Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The woes of Condo living...

We had some pretty epic rain a couple of weeks ago. Lighting and thunder boomed and lit up the sky as buckets of water drenched our little neighborhood.

As much as we all need the rain, it really did a number on our patio deck. Our deck was covered in leaves, tree droppings and that stuff that rolls off from the roof of our condo when the winds pick up.

We had been meaning to clean our deck for some time as apart of our annual cleaning...  but every time we even go to sweep our patio let alone clean it, our neighbor underneath us complains...

You see a couple of years ago the HOA decided that my deck needed to be replaced. (They agreed it was a safety issue since their were large holes in the floor boards from the previous tenants)... and it was something they were doing at their expense because the decks are all maintained by the HOA. The HOA notified my neighbor that her metal covering (basically an outdoor metal patio ceiling) would be taking down by the crew and would cost her $400 to re-install. Long story short, she didn't have the money... and when her suggestion that we split the cost didn't pan out (we didn't have the extra money laying around either), the patio ceiling was never re-installed. I told her she should go to an HOA meeting about it but she didn't pursue the issue. We felt kind of bad about her loosing the roof so South County Boy offered to help her put up some netting to try and keep some of the debris from falling through... and that seemed to work for sometime but she eventually took the netting down... and then started to complain when we swept the deck... because she wanted advance notice about when I would sweep our deck... so we could "agree" when to clean them so she could clean hers right after mine.... only at a time when it was convenient for her to do it.

It's not a surprise that that just didn't work out... so we seldom clean and use our deck much these days...

Anyway, South County Boy really wanted to clean our deck. He hit up some of our friends on Facebook to see if anyone we knew had a pressure washer we could borrow... We figured if its pouring rain out, no one can complain about water... and our neighbors stuff was covered.

Here's a close up of all the stuff that was stuck
on the deck that the pouring rain couldn't wash away.
But our neighbor wasn't too happy and came up to let us know about half way into the job. We offered to come down and quickly spray her patio off with a hose... But that wasn't what she wanted. She kept hinting that she wanted us to power wash her deck as well or loan her the machine we were using.... (which we had to return the next day to our friend and wasn't ours to loan out.)

Now we try to be nice neighbors. I've made banana nut bread for her before just cause I was in the kitchen... we have invited her up for dinner when we were doing bbq a couple of times since she lives alone... SCB would walk her dog for her before we had roxy when she had a late day at work... we'd chit chat down stairs if we bumped into each other... and when SCB didn't have a job, he would help her install and move things all the time.... heck when I was dating my old boyfriend, even he would help her out when she needed something.

Front walk way went from Grey to Brown!
Unfortunately over the last 6 months things between our neighbor haven't been as cheery as they used to... ever since her German Sheppard attacked Roxy when she was out of town (Her dog sitter didn't leash her when taking her outside... Roxy was fine, but shaken) this just haven't been as friendly... She's also turned into a "woe is me" person, so SCB can't stand to listen to her complain... so she naturally gets the vibe that he doesn't like her much anymore.

It had taken SCB a couple hours to do our deck, so there was no way he was going to have enough time to volunteer to do hers too... and we couldn't loan her the machine.

After we finished the job, I went down to her place with our garden hose to see if we could hook it up to her sink and rinse her deck off, but she wasn't home. I sent her a text message letting her know I tried to come down to help her but she wasn't home... I also let her know that we would be leaving for church in a hour, but would happily come back afterwards when we got back to help her clean up if she needed us to.... she told me to not worry about it. Apparently if we weren't going to power-wash her deck, she wasn't interested.

So we cleaned up the project and went to church. Since she didn't want help when we got back, SCB did our front walk way and the stairs that led up to our unit. The difference in the before and after was insane on the stairs... I had no idea how horrible the traction was until they were properly cleaned.

As he was cleaning our stairs the same neighbor came out and told SCB how he better "clean" everything up when he was done and shut her door before he could respond. (So much for everything being fine apparently. She must also forget we are facebook friends... I saw all her posts on how her relaxing Sunday was ruined...)

It took about 2-3 weeks after the deck incident, before she started acting friendly again and not slamming her door shut when we approached our unit...

Why so long? Well a few weeks after we cleaned our deck, the HOA sent a letter out to our mutual neighbor that the people above him were having their deck repaired.... and that if he didn't remove his metal grate before they started the repairs, they would charge him $250 to take it down...

Our mutual neighbor is 72 years old so the common desire to complain about the HOA charging him for something that she got for free became a bonding moment apparently when we were walking our dogs in the park. If SCB hadn't been so ill that week, he would have taken it down for him. We also offered to call some elders over from church who would do it for him, but he didn't want all the fuss.

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