Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Hotel

In 2002, when the Matron was pregnant with Merrick, John stumbled across their dream house!

This house has hidden treasures, starting with its deceptively demure appearance. It's big! Here's the back view.

And the view from the back? Breathtaking, year round.

Imagine the Matron, five-months pregnant with an agent awaiting a novel, touring this house. She could not fathom being so lucky as to live here! Or how in the world she would actually manage the move!

Everywhere she looked, there were good lines and gleaming wood.

And a beautiful garden!

But the very best part? She would have her own office! A room of her own.

There was a brand new kitchen, just waiting for John to clean and care for (ahem).

This house was also near a regional park - a place to play and a fine expanse for the daily run.

So the Matron and her husband miraculously secured this house! As they prepared to move in, there was just one problem. And it had nothing to do with being increasingly hugely pregnant while moving, writing a novel, and caring for a four and six-year old.

It was this:

That's the picture the Matron surreptiously took this very morning. She can't stand in front of the house and snap with abandon, because its front lawn is littered with people. Clearly and substantially medicated people.

This alarmed the Matron. She loved her new house. Loved the neighborhood. But one block down was clearly some kind of group home peopled by a large number of adults fueled by thorazine. The Matron wondered what type of problem these people had? Were they mentally ill or simply disabled? Dangerous to children?

She moved in and made it her quest to scour the neighborhood for knowledge. Surely, one of her new neighbors knew the exact nature of the home. For an entire year, the Matron inquired. "Do you know what kind of disability or mental illness they're licensed for?"

Not one soul knew. Indeed, at parties and potlucks and neighborhood gatherings, everywhere --everyone confirmed: not one person had any inkling about what kind of residents lived next door.

There was a whole lot of this: "Wow, isn't that strange that nobody knows!" and this "funny that we don't know. But there's never been a problem there" and "can't say that anybody ever has asked. Those folks keep to themselves pretty much."

Yes -- from the people living directly next door to those two blocks down--the neighborhood demonstrated a general sense of ignorance and incredulity at said state.

So the Matron, a bit obsessive and fearing pedophiles and ax-murderers who could potentially 'wake up' from their slumber, did a little research and saw that the property was owned by the state of Minnesota. A few more steps and she found the appropriate state agency to call. She even secured a phone number to call for the exact scoop on what kind of folk resided down the street.

But just as she was set to hit that 'dial' button? She could not bring herself to call! Who was she to mess with neighborhood karma? The control freak Matron put down that phone. She felt like it was the destiny of the house and neighborhood to not know. Trust her. This attitude does not come naturally. She was probably shaking when she set aside that phone.

And nearly seven years later? Not one negative peep or red flag waving from the big huge house.

Yesterday, when one of the residents embarked upon a two hour somabulist shuffle up and down the street (as they sometimes do), Merrick simply moved his scooter out of the man's way and said this: "It's nice to make woom fow the people from the hotel because they can't weally walk wight."

Part of what's normal around here.


Kristen said...

Good for you! Leave well enough alone. It usually takes years of therapy to get to that point. Proud of you!

TexasDeb said...

Merrick nailed it. It IS nice to make room for people who cannot necessarily claim that room for themselves.

I think after years of no-incident neighboring you already know what you need to know about that house and its residents. Clearly they are being well screened and pose no danger. What else would be more important? Well played.

Lynda said...

Merrick is so cute! I would still want to know, though...

Anonymous said...

I think you should further publicize the non-event nature of your experience living next door to a mental health facility. People need to know that it is not the same as living by rowdy drinkers/partiers or loud-music-playing teenagers or dump-the-garbage-in-the-street mouthbreathers.

Hurrah for Merrick! You raised him right.

Anonymous said...

You can reallly write. Plus you attract weirdness in a good way.

Amy said...

I have house envy. Kinda similar to other types of envy *cough cough*. And your boy sure is compassionate and smart. Must of been raised right?

Heather said...

I'm impressed with your restraint. I think I'd need to know.

And Merrick is adorable.

Daisy said...

I'm coveting the office space... I'll get "mine" when daughter finally graduates and moves away on her own. Maybe. I hope.

thefirecat said...

Mewwick is awesome.

(or should that be aresome?)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Why does everything sound so much better when Merrick says it?

MJ said...

It's amazing what we'll accommodate when we found a house that we love! I understand your love! You have a beautiful home!

Nora said...

We have a home like this in our n-hood. Also, not a peep. Except I don't have an office of my own. Crap.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I want to live there. I mean your house. Not the house of unknown repute.

The Matron? She's wise and good.

Sunder said...

Ahhhh, zen moments! Gotta love'em!