Making peace with suburbia.

Little boxes on the hillside,                        Little boxes made of ticky tacky.               Little boxes on the hillside,                           Little boxes all  the same.                        There’s a green one and a pink one            And a blue one and a yellow one.             Little boxes made of ticky tacky                 And they all look just the same.                       ~ Malvina Reynolds

Little Boxes was written in 1962 by Ms. Reynolds and then made into a minor hit by Pete Seeger in 1963.  It’s a satire on American suburban living.  I thought it was both hilarious and rather sad back then and I still think so today.  And here I am, divorced and living right in the middle of suburbia, in my little gray box made of ticky tacky.

I have been quite comfortable here since April 2008.  It really is more space than I need but it accommodates all my suburbia stuff and I have felt pretty good about it.  Right now the insurance is paying to have all manner of repairs done to it because of hail storm damage.  This is like a windfall because I had no idea I had damage.  Many of my neighbors were getting work done because of the storm and I decided maybe I should have my house checked out.  I started with the roof but then the insurance company sent out a disaster adjuster and he found lots problems caused by the hail.  So very soon my little box will be in ship-shape order again without my having to pay for it.  And that’s the good news.

I am accustomed to bumps in the road.  That’s life and for the most part I have learned to deal with them.  But I become a little discombobulated when one of those bumps seems to threaten my physical safety.  Or when something doesn’t feel right and I’m not sure whether to feel threatened or not.  Such was the case last night.  At about 10:10 my doorbell rang.  That has happened only one other time, that late at night, since I’ve lived here and it was a neighbor inviting me to a party.  No big deal.  I said “Who is it?”  She said, “It’s A.”  I opened the door and we had a pleasant exchange.  Last night, I turned on the light, looked through the peep-hole and didn’t see anyone.  I asked my question twice and twice no one answered.  I know all of the it was probably…messages to give myself but I still felt uncomfortable.  So I called my next-door neighbor and he looked around outside his house and mine and saw nothing out of the ordinary.  He assured me I had not awakened him and I should call him whenever anything was amiss.  Bless him.

So the bad news is that someone has disrupted my blissful acceptance of suburbia right when I was making peace with it.  I’ll be sure to set the alarm and keep my cell phone by my side at night.  In the meantime I would like to give that someone a piece of my mind for temporarily taking away my peace of mind.  Here’s a Brooklyn cheer for you, Buster!


7 thoughts on “Making peace with suburbia.

  1. Pat,

    Know that I read your blog frequently, just don’t post that often. You’re frequently in my thoughts and at least once every day when I check to see if you’ve updated your blog. Keep up that fine writing – mountain girl.



  2. Hi Tish. I’ve missed you. Hope you had a great trip.

    The officer and I discussed the teens and their restlessness last night. BTW, he told me to call if it happens again, that I can’t call too often because they want to drive through often. He also said I should call if I see anyone walking around after dark and they will come check it out. He was super nice and did not make me feel stupid for calling.


  3. Remember that it’s August and teen-agers have been out of school too long and couple that with the heat. You did the right thing calling the police. I had that happen to me here in this small little beach community, but didn’t think to call the police. Mr. B of course barked his head off and I turned on all the lights. The neighbor across the street also got a knock. Another neighbor said to always call the police because they willingly come out.

    As a funny story, you may remember me telling you about this….I’m on the phone at the lake house with our mutual friend, B, at night when hubby is out of town. I hear a knock at the french doors to the breakfast area. I keep B on the cell while calling my neighbor on the landline who did the same as yours and checked everything out for me. Triple locked all the doors and left outside lights on all night. A couple of days later our resident ducks came up the door and pecked on it during the day. Guess they just wanted some food or to come in and visit 🙂 Gave me a great laugh.


  4. Thanks, Ducks. I think it’s a prankster too. Whoever it is he/she did it again last night after 11:00. This time I talked with the police and they insisted on sending an officer out. He said that since our little neighborhood is usually so quiet, they seldom come out here but they were going to increase their presence for a while. And so I went to bed and slept soundly knowing that Charlotte’s finest was watching over me. 🙂


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