our north minneapolis community that’s so scary

Last night, Amelia and I were on the couch doing these last minute wedding things that you do – finding pictures to print, deciding on music, heatedly discussing what we should do with the cake during the ceremony since everything is outdoors. We saw a car come barreling by our house, which happens quite a bit, and then we heard breaks squeal followed by quite a few noises that didn’t sound¬†quite¬†right.

I thought it sounded like someone’s tire blowing out. Amelia thought it sounded like someone was crashing into all the cars that were parked on the side of the road, so she bolted out the front door. Turns out it was a car accident that involved three cars at the end of our block and a couple of the cars were smoking pretty bad. I called 911 right away. (Dear Minneapolis: Get more operators. It rang four times and then I had to wait ON HOLD until I got someone on the phone. What the hell is that?)

Amelia and I started walking down to the corner to make sure nobody was hurt. As I was wrapping up my 911 call, I noticed that we’d been joined by literally dozens of people. They’d come from all over the two or three block radius. I’d imagine a lot of it was people being nosy, but by the time we all got to the scene of the accident, it was something a little different than just poking around the neighborhood.

Everyone was checking in the cars to make sure everyone was alright. Half the people there didn’t even have shoes on, because we’d just busted out of our front doors to see what was happening in our neighborhood. There was windshield glass everywhere and a range of assorted car fluids coming from two of the cars, so shoes would have been a really great idea. It didn’t matter, though. We didn’t know who had been driving these cars, but we had to make sure they were okay.

We stood with our neighbors until emergency vehicles got there – a firetruck first and then a cop car about 10 minutes later. In chatting with our neighbors, one had just gotten home from her nursing shift, one thought it was gunshots coming from a car that was driving by, one had been asleep on the couch. Everyone had opinions about what had happened.

The guy whose yard/cars got the brunt of it all was taking pictures and not saying anything at all. If it wouldn’t have been for the embankment in his front yard, he would have without a doubt wound up with his car sitting in his living room. As it was, his car had already spun 360 degrees. The only thing between that car smashing into his truck was a tiny tree sapling about three inches thick in diameter. No clue how it didn’t bust right through it.

The Pontiac Aztec that obviously caused it all was completely empty. The airbag had deployed, the windshield was cracked and the dashboard had blood all over it. The driver had hightailed it out of there. At the same time everyone realized it, we also realized a guy that was limping had passed us all going the other day. I remember seeing him now and he looked like he probably could have used some medical attention.

People always talk about the black people and the Asian people and the Hispanic people in our neighborhood, but as cliche as it sounds, there wasn’t any of that last night. Just a bunch nosy neighbors making sure there stuff wasn’t damaged and that there wasn’t anyone that needed medical attention. It felt good to be a part of that community, as trivial as it was.

 

 

our backyard’s weekend of crazy

Aside from the occasional firing up of the grill, mowing it as soon as we lose our small dog in it’s grass and using it as a giant dog toilet, our backyard sees very little action, the most action it got was when the team at http://www.bigfootpestcontrol.com/schaumburg/ did an extermination of all the pests in the backyard. It likes it’s quiet lifestyle and it’s tiny garden that will yield us each one salad. That’s why this weekend’s flurry of activity was a little much for it.

On Saturday, we decided to drop by Shawn and Ani’s neighborhood garage sale to say hi and see if we needed any of their junk. Ash spent the entire time we there plucking away on a pink acoustic guitar that was way to small for him, but I was way happy to see that’s he’s digging his bass lessons that much! After a while, we headed home.

We pulled in our driveway, which goes up to our back fence. I noticed a large white dog with black spots on it milling about inside the backyard. He was essentially peeing on every last blade of grass, as a large male dog is wont to do, which was not cool since we take a lot of pride in our garden, we take good care of it decorate it with flowers and accessories from sites as glowdecoration.com. Amelia approached him from outside the fence to let him sniff her hand, but he was more interested in taking that hand off. Not cool, Rover!

I tried sweet talking him through the fence, but he was done with sweet talking long ago. I kept talking to me and he kept swearing at me in dog language while Amelia called Animal Control to come get the guy. We’d normally walk him around the neighborhood or something to find his home, but neither one of us felt like losing a limb. Ash was going to run around to the front of the house and close the front gate, so he couldn’t get out. Stranger Danger Dog was also not down with that and threw is 100+ pound body at the fence.

I ran down the alley to run around the block and shut the gate while Amelia distracted the dog. I ran into a 12 year old looking girl that looked completely panicked. Turns out it was her dog, so she came to our backyard in full on sprint mode. I gave her an extra leash (Riley’s skull and crossbones leash!) and she told us we should probably get back in the car. WHAT IN THE HELL. We did and sure enough this tiny child grabbed this beast of a dog and walked him down the alley.

Animal Control came by later and I told them the dangly-balled dog found his home. And then a couple hours later, Animal Control called back and asked about the owners of the dog, because apparently there had been a dog bite issue elsewhere in the neighborhood. I ratted out the owners, but felt okay about it because – PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR DAMN ANIMALS.

And then SUNDAY, we were coming home from a late, late dinner. It was 9:30ish or so and as soon as I got out of the car, I noticed this tall lanky dude running between our house and the neighbor’s. I was all, “HEY!” because I was suddenly invincible and about to make a citizen’s arrest, I guess? About that time, he jumped the fence into our neighbor’s yard. And he’s like, “Sorry, someone’s chasing me”. And I seriously said, “Oh, okay”. Because I was totally cool with him hopping our fence if someone was chasing him. The chaser never came hurdling over the fence, so I kinda thought he might have been, you know, robbing our house.

I walked around to the front of the house and Marshall (the cat) was sitting in the window. I knew nobody was in our house at that point, because Marshall needs to follow people and yell at them if they’re in our house. Our guard cat had done his job for the day.

I miss a month of blogging and I come back to write about things happening in our backyard. That’s not a let down, is it?

 

a normal occurrence with a 14 year old

I wake up. I come downstairs to let Riley out and realize the front door is standing wide open. I close it and go about my business before Riley gets too impatient. I bring him back in and while standing at the top of the basement stairs, the following conversation takes place:

Me: Kid? (Only I say his actual name.)

Me: Kid?

Me: Kid?

Kid: Oh. Yeah?

Me: Any idea why the front door is wide open?

Kid: I saw that. I’m not sure.

Me: You saw it?

Kid: Yeah, earlier when I went to the bathroom.

Me: Did you think about shutting it?

Me: Hello?

Kid: I was too sleepy.

Me: Awesome.

No clue how long the front door was open. I closed it and locked it when I went to bed last night. None of us were murdered as we slept and it seems that our personal belongings are all where they normally are. I’m hoping our living room couch provided a warm bed for someone to sleep on, I guess?