Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The good, the bad and the ugly?

That is the saying right?  So I think you can gather from what I tend to write, I'm a pretty down to earth; hard-working; trustworthy; kind person - - right??  I may be biased, but yes I am.  What I have come to realize, unfortunately, is that no matter how close you stay on the straight and narrow in life; there is always someone or something that will test your resolve and faith if you will.  I will take you on a (shortened) journey of why I am posting this.

"The story of a young couple who worked very hard and saved every penny they had to buy their first home.  How excited they were; how lucky they felt to have been able to accomplish this goal at such a young age.  Paper after paper, signature after signature; it was finally theirs!  They began their new life, happy and excited about the future.  Making new friends around the neighborhood seemed so easy.  Forward two years later; a lovely daughter is born!  Eighteen months later a son!  How can they be so blessed they thought, a wonderful home and two perfect children; a cat; a dog - an American dream."

Now if I were to stop there, you would say to yourself, wow what a beautiful story.  Of course this timeline did not come without its trials and tribulations (as anyone's else's story).  My point is to show you the good and to now show some of the bad.  The ups and downs of life, if you will (hint hint this story is about my family and I). About two months ago, April 9th to exact, I get a knock at the door.  I open the door and I see before me a Town Inspector with a clip-board.  He pulls out a small 5x7 piece of paper stating "notice of complaint." Confused at this point, I listen closely as he began to list a number of things that we had in our home and on our property that may or may not have the proper permits and contracting approval from the town.  Even more confused, but confident, I blurt out "oh those were existing when we purchased the home." Cue in the dramatic music!  "Well mam, that just means you inherited the issues......"  I am not sure how long I stood there in complete silence and disbelief but the man obviously noticed as he said "Mam, are you alright?" Was I alright?  I kept repeating it in my head for a moment.  Blurting out the obvious; "NO I AM NOT ALRIGHT!"  By this time dollar signs were actually ringing in my head.  I politely said, "um okay so what does this mean, do you just drive past and randomly pick homes out for inspection?" Now here is the "bad and the ugly" part.  In his words "Mam, these complaints were called in by someone.  The town does not look into violations unless someone alerts them.  Someone who has been in your home or knows your home called these in." Who could it have been; who did we anger somehow; why would someone do this to us? As quickly as he was there he was gone as I stood trembling and dialing the number to my husband at work.  His reaction was a bit more angry, as you could probably imagine.  Thus started our journey to comply with the town.  Calls to the lawyer, calls to town officials and calls to adjusters.  Only to find out this was just something we had to take care of.  Also finding out that the cost of filing would be tripled because they were existing.  All the while, wondering who would do this, how will we pay for this??  We are good people, we work hard, upkeep our property, seemingly popular with neighbors, WHO? In the back of my mind, I knew.  Our one neighbor, the next door neighbor to be exact! But I had no proof.  How can I go ahead and accuse someone.  I couldn't, I wouldn't.  I was not raised that way.  Day after day, I would cry and wonder why this was happening.

We did eventually find out that it was that next door neighbor.  From that point on I decided to rise above it and just do what we had to do.  Somehow it would work out. We had also found out that she had done some other not-so-nice things to another neighbor as well so we were not alone.  Anger, hurt and revenge were at the forefront of my mind.  I began to reflect on this person.  I thought of how "ugly" a person she must be to do this to someone.  Then I thought that this "ugly" person must be so lonely and miserable to do things like this.  Then I began to think about my life, my home, my family and my friends and how lucky I really am.  We are healthy, we have a beautiful home and have the most amazing people in our lives.

The point of my story is simple - there are going to be bumps in the road.  Our patience and our faith and how we handle them will always be tested.  It is not in me to retaliate, it would only bring me down to their level.  The strength of a person is measured by their reactions to negative situations.  If I were to fight back, I would be no better then her.  Instead, I go on, I go outside with my children and laugh and play, I go and plant new flowers in my garden without feeling defeated.

I dedicate this blog post to my parents for raising me to accept things that I cannot change and to rise above them, even in the worst of situations. Thank you A & K!!

When I do good, I feel good.  When I do bad, I feel bad.  That's my religion.  ~Abraham Lincoln

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