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BellaOnline's Midlife Editor

Home Ownership - Summertime, lawns, pet peeves

I have owned my own home(s) most of my life. I purchased my first house when I lived on Long Island; I bought it when I was younger and first married (later on I managed to buy my former husband out of his share of the house). That was the longest period of time I had ever spent in any one home/location. My parents were always moving around - it seemed. We lived in two separate residences in Queens in my childhood - then moved to Long Island, New York, when I was 13. To my way of thinking that constant uprooting for a child can have a negative impact on them - as it did me. I was 13 at the time - and that’s about the worst time to make such changes in an adolescent’s life. But, I digress.

Flash forward to the present. I sold my home in New York and moved to a state where my daughter had set down roots quite a while prior to my moving here. I bought a home here several years ago and it is a charming ranch home. It’s not a big house - but it fits me just perfectly. It has nice little ‘bells and whistles’ to it that you wouldn’t find in New York homes unless you were having them custom built. Yet, in the state I've moved to, it would be considered a modest home, one which I would classify as affordable for most people. If you were to purchase a house like mine on Long Island, in New York, it would cost probably three times over what I paid for it here; much more than what I would be able to afford. New York real estate had gotten ‘out of control’ until the bubble did finally burst some years back. Sometimes I do wish I could transport my house to New York - but then, of course, I think of my grandson, who I would miss terribly, and the moment passes; not to mention the outrageous taxes homeowners pay in New York! eeek, no thanks. Besides, most of my friends have long since moved away out of New York - and most of those friends now reside in Florida.

Be that as it may, I digressed once again. I went a wee bit off-topic. The topic is being a homeowner. I wanted to mention a few of my ‘pet’ peeves. The word ‘pet’ is quite appropriate as one of my complaints is that for some reason, since buying this house, randomly some people who walk their dogs on my block at times have parked their dogs on my lawn and allowed them to answer nature’s call right there on my newly aerated, fertilized and seeded lawn. I feel that when people put their hard-earned money into their lawn/property, it is disrespectful to thumb your nose by allowing your pet(s) to relieve themselves wherever they choose, especially if it happens to be someone else's lawn. It has become one of my missions at this point in time to restore my lawn since a year or two ago when it was so hot and dry that it ruined many lawns. I find it so rewarding when I take care of something and nurture it along and then ultimately get to see the fruits of my labor.

The money that a homeowner might pay to a lawn care company is being thrown out the window because of these few inconsiderate neighbors - or maybe it’s the same neighbor, I just haven’t caught them yet. There are times when I think to myself - ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’. Maybe that is being too dramatic, especially in this case - but what I mean by it is - that as a punishment to those people, if anyone was to throw their dog’s deposit back on their own lawns, that would be A-OK with me. The punishment would fit the crime, don’t you think?

My other ‘pet’ peeve is that although I have put a small sign on my front porch saying 'No Solicitors' - sales people still insist on ringing my bell - and I am appalled at the vehemence I encounter from many of them who refuse to vacate my porch when I ask them to after explaining to them that I am not interested in what they are selling. I had to literally close my door on a salesman who refused to take 'no' for an answer. It was un-nerving to say the very least! Some of them have even gotten so aggressive, that they expect me to go into a valid reason as to why I'm not going to stand and listen to them for 15 minutes trying to talk me into something I know I don't want from the getgo. AT&T is one of the big culprits. I told a salesman from another company one day that I was on the phone and he said 'that's okay, this won't take long'...so his rudeness then literally forced me to close the door while he was still talking my ear off....

There are minuses but of course there are a lot of plusses to owning your own home - privacy, freedom to do a lot of things you could not do as an apartment dweller, fixing your property and your house up to your own specifications, profiting from it when you sell it, and -- of course, just plain enjoying it - the list goes on and on.

It is a huge responsibility to own and not for everyone. But the few times I’ve lived in an apartment, I did not feel it was a real home. But, when I put it all into perspective, however, I realize that nothing is permanent, nothing is forever. Those houses and automobiles we purchase will still be around and owned by someone else long after we have passed on. But, it gives one such satisfaction when you take care of something and can look at it and feel proud that you have kept it well. It gets the pheromones or seratonin flowing. And, that’s a good thing.

Happy Watering! Have a Good Week - until next time!

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