A policeman came around the other day, spoke to K&R, the couple who were doing some yard work for me. “Seen any crackers [sic] there?” he asked, indicating the green house adjacent to the end of our yard.
“If you do, let us know,” he said. The house is presently standing empty. One of those spooky times when something you strongly wish for comes to be.
This house we moved to is really quite private, especially for being near the centre of a town. On one side is a dense 20-ft. cedar hedge.
On the other is the back of a church...so that even on Sunday morning we hear and see nothing (and vice versa).
Our house on the right. Church is beside us at the front, the green house (behind church) at the back.
Our front view out of our picture windows is not into the picture window of a house across the street. Instead we have a hedge and trees at the back of a yard.
In the spring a huge golden-chain tree is our front view.
In fact, I have sheers and drapes on the picture window, more for fending off the late summer afternoon sun than anything else, and some token covering on the big back kitchen window, but nothing on the bedroom windows or the side LR window.
Living-room side window, bedroom side and back windows.
It's a weird little street, properly named “Odd”, with a 90 deg. bend in the middle, with just three houses – ours, the corner house (pie-shaped lot) behind the high hedge, and one on the other arm of the street. None of us comes and goes much, nor has visitors very often (hermit me seems to have the most activity), and so there's very little foot or vehicle traffic. It does link two streets, but is not the most direct way for that...
The back yard seems to look out onto woods between us and a mountain.
Eek, ignore the clutter in the foreground and grok the view behind the back fence.
In fact, there is a rail line just outside the fence (with regular trains), and beyond that are some houses and some industrial areas (some empty, some where temp. buildings are made). Then the end (or beginning) of the notorious Coquihalla highway, which here in town is a main road, with McDonalds and a sushi and other restaurants, several motels, gas stations, a supermarket...and beyond that are a few more houses, and then another highway, the Trans-Canada. But we see & hear nothing of that. Just the occasional train.
The only bothersome thing in this picture is the green house, beside the church, oddly located behind the church parking lot (so not even on the street), and adjacent to the back of our yard.
Another view, showing how the green house impinges on the back half of the yard. (Dogs belong to yard couple, K&R.)
It has big windows, upstairs and downstairs. With a great view of our yard and all our doings. Not that the inhabitants showed any interest, but as someone who lived for 40 years in seclusion in the country, I found it annoying.
Added to which, when we first moved the two dogs there had hysterics any time we went into the back yard.
A woman and her husband lived in the top floor, her aged mother on the main. Time passed – husband left, mother died. Woman moved downstairs, had series of boyfriends, rented the top floor. The electric fencing gave out with no husband for upkeep and the younger dog roamed free. Owner and tenant produced impressive amounts of garbage, which they left outside, and which the dog got into and strewed around on the grass (officially a laneway?) between us and the church, and which the church guy who did the grounds patiently picked up. The town Facebook pages had periodic alarms about a dog running loose in the vicinity, who did it belong to, reassurances from the owner that it was “fine”.
More and more annoying.
I got some of those hedging cedars to put along our shared fence-line (as seen in above photos)...but it would be years before they made a satisfactory wall. And one has already croaked.
And then one day the owner was gone. K&R, my (hah) personal groundskeepers, who'd done work for her (and got stiffed), reported that the bank had repossessed. Since it was standing open, as in doors not just unlocked but hanging wide open, K invited me to have a look. The owner had sold off what she could and left a lot of stuff behind, just strewn all about the place. There was dog shit in the middle of the upstairs LR. And it reeked of dog pee, which had drenched the carpeting. R was of the view that the place had to be cleared out, even the drywall, down to the bones.
Not long ago someone was hired to clear out, stopping short of the drywall. He asked over the fence if he could use my hose. Sure, I said...and could I ask a favor – I'd like to get an “arial” view of my yard from the upstairs window. Sure, he said. The place was now almost clear. Different odor – he apologized for the strong floral scent...he was trying to counteract the dog-pee.
And since then it's stood empty.
Perhaps because of its odd location, not directly on a street, it's not obviously deserted – thus (so far) the lack of “crackers”.
I suggested to the church groundskeeper (as happy as I that the owner had gone – now he only had to mow instead of picking up diapers and cans...) that the church should buy the place, tear it down and add it to their parking.
“Good idea,” he said.
But rentals are being begged for and the real estate market is such that houses sell as soon as listed, sometimes unseen. So I expect that in due time, and well before my cedars grow up, someone else will be living there. And have a great view of my yard.