Location, location, location
As friends from afar visit Lewistown -
I'm fairly certain they leave thinking
we're nuts. As our renovation evolves
our investment grows. Hence chances
of ROI narrow. Real estate experts say
to never purchase the best house on
the block. Beyond our dear neighbors
to the south, it's obvious that we did
NOT take their advice. Like it or not
most residing within our immediate
vicinity seem to think little of home
maintenance. And so unfortunately
there goes the neighborhood!
Last night Frank and I took an evening
stroll. As the Montana sun starts on it's
descent, our air turns crisp. Therefore
post a few glasses of vino it seemed a
good idea to take a turn around our
neighborhood. Sadly I must admit that
if nothing else - Lewistown continues
to be a work in progress. Most with the
means live far out of town on some sort
of acreage. For years town has been left
behind in their dust. And in many cases
what's still standing is crumbling. So,
what could be sadder than that?!
Sunday at church a friend mentioned
her daughter might be moving back
home. In fact, Mom and Dad were
house hunting that afternoon for the
kids. When asked where they were
looking, she mentioned a house two
blocks away - however she noted
"But that neighborhood has become
a bit sketchy." The truth be told, she's
right. Block by block there are pockets
of bliss and blight. And unless you're
an idiot, you can immediately assess
what is rental versus owner occupied.
Path of least resistance
The majority of nearby sidewalks
to our north are at best gravel pits.
Owners deferred maintenance to
a point of no return. The city says
it's the owner's responsibility. As
is also I assume any broken limbs
derived from tripping over debris.
Here and there you find a strip of
perfectly maintained concrete but
otherwise, it's rough out there. So
why are some residents willing to
step up while others are allowed
to literally live on a beaten track?
One of the reasons our sidewalks
are deteriorating is that some think
they're driveways. On our jaunt I
saw more boats, trucks, or trailers
parked off the street but right on
the sidewalk. Isn't their purpose
to provide a public right of way?
And who said you could turn our
neighborhood into a trailer park?
Have we no choice but to enlist
local officials to encourage you
to store all of your recreational
vehicles in an appropriate place?
Frank and I joke that our next business
venture should be a storage facility. All
appear to be full of castoffs. Yet sadly
it's apparent that many of our neighbors
have neither the space nor inclination
to pick up their toys. Imagine living
across from another's castoffs! If one is
forced downscale by residing adjacent
to a junkyard - who compensates them
for lost equity? Being a member of the
community means treating each other
with courtesy and respect. Isn't it time
that you finally cleaned up your act?!
Git along little dawgie
As most of you know, I want a dog
more than anything. However post
some local research - it's apparent
that the lower one's standard of
living the more canines behind the
chain link perimeter. As we passed
several homes ravenous animals
seemed ready, willing, and able to
devour any interlopers. In such a
dog eat dog world why are some
allowed to throw their neighbors to
the wolves? Has Lewistown finally
gone to the dogs? If so, that bites!
I'm the first to admit that I don't love
yard work. However if one owns a
home there should at least in theory
be some level of pride of ownership
displayed. Several nearby homes had
front lawns that looked like prairies
rather than plots. When it gets to the
point where one's only option is to
swing a scythe - it's grown too far.
Don't we all owe it to our neighbors
to trim our green stuff occasionally?
One reaps what one sows and as far
as I'm aware - haying isn't mowing.
While I enjoy watching Ma and Pa
Kettle on the screen - I really don't
want to live next door to them. As
one travels further down the genetic
chain - the lower one's standards
tend to descend. Money has nothing
to do with keeping up appearances.
Pride, responsibility, and courtesy
are FREE. Add a bit of effort and
there's no reason we ALL can't live
in a better place. Hence it's time to
clean up our mess by holding each
other responsible. Got it homie?
The cowboy way
At this point you may be wondering if
I regret moving out west. Nothing could
be farther from reality. Lewistown is an
amazing place to live. While there are
times when it's live and let live attitude
can be challenging, I wouldn't have it
any other way. We love our home and
don't intend to leave until they carry us
out. Pride of place is the ultimate feel
good. Rather than accept less we all
should expect more of each other. It's
time for everyone to cowboy up and
ride off into the sunset! Giddy up!