Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Now, That Jus' Ain't Right

This afternoon the appraiser for our property showed up to take a few more pictures and measurements. I swear, the guy's about nine hundred years old, and he walks exactly like Tim Conway from the old Carol Burnett show. He was supposed to have finished this appraisal LAST weekend, but says that he'll actually be done this weekend. So, no offer from the county for us this week. What could I say? I didn't want him to have a stroke right here in my house because I got upset with him... as it was, I followed him around because I was terrified he was going to fall in our uneven back yard!

Then, not twenty minutes later, our elderly neighbor showed up on my doorstep. She's probably about 65 or so, and we've been friendly since we moved in, although since we have a privacy fence (we live near a small business, so I wanted the bigger fence) we don't talk as much as we otherwise would. Well, I opened the door, and the first thing out of her mouth was 'I need to talk to you.'

So, as an extra bonus to our entire moving situation, I got to tell this poor woman, who has lived in her home for fifty-plus years, about the demolition project that's coming our way. She had heard rumors of it a week ago from her neighbor on the other side who had had his house on the market until the county told him he couldn't sell it on the open market, and thought I might know something. I have to say, that was one of the most unpleasant experiences I have ever had.

She held it together pretty well, and talked about how she hopes to hang onto the back half of their property, which is about twice the size of ours, so they can build a smaller home on it. Her kids have all been born since they lived there, and two of them still live with her.

As an ultra-bonus, I got to have her drop the N-bomb, in addition to other inappropriate language, in front of Josie, who thank God wasn't listening that closely, I believe. The woman kind of slipped it in there, and I didn't say anything to her about it, because she's old, upset, and I didn't want to draw Josie's attention to it. If it was someone younger, or a different conversation, or someone we were going to be seeing regularly, or if Josie had heard clearly / not been there, I would have said something. As it is, I'm trying to think of a way to figure out if she heard it in a roundabout way so I can talk to her about it if she did. Ugh. At our last house, she was the only white child in her class two years in a row, so moving here to White Bread, USA was a big shift for us, particularly because we do run into racism more often now. Still, I was shocked to hear it.

Anyway, the Neighbor stayed for about forty minutes, and I was as helpful to her as I could be, giving her names of people I have talked to and telling her that I'll be in touch when we get our offer from the county so she'll have an idea what they're doing for us. I'm thinking I'll give her those things when we're ready to leave and everything's taken care of, just in case we're not technically supposed to share info. I could tell that she was close to tears a few times, but hopefully since they have a plan of what they want to do, it will get easier once they're adjusted to it. I can't imagine being in their position. Being in ours was shocking enough.

I feel like I should bill the county for mental health / PR assistance or something. I knew they hadn't talked to her as of last week, but seriously, you'd think once they've visited one neighbor, they'd talk to them all. Jeeze.


desperate housewife said...

You WOULD think that, wouldn't you? Crazy.
My grandma, incidentally, used to refer to "coloreds" all the freakin' time. Drove me up a WALL, but what are ya gonna do? She was eighty years old, my only child at the time was an infant who wasn't absorbing it, and I felt bad giving a senile old woman a lecture on racism. It felt a little... Belated.