Over the past few days, Marilyn has been participating in a photo challenge on her Serendipity blog… “Five Photos, Five Stories,” which she was asked to participate in by the first name in photo prompts, Cee’s Photography Blog. I decided to give it a shot this week as an excuse to show off a few of my non-squirrel photos that might otherwise not end up on my blog. The rules are simple…
1) Post a photo (or more!) each day for five consecutive days.
2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or nothing more than a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to you.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is supposed to be fun. It is not a command performance!
Don’t worry…. I’m not going to put the guilt trip on anyone by nominating them… you are perfectly free to latch on to this idea or not.
For Day 4, let’s set the WABAC machine to April 8, 2010… and this was the view from my bedroom window as I woke up a little before 8:00 AM:
The man in the T-shirt on the right is one of my neighbors from the next cul-de-sac down from me. The other two people are a reporter and a cameraman for one of the local news channels. Yes, they are standing in my backyard looking down at the ditch that borders the back of my property.
Anytime the TV news shows up, it obviously requires some backstory…
I moved into my house back in May 2009, and for the first year I lived here, this was a common sight whenever we got a good, soaking rain. The ditch runs right through the middle of my half of the “subdivision” (I hate that elitist term, but I technically do live in a subdivision even if it doesn’t have a fancy entrance or an evil homeowners association), and catches all the drainage from my end. The water is supposed to flow into a culvert near the top of that photo, which you can’t see in this picture because it’s underwater. Needless to say, the ditch was usually clogged up and was rarely cleaned.
A bunch of the homeowners, led by the old guy in the first photo, teamed up to raise hell to City Hall about the state of our ditch. My neighbors claimed it was the city’s duty to maintain the ditch since it was city property. The city claimed it was our responsibility to keep the ditch clean. I had absolutely no idea I had just moved into Ground Zero of the war between my subdivision and City Hall until I was suddenly caught in the middle of the headache!
In late March, the city finally backed down and agreed to clean the badly neglected mess of a ditch. Since I was at the end of the ditch where the culvert was located, and I did not have a fenced in yard, the city workers use my property as their “easement” to access the ditch. As you can see in the photo I took above, they brought out the heavy equipment to do the job…
They also left a huge fucking mess….
That’s the same nasty ass toxic sludge the neighbors were wanting removed from the ditch… which it was, and much of it wound up left in my yard. The ruts from the tires on their heavy equipment made the ground look more like the surface of Mars.
There are STILL scars from the wheel ruts you see above five years later. About the only good thing about this situation was that my back lawn was so torn up, it would only take half the time to cut the grass now!
I had more important fish to fry at the time…. like twin lithotripsy surgeries I had that March and April to break up a nearly 1 inch diameter kidney stone. But the old man down the road used his voice that speaks in riddles to raise all kinds of holy hell about the apocalyptic job they did on my yard… and that’s when he brought in the news crew.
Not even three minutes after I took that picture, the three of them came up to knock on my front door. Here I was, still bleary eyed and looking like a mess after getting my short Wednesday night nap, and I have a news camera stuck in my face and a reporter asking rhetorical questions about how I feel about what the city did to my yard.
I wish I could say my Millionaire appearance was my most recent moment of TV fame, but alas… this news story was. I did not watch it. I told NOBODY when it was going to air. Only those who happened to be watching that channel’s news the night it was shown saw me looking like a fucking drunk hillbilly, with the old man’s hat covering my bedhead, acting like I was all lathered up about a yard I rarely even venture out into… and unfortunately, that viewing audience seemed to be just about everyone who came in to work the morning after and asked if that was me they saw on the news last night…
But….. it did get action, and a return appearance by the city the following week.
They re-sodded the part of my yard that had previously looked like a battle scene from some sci-fi movie. That’s the only part of my backyard that gets sufficient sun exposure to grow tall grass…. and the
weeds grass that grows in that patch sprouts up like fricking wildfire, usually clogging up my mower. They were also kind enough to run their riding mower through my yard to spare me one hour long mowing session… and I even got this bonus:
They brought in a truck full of rock to make my driveway actually look like a driveway again! Well… at least for the year or two the rocks stayed above ground. My driveway looks more earthy than rocky again… which is nice for fooling people into thinking it’s safe to park in front of it…
Well, that was quite a strange but true story involving numerous pictures! I have no idea what I’m going to do for the finale of this prompt series…. but like each entry in this series so far, I’ll try to find something different than before!