4 years ago, in September, Roon and I bought our first home. About 2 weeks later, we had our first run in with our HOA (Home Owner's Association, for those of you not lucky enough to be plagued by one). Apparently, even though everyone else on our street did it, putting your garbage can out in front of your house was a big no-no. $25 dollar fine. Well, for those of you who don't know me, or who haven't learned a thing or two about me through my blog yet, should know that I can be pretty feisty when provoked. Like someone once told me, wish I could remember who now, "I don't overreact, I'm just passionate". That's me. Some would call what happened next a temper tantrum, I call it "exerting my right to free speech."
I called the HOA, and basically said I wasn't paying their stupid fine, because I never got a warning. You were always supposed to get a warning, before receiving a fine.
Lucky for them, they waived the fine, and apologized, while welcoming us to our new neighborhood.
Life moved on. We received several notices over the next couple of years about our lawn being unkempt, with an accompanying picture to prove they weren't just making things up. We complied with every demand, and were able to avoid too much trouble with them.
Our trees set out to ruin our lives.
Our trees were dead when we moved in. In fact, the guy who schmoozed us into purchasing in our subdivision told us that they would replace our trees as part of our move in agreement. But, being new to the process, and naive to all things related to home ownership, we failed to get it in writing. ALWAYS get things in writing. EVEN THE STUPID STUFF!!!
Unfortunately, the guy who told us this, was transferred to a different location shortly after we moved in, and the new guy had no idea what we were talking about. No big deal. We don't really care about trees anyway...
In October of 2008, we got a notice in the mail, informing us of a city ordinance, that every residence must have NO FEWER than 2 flourishing trees in their front yard. If we did not comply, we would be fined. We had until January 23rd, to replace our trees. I bet you can guess what happened next...
On January 23rd, we got in the car, and headed to Home Depot, to buy ourselves a new tree. After all, January is the perfect month to plant a new tree, right? Luckily, we live in Texas, and it was a mild winter. We are nothing if not prompt.
To make a long story short(er) We planted a new tree, and it did not take kindly to our yard very well. We were not diligent about keeping it watered throughout the summer, until it started showing signs of distress, and we got another notice about our dead trees.
What the crap?! We had just replaced the thing, the other tree was alive (sort of)... give them some time to "flourish"!
We ignored the "warning" and diligently watered that tree. Maybe, a little TOO diligently, but the tree came back to life. It was a really wet summer, and early fall, and lo and behold, when October came again, our tree was dead (we, along with mother nature had OVER watered it.) and we received a fine.
Remember how I told you I'm kind of feisty? Well, basically I told them they could stick their fine where the sun don't shine. I told them, that the "warning" they sent was premature. After all, the tree had come back and flourished for a couple of weeks. She argued me on that point, even though the picture they had sent as "evidence" clearly showed little leaf buds on the tree. What the crap people!
I then got TICKED off! I told her that it was okay if they wanted to enforce the fine on me. But, if they were going to make me pay the fine, PLUS the money to replace the tree, that I was going to have to insist that she, or another member of the HOA come out to my house to witness the tree being replaced. When she realized I wasn't kidding, she agreed to remove our fine, on the condition that our tree be replaced within a reasonable amount of time.
Unfortunately, the weather this fall/winter/spring has been atrocious. Remember this? Well, we got another one just like it a week ago. Then, it has been raining so much I feel like I need to build an arc. I'm just waiting to go to my mailbox, and see a fine notice, which I honestly cannot argue with this time. After all, planting a tree in the rain, is totally feasable, right?
To borrow a line from "Chunk"... "I love the dark, I love the dark. But I hate nature, I HATE nature!"
If you have a moment that makes you want to scream, head on over to MiMi's and link up with her. I promise, it'll make you feel better!