Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A tale of empty houses

OUR BLOCK IN Calftown is quiet and a nice place to live. One thing I don't like, however, is the fact there are four vacant houses in our block.

One is on a corner and should be torn down, and the owner, if there is one, should be forced to swim against the dirty Mississippi River current. He or she or it has never taken care of the house or lawn. Nobody has lived in it since we moved into our house more than five years ago. It's falling apart and there's no way it is move-in ready. It's pathetic, really, an eyesore on a block that has really nice houses.

The house next to it just got fixed up, after being empty for about four years. It was completely gutted inside, got a new roof, and the outside was transformed into a respectable two-story structure. It's now for sale. I hope we get good neighbors - almost everybody else on our block is great.

The other one across the street went into foreclosure last year. At least the bank or somebody mows the grass and keeps an eye on it.

Then there's the house down on the other corner. It's been empty for maybe three years, until a Quincy guy bought it. The guy's father is slowly fixing it up, which is better than not fixing it up at all. I guess.

The first time I saw the gentleman, I went up to say hello, and he scowled at me and went back inside. Later I learned he was mad at Lucy, our late Border Collie and the best dog ever, because she dared to walk on his lawn.

I call him the Crabby Old Man. I know it's not a very Christian thing to do. But he's crabby. And old. And if he doesn't like my dogs, well .... there are places reserved in other places for people like that.

I've stopped walking Tucker and Bella around the block by his house during the day, when he's there. We go up the alley instead. The weeds are much friendlier to us.

I hope he gets the house fixed up, eventually, and we get more good neighbors when he rents it out. But the dogs and I will say hello to the weeds until he does.

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