Closed Door

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Part 37


Dear Diary, 

We’ve had a full week of clear weather which hasn’t happened in a while.  The thermometer doesn’t reflect it but it feels a little cooler without all the humidity resting at near one hundred percent all day long. 

Cal is actually at home tonight and I’m having a hard time not laughing.  I can hear his snores all the way down the hall even with his door closed.  I suppose I should cut him some slack, he’s been working really hard with only limited overtime to show for it.  Every cop in the county has been doing the same.  Things are finally settling down but they are nowhere near “normal.”  Whatever normal is supposed to mean anymore. 

The primary reason that crime has dropped off is that the kids are officially back in school.  They were two weeks late starting because the schools were still being used as shelters for those made homeless by the hurricane but those people have finally been evicted – a lot of them didn’t want to give up their free room and board at the city, state, and county’s expense – the campuses cleaned up and the kids reinstalled. 

Fewer domestic calls, fewer calls about vandalism and petit theft, fewer loitering calls and public nuisance calls.  The home invasion calls have gone up but that’s a different demographic usually.  Shoplifting reports remain high as well for obvious reasons.  Pawn shops and grocery stores now have 24/7 on-site security guards.  Dorrie’s Uncle Darryl and one of her other uncles switch off in guarding their liquor store ‘round the clock.   

Dorrie’s family figured out a way to get people to use their gas station more often than many of the others.  They are allowing the “twenty” in the store to include grocery store gift cards and prepaid calling cards.  They are also carrying less and less general merchandise except for some auto type stuff like oil and fuel treatment.  They also purchased a commercial ice machine that pays for itself.  They shut down the deli which was losing money and now rent that side out to a guy that does small engine repair or minor car repairs and he accepts barter.  He even does a bit of welding and I paid the guy to repair the hitch on the trailer when the lock thingie broke when I unexpectedly hit a pothole hidden under a palm frond that had fallen on the road. 

That was a bill I didn’t need but the trailer has been a Godsend and I don’t know how I would do what I need to do without it.  Cal also paid the guy to do some welding on some upright, commercial grade fence posts.  The guy is the type that asks no questions and answers none himself so when he welded those uprights that seemed for no particular purpose he didn’t seem interested in the least. 

Cal has decided he is going to mount the solar panels near the ground instead of to a roof so that they will be easier to remove and store in case of another storm.  He is only doing a few additions at a time so that it draws less attention.  He’s holding off until they are finished with the road in particular so that the less traffic in the area the better. 

I was worried there because for about a week they were considering doing the old “imminent domain” thing on that side of my property but then they agreed to drop it as long as I agreed to sign a contract saying that I would not sell any of my land to a commercial or waterfront developer and kept my dock below a certain size.  I asked them that if I could trace various branches of my family to the land for over a hundred and fifty years why would I all of a sudden just up and sell it to any yahoo that came along?  The county guy just sort of blinked at me like he didn’t understand that type of family history at all. 

He came back two days later and I found out he wasn’t stupid he just hadn’t believed me.  He asked if I had ever considered deeding the land to the state wildlife people.  My answer was to the point and clear enough that even a DC bureaucrat could understand it. 

After the guy had left I walked around the house to find Cal and Josh nearly rolling on the ground trying to hold their laugher in at the stunned look the guy had had on his face after I explained things.  Honestly, sometimes those two are nothing but a couple of oversized boys.  Big feet, big hands, big appetites … at least that time they knew when to keep their big mouths shut. 

I’ve been giving the house a seriously good cleaning, especially the windows and walls.  Old houses “breathe” better than the hermetically sealed things that pass for a modern home so I haven’t had to worry about mold and mildew so much but everything has had that sticky icky feeling you get when it’s been humid all summer long.   

I was even up in the attic today – what a joy that is I simply can’t express – and found a honey bee nest the size of two basketballs.  Not sure how they got in but it has been interesting trying to get them to relocate without dislocating something vital avoiding one of the flying devils.  I think they might be between the walls too as when I opened one of the windows honey kind of oozed out of a nail hole.  Sigh.  This is going to be another fun project and a half.

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