Vermont is No Longer the Place We Call Home
Forgive me, dear reader, for I have sinned. It has been three months since my last post. We have been quite busy. This post will be a recap of sorts because the details of our sorted and drama-filled saga is enough to fill a book. Yes, a book, and if all the details were set in place you might even be tempted to believe our story was a bit of fiction.
So where do I begin?
My last post was about my beautiful daughter Hannah on her birthday. We were in the process of moving to a new location because the gorgeous house we were renting was on the market and we couldn’t afford to purchase it. Mr. Scrumpy came into our lives like an adorable wrecking ball and we were excited to move to a place with some land for farming. I had big plans for that little house.
And then we moved in the beginning of July.
After signing a year lease, my son Noah needed to come home from New Mexico to live with us. He was taking a break from school and he needed to figure out what his priorities were and to set new goals for himself. The house we were renting was a two bedroom. Needless to say, we weren’t able to back out of our lease for a larger home with three bedrooms.
So there we were in this little house with our crazy dogs and a very sweet little neighborhood. We met the neighbors and everything seemed like it would be a good experience.
We had two great neighbors and two absolutely shitty neighbors. There really isn’t any other way to describe them. Shitty neighbor number one had this wiener dog that would NOT stop barking. He barked in his house, on the property, and then would come over to our property by our dogs. He stressed out Silly, terrorized Simmi while on her bike or walking down the street, and was never on a leash. His owner allowed and encouraged him to go where ever he wanted. She felt he had a right to be on our property, bothering my dogs, and emotionally upsetting my daughter.
Shitty neighbor number two was a social worker who didn’t like the way Simmi walked Mr. Scrumpy and would come outside to threaten to call the police and animal control on Simmi. If she wasn’t threatening her, she was threatening to call the police on Dom and I if we didn’t watch our kid when Simmi was walking Mr. Scrumpy. The real problem was that her dogs stayed on the south side of the house and Simmi liked to play on the hill that faces her house. She would run up and down the little hill with Mr. Scrumpy and this shitty neighbor’s dogs would bark incessantly at her. It got to the point where she needed to put up curtains so the dogs would stop barking. Needless to say, this inconvenienced her and led to her making nasty comments to Simmi if she was outside.
Without getting into all the details of the next few months, I will just say that things got ugly very quickly as both shitty human beings decided to threaten, bully, and one of them even come onto our property without our consent to do as she pleased on many occasions.
I am a protective mother. The behavior of shitty neighbor #1 did not mix well with my inability to allow people to walk all over me or my family. Its one thing to personally challenge me, it is quite another to step onto my property, berate me in front of my child, scream obscenities, and scare my child. My dogs, well, they can get over it. But my offspring? Hell no, it’s unacceptable.
After a month of ongoing drama, it came to a head with shitty neighbor #1 coming into my yard with her dog. It wasn’t my finest moment, I’ll admit it, things got ugly. She refused to leave my property with her dog, my daughter was clearly upset, and I needed to do something extreme to make this woman understand that she cannot come onto our property with her dog and touch my animals. As she continued to defy my orders for her to leave my property, I took out a hose and sprayed her with it. I didn’t just spray her, I drenched her 100% in back and then in the front. She put her hands behind her back as I sprayed her so I sprayed her face. She didn’t flinch…she was like a damn zombie.
It was a surreal Jerry Springer moment. One of our very lovely neighbors intervened, and if she didn’t, I would have had to call the police, because this woman would NOT leave my property, even after spraying her with the water.
As I said, it wasn’t my finest moment. I sprayed her with the hose, repeatedly. I did that. But you know what? Something magical happened in that moment that forever turned that horrible moment into a treasured memory…Simmi was no longer afraid.
You see, Simmi was terrified of that wiener dog and even more scared of shitty neighbor #1. When I took out that hose and started spraying shitty neighbor #1, it wasn’t only the act of spraying her that broke Simmi’s fear of this woman, it was the fact that I told Simmi to get me the hose, and then for her to turn on the water that empowered her to understand that this lady can’t hurt her.
That to me was a victory. My daughter overcame a very real fear that day. It was like spraying the boogie man…boogie woman is more like it.
I videotaped this event, as well as all of my altercations with this woman. I posted it on Facebook after it happened, and I got mixed reviews. Some thought I was well within my rights as a parent to protect my child and animals from an offender who wouldn’t take no for an answer. And then there were others who felt I went way too far and that I was wrong in spraying this woman.
I’m a big girl so I can handle both sets of opinions, but the opinion that I refuse to accept is from those who didn’t have the courage to talk directly to me, but instead chose to talk about my actions with others out of cowardice, gossip and a belief that I was dead wrong in how I handled things. No problem though, because those kinds actions show me that they thought way too much of their own moral high ground, could not empathize or even view things from my point of view and did not feel close enough to me to say it to my face. If you can’t tell me to my face, your opinion doesn’t matter, and it never will.
After my watery altercation, I sent an email to our landlord to let him know that we would start looking for another place to live.
Then something tragic happened. My son was driving home one night and hit a horse when she walked into the road after getting loose from her paddock. The horse rolled up onto the hood of the car and windshield and then fell to the ground. Noah stayed with the horse until she died. After she died, he went banging on doors to find the owners.
The death of a horse is devastating. It was very hard for Noah to get passed, but he did it. Noah walked away from the accident without a scratch. The police and firemen shook their heads not understanding how he walked away from the car without a scratch.
While all this was going on, we were in search of a new home. We didn’t know where we would go. There were no affordable rentals at that moment, and Dom and I had to figure out whether Vermont was really financially sustainable for us. Rent is very high there, as is the cost of living in general. We were in panic mode, and because both of us have fond memories of Maine, that was the first place we looked. It’s our process. There were no prospective places for us in Maine, so we kept looking.
Then, in a chance encounter, we had some personal business to attend to in Virginia and while we were there we ended up getting new jobs. Go figure! We were open to this new direction in our lives, and we finished packing up our things but, we had nowhere to live. That pesky thing called a home seemed to be eluding us.
So, even though we had nowhere to live, we got a PO Box in the town we wanted to be in, and packed up the rental truck. The day we were set to move we still didn’t have a permanent address to call home. Talk about flying by the seat of our pants! A little house became available for us to stay at until we could find something more suitable, and it meant that we would need to move AGAIN just a few weeks after arriving.
We arrived in Virginia on September 13th, and finally, we have a little cottage to call home. We haven’t moved in yet, and at the time of writing this post, we are still in boxes in the temporary house. October 1st is our move-in date. It comes at the perfect time too. We need to get new licenses and to get the cars registered, and we didn’t want to have to do that twice.
Dom started work last week. My work is a little slow going right now, and it’s a good thing because I probably wouldn’t get much done with all the moving packing and unpacking we need to do again.
So that’s a recap of three months of drama. My next post will be from our cute little tiny cottage that sits at the top of a hill in one of the most gorgeous valleys I’ve ever seen. It’s truly breathtaking here.
I have a friend who lives in our new town. I’m so excited that we will be neighbors!
We truly love it here. The area we are in reminds me of Vermont with its rolling hills. The people are very VERY friendly which caught us off guard. Everyone in this tiny community already knows who we are and many of them have already come by to say hello and give us homegrown tomatoes and homemade jelly. They bring their dogs by, and I must say, there is one dog here that completely redeemed its breed. Her name is Noodle, and she is a little wiener dog just like the one that used to terrorize Simmi. Only this time, Noodle plays ball with Simmi at the playground, and they stop by our house to say hello.
A redeemed breed I tell ya!
Life is good here. I never thought we would be over Maine. It was the place we thought we would go back to at some point. It haunts me. There is something magical about Maine that will always have my heart, but we are not meant to be there. That much is true.
We will miss our dear friends in Vermont. We loved living there until our shitty neighbor experience. It left a bad taste in our mouths for sure. But if those bad experiences never happened, we wouldn’t have had new doors open to us.
Thank god for shitty neighbors, friends that are more like family, and for a God who always watches over us and provides for us, even at the very last moment.
Here are a few snapshots of our life over the last three months: