We've been living in our neighborhood, in the same house, for 22 years. Neither of these two first houses is mine, but you get the idea of what the neighborhood looks like. It's a lovely neighborhood where everyone cares about their lawns and the street appeal of their homes. Being a smallish town of around 100,000, most of us know one another in our neighborhood, or we've at least heard of one another, or seen one another in passing & wave.
Then, about 6 years ago we were invaded by an alien who began buying properties and building a gargantuan mansion. Life, as we knew it, will never be the same.Let's call him *Mork*, shall we? Please feel free to click on the pictures for a larger, more astonishing view.
First of all, *Mork* bought and tore down one of my favorite houses in the world. That accounts for Strike Number One. I can't begin to tell you what a charming house it was. I used to play in it as a child and have wonderful memories of it. Then *Mork* tore it down. *Mork* tore it down 6 years ago and began building his dream home. Six years ago. His dream home is a 3 story structure that towers over a neighborhood filled with mostly one story homes & a sprinkling of modest 2 story homes. This accounts for Strike Number 2. Is anyone starting to get the drift here? *Mork's* home-to-be also covers an entire city block. An entire city block. I'd say this accounts for Strike Number Three. For six long years we have endured the work crews, the trucks, the caterpillars, the semi-trucks, the workers & their trucks and the traffic of gawkers 24 hours a day. I'd say that accounts for Strike Number 4.
He reportedly paid a cool one million dollars for the house & property. This is a well known fact around town. He paid a million dollars to tear down the existing house & fill in the pool. That calls for Strike Number 5. This is just the left side of the house.
Once several years ago, he came to us (and the all the other neighbors) with a proposal for a "fence" he was wanting to build. This is a picture I took while stopped at the stop sign, before inching out. Click on the picture for a larger view. Little did we know we were signing up for the alien to build a replica of the Great Wall of China. I kid you not. Now, when stopping at the stop sign at the corner, one must inch out halfway into the street in order to determine if there are any cars coming. By the time you've pulled out far enough to see, you could could be slammed by an oncoming car. But, gee, we were the fools, weren't we? I had honestly envisioned a sturdy picket fence with solid rock posts or something. Hmmmm... I'd say that accounts for Strike Number 6.
Some days, when they have a particularly large delivery of trees or European windows or whatever the delivery dujour is, the semi-trucks delivering them, block the entire street until it's been unloaded. This forces anyone traveling in that direction to turn around & take another route. So, they use any number of driveways down the street to turn around. It's annoying and it takes a toll on your driveway. After an additional 100+ times of people pulling in & out besides you. Because the street isn't wide enough with all the parking of worker's trucks and all. Jiminey Cricket! I'd say that qualifies for Strike Number 7.
Now, before all of this madcap building began, the house that stood on that property was a modest two-story house, no taller than many of the trees on the property. It fit well into the neighborhood of mostly upper middle class homes that were built back during the first big oil boom in the 1950's. The former house that stood on said property was the favorite house of many who live here in our town. They also had a wonderful vegetable garden on the side where they used to grow a huge field of corn. Yes, corn. Right here in town. The best corn I ever ate. Probably because my neighbor/friend & I sneaked down to the corner at midnight to steal it. Made the corn ever so much sweeter. So, perhaps you can understand why I miss the old place. I miss our moonlight escapades & all the giggles as much as the corn. So, I'd say this unequivocally qualifies for Strike Number 8.
*Mork* also bought the property behind him. It was another one of my favorite houses and had a gorgeous swimming pool in the backyard. Again, he tore the house down and filled in the pool. He reportedly bought that house for $800,000.00, although it was being listed to sell for $625,000.00. To tear it down and fill in the pool. What's the matter with kids today? Apparently some have more money than sense. Holy Crap! That would make Strike Number 9.
*Mork* told us the former garden area is going to be made into their English Garden. How lovely. In West Texas. Good luck with that. He's also building a playhouse for his 5 children that looks to be as big as our four bedroom house. I suppose with 5 kids, you need a playhouse that big, but it is also 3 stories. Leapin' Lizzards! That most definitely calls for Strike Number 10.
*Mork* seems to have adjusted quite well to our planet. He started collecting classic vintage cars (fully restored to their former beauty) and has now collected 8 in all. (which is, of course, only hearsay) So, where is *Mork* going to keep all of these cars? In his underground garage, of course! He's currently putting in an underground parking garage that reportedly will accommodate dozens of cars. Call me crazy, but I'd say that makes for Strike Number 11.
UPDATE! Now, after meeting with city council and a few of the neighbors, he has thankfully withdrawn that request & has chosen to house his fleet of vintage cars elsewhere. Sure. That should be fun. Not. Ever. I can't imagine why he didn't check into this before he made all those plans. In our part of town, which is an older area, the rules are a bit different concerning easements and exactly what kinds of things can be done to the properties. The original lawyers who built in this neighborhood way back when, were not fools. So, Minus Strike Number 11.
All this has been going on now for 6 long years and I cannot help but wonder if his children aren't going to be grown before they ever get to play in the air conditioned, landscaped playhouse. Not that I care. I shudder to think of what teenagers can do in a playhouse that size. Word from the grapevine says that it is supposed to be another 2 years before the entire estate is finally completed. That right there just makes me crazy, so of course, we now have Strike Number 11.
Moving on along. Many of our trees have been dying and we're of course, convinced that the huge three story house is blocking our sunlight, which is the reason the trees are dying. Last year, on a day that we had wind gusts up to 70 mph, our carport roof blew completely off & landed on the sidewalk to the front door. We're now convinced that the large house is creating wind shears, which caused our roof to blow off, and damaging parts of our roof on the house as well. Well, in theory anyway. Hehehehe... I'd be willing to say that this adds up to a nice fat Strike Number 12. Of course, we never said anything to *Mork* or the insurance company. You know, because it's just an aerodynamically incorrect theory for ourselves, to explain how such a freaky thing could happen.
So this, too shall be an ongoing saga.... since the building is apparently going to continue for an additional 2 years.
This is a picture of the place where the English Gardens will eventually be. The children's playhouse is in the distance, to the left, still being built (behind the caterpillar).
This is our house, lol.They're going to love us being their neighbors. Yeeeehaaaaaaaa!!!! Bring on the chitlins and hog jowls, Pa! And don't forget those sweetbreads now, ya hear??? We're plannin' a party for them thar folks over thar. Yaaahoooooo, Mama! Let's go! So sorry for that outburst, but living down the street from this place is making me feel like we are The Beverly Hillbillys.
If you think this is our house, then you seriously need to quit reading my blog. Now. Shoo! Go!
No actual persons mentioned in this story exist in the real world and therefore, I will not be held responsible for someone thinking it is them because of their inflated ego. Really, I was just wandering around when I found this place. Really! Honest! There were also no animals harmed in the making of this story or the taking of these pictures.
If he'd just buy our house for an incredibly ridiculously overpaid price, I'd happily sing his praises. Until then... Pffffttttt! This rant has been brought to you by Snooty Primadona.