I could detect a small figure sitting alongside the canal. And when I cracked the sliding door open, it was clear there was someone out there. By this time, my husband was also awake and after taking a look, he assured me that there definitely was someone sitting outside, in the gravel, next to the canal. Oh my goodness! I wasn’t sure what to make of the situation but I had to go and see what I could do. It was freezing outside and if nothing else, I thought I could invite them in and get them a warm blanket and some hot tea and try and console them and help them with whatever predicament they got themselves into.

After my husband and I threw on our robes and slippers, we rushed outside and quickly discovered that the ‘girl’ was actually a rather small woman in her mid-twenties. She only had on a thin top and jeans (no shoes or coat) and was sitting in a fetal position, rocking back and forth. I came up to her and started rubbing her back and asked her if she was ok and invited her to come inside. From the way she responded, it was pretty apparent that she and Jose Cuervo had spent a little time together the night prior. And I think ‘Jose’ got the better of her. I asked her to come inside to get warm and she agreed. My husband and I held onto her on either side and helped her into the house. Every step she took, she yelped in pain. “I just want to go home!” she kept repeating. “Yes, we’ll get you home,” I assured her.

Once in the house, we helped her over to a couch and gave her a blanket and offered her some tea. I asked her what her name was and what had happened, and then I got an earful. “My friends abandoned me! They took my keys and left me at the club!” she started out. She then proceeded to tell me that when she was ready to leave the club earlier in the morning, her ‘terrible’ friends stole her keys so she couldn’t drive and then left her there. Since she couldn’t drive home (which was actually a good thing), she started to walk but got turned around and eventually ended up trapped on our dead end street. I wasn’t surprised that her feet hurt because she walked at least 2 miles in her bare feet to reach our house once she left the club. I don’t think sitting in gravel helped much either. Anyway, she started to get rather hysterical and insisted that she needed to get home right away, home to her ‘babies’. Her ‘babies’? Ack! She didn’t need to say another word.

I went upstairs and changed and then I took her home straightaway. When we reached her apartment complex, she opened the door and eased out of the car onto her bare feet, closed the door, gingerly climbed up a flight of steps and without hesitation, entered her (unlocked) apartment. I never saw or heard from her again. I think about her every now and then and I hope she learned something from that night and that she didn’t end up out in front of someone else’s house barefoot, cold and alone (or worse) at a later date. Anyway, if you do that kind of stuff enough times, the story doesn’t generally have a happy ending so I’m hoping in this case, it was an isolated incident. Jose got the better of me a handful of times in the past but I think the worst thing that ever happened was that I peed in the street once. I don’t remember it but my husband does. Oh my goodness! It’s getting late and I just realized I haven’t even touched on the stuff that happened today or over the summer, so I’d better wrap this up for the time being. I promise to return tomorrow with ‘the rest of the story’!

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