Monday, August 20, 2012

It's All Good In The Hood

Not really. This place still scares the crap out of me. But I'm not in total freak out much....any more.

We are most definitely in the hood. Not quite ghetto but pretty freaking close. At least when we hear the gun shots they are farther away then around the corner...near the crack house. At least I think it's a crack house. Big dude paces in front of it and random cars stop and go. There are like 15 kids living on the porch. And porch living seems to be a big thing down here. We actually have a nice porch but I'm not ready for that. I caused enough of a commotion when I pulled up the nasty, filthy blinds to clean the windows.

There was still painter's tape on the windows - from like 10 years ago. After I cleaned those nasty, filthy blinds, I started in on scrapping the tape off when it took me a while to notice that people were staring at me. I can only assume that this was a rare site because a dude on his bike was watching me with his mouth hanging open and not paying attention to where he was peddling and crashing into a parked car....setting off the car's alarm....bringing out more neighbors to ask this fool what his problem was, only to have said fool point at me washing windows causing everyone to look.

I am in the Twilight Zone. Or hell. And with all the hot temperatures we endured - pretty sure it's hell.

I had posted on Facebook that we now live 10 minutes from 3 different Wal-Marts and they range from 1) oh my word, 2) oh dear, Lord, and 3) oh hell no!!

I wish I were kidding.

The thing that gets me is that people were all like go to number 3 and all I could think is picturing those same people at that store getting mugged in the bread aisle.

Okay, it's really not THAT bad. This is me and I sometimes I tend to slightly um, expand on things I find funny or traumatic. And some days that happens to be both. But still, I got a giggle picturing how that scenario could have gone down. And then I really started cracking up laughing.

I did mention I am horribly bored, right? And when I get bored my imagination goes way, waaaay beyond staying in the normal frame of thoughts. It's either that or Prozac and I can't swing the pills so imagining people in weird situations is how I'm entertaining myself now days. Better than voodoo dolls. Just saying.

I know a lot of this has been culture shock. Nothing is familiar and that gets to be disorienting. I can't go anywhere and for the first month I had no plans of leaving the house. Ever. I will say it has perked up my prayer life to dear God please deliver us from evil!! And really after the trash bin got stolen and the one night we tried to convince ourselves those were firecrackers and not gunfire we heard, things have settled down.

My dad has been all over me to take the boys for a walk around the block and say hi to the neighbors. This may just prove my point that the man has no concern for my well being as I asked why would he want me to get mugged? He said the boys would protect me which Jared sort of clucked and tried to lay an egg. Yes, that is my mini chicken. Clearly the man has lost some of his marbles after that last heart attack. This big chicken doesn't want to provoke the locals since I'm not sure if the trash bin was just a warning.

Although, I find it completely ironic that the trash bin would be taken since no one around here seems to no how to put their trash in one.

I'm still having a hard time with the amount of trash. We have been driving down the road and people just start chucking trash out the window. The neighborhood is just horrible about trash everywhere. I can't help but wonder why take the bin when most people don't use it. I've caught myself mutter bunch of degenerates on numerous occasions.

But the strange part is people are actually a lot nicer here than in Michigan. Unless you count that one lady who called me a bitch when I told her to stop smoking and then she would have money for gas instead of hitting people up for spare change.

Now that's a story.

As I have mentioned a time or twenty, things are super duper tight with money. Both our folks have had to help us with money to cover groceries so I have my calculator, I have my list, I have made meal plans on the cheap. So my frame of mine is a bit stressed. We come out with our load and this woman hops out of a car way nicer than our van, dressed nicely, wearing more jewelry than I own, and puffing on a cigarette. I watched as she went up to people on her way to the store. She eyed Fred and passed him and made a bee line for me. She gives me this sob story about not having money for gas and doesn't know how she's going to get home. She just took a big ol drag of smoke when it shot out of my mouth if she stopped smoking she would have gas money.

I am convinced some angel had Michael intervene. Dude grabbed my cart and kept pushing thus dragging me along. Because the more I sat there and thought about it, the angrier I got and God only knows what would have come out of my mouth once I had a chance to think something out. It certainly didn't help that she called me a bitch. I stewed over the nerve of that woman for days.

But the whole situation did get me to examine some of my thoughts and attitudes. And I now wonder if I am slightly prejudice. I honestly don't think I am but some of the stuff I've said and thought might prove otherwise and I can't begin to tell you how much I find that embarrassing. It's not fair that I've judged this whole neighborhood based on some of the people.  From what I've noticed, once I crawled out behind the blinds and the triple locked doors, is that most of the trash dumping isn't going on by most of the people who live in this area. It's mainly people driving through the area.

Some of the assumptions I've made have been correct, like that lady fishing to see what she could get, but others I've made haven't been 100% fair. And I have to wonder what is my problem. So far, I've come up with I'm a big chicken. I don't want to offend someone or say the wrong thing so I would rather not saying anything. You stay in your area and I'll stay in mine. Not the best attitude but not sure how to change that.

My dad has been super bold lately on asking people if they know that Jesus loves them. He says he feels we are running out of time and people need to settle it in their hearts what they believe because the days are becoming more and more evil. He said it's his observation that most people are just asleep at the wheel, so to speak, about their faith and if they aren't sure of what they believe they may get caught off guard.

Cue creepy twilight zone music.

My mom made an observation that the position of the house is like we're a lighthouse to this area. We're on the corner and we get a lot of light. Plus when the guys get to singing - it really does feel like a light in the darkness.

Besides getting looks like, whitey you are lost, we had gay neighbors that were sort of nice but sort of rude. They never responded anytime I said hi. I feel like I'm looking at all these different social gaps and I have no clue what to do, what is acceptable and what isn't. Truth be told, I just want to cluck like the chicken I am and stay in my nest and tend to my eggs, er, boys.

We've been praying a lot. We get this weird feeling God is up to something but not sure what. So I tossed out that if we're to be a light in this area that God would give me wisdom, and the strength, to go next door and just be nice and say hi, I like your dog and am thankfully he isn't like the other 20 little yappy dogs that can't shut up Honestly, I wasn't even close to doing it but I was at least praying about the possibility of maybe being up for it...sort of....but not really.

Those guys broke up that same week and went their separate ways. I sort of freaked out because the house was broken into after they moved out. My stupid self thought these guys were working on the place to clean it up. Oh they cleaned it alright, cleaned it out of just about anything they could steel. Door was kicked in and we were hope the entire time.


I've been praying for this neighborhood a lot when I'm washing dishes. No dishwasher + these people who like to eat = me doing a lot of dishes. The area still scares me a bit but I know God is keeping us safe. Seems like some of the shifty people are moving out. Guy next door got arrested. I've noticed the crack house is down 10 kids and the big dude isn't there any more. There is a drunk guy that ambles down the middle of the road that does freak me out. But there used to be a pack of them.

I'll try and be nice and not tell you how flipping hilarious it is to watch a bunch of drunk people try to walk and act like they aren't drunk. I will tell you it's rather epic. The drunk 30 yard flip-flop toss should be a new Olympic sport.

We had a couple neighbor ladies from across the street knock on our door just to check us out I think. Fred was home and has always been able to schmooze old ladies. They said they are glad a nice family moved into the area. They said to call the cops about everything though. If we think it's a firecracker, gunshot, or a dying cat, call the cops.

And cue those feelings of wanting to move out of here.


Lorraine said...

Oh boy! You've got me scared and laughing at the same time. And not so much liking green beans any more!! What a description!!! Sure can tell who's son he is...
The grandboys are that means I've got some time....right???
So good to have you back to blogging!