George and Weezy Jefferson

1 08 2007

After a traumatic event (stray bullets hit our home, during a drug dispute gone bad), we recently took part in a phenomenon known as white flight. We now live in what I now realize is the “slums” of a very nice town – if an area of homes ranging from $150,000 – $225,000 could be considered slums.

When the police responded to the call about the shooting at our former residence, they suggested that if we didn’t want bullets to hit our house, we shouldn’t live in that area. We took their advice.

I loved my home. At almost 100 years old, that house had a lot of character. The closets were huge, there was a built in in the hallway and a walk-up attic. It had a huge deck and porch (which we never used due to the nusciances that lurked about). There were wood beams on the ceiling in the dining room and 10 foot ceilings on the main floor.

I bought it when I went to a close by University and it was in walking distance. A perfect situation at the time… Over the past five years the neighborhood deteriorated. A few houses went from homeowners to rental property and the renters couldn’t have been worse! There were several different drug-dealers in and out.

Our neighborhood association tried to work with the police to cut back the crime, but unfortunately it did not work out that way. Criminals know their “rights” and they use them (unlike the rest of us law abiding citizens).

It saddens me that I justified living in a neighborhood with drug dealers with economics. Somebody has to fulfill the supply for the demand, right?

Our new neighborhood is extremely nice. Yes, we gave in and “bought” the area. We gave up our older home with all of its storage and character (I miss those closets so much – and the $500 house payment), but we are within walking/bike-riding distance of a state trail. We can sleep with our windows open and we aren’t awakened by drunk people staggering down the street talking in loud voices at 2 a.m. I no longer own an alarm system!

We have been riding our bikes in the subdivisions nearby a lot. I often wonder how there are so many people that can afford to live in such expensive homes. Can they really afford it or are they living beyond their means? What do these people do for a living that live in a $500,000 home? There are so many of them…

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