Three years ago our county legalized the growing of marijuana in residential neighborhoods for medical use. I’ll admit my opinion on the drug has been desensitized after living in California for 12 years. It’s everywhere, and our climate perfect for it. I have seen it grow in a sidewalk crack on Main Street next to the ice cream parlor.
When it became legal to grow in residential areas I did not want it, but was not going to fight it. Who am I to stand in the way of the only drug that can stop the pain of grandma’s glaucoma? But what I didn’t anticipate was that the grandmother in our neighborhood would move to the City and her grown-up children and friends would move in the neighborhood to grow marijuana for grandma, as well as their relatives in Texas.
It’s nice to see the love for the elderly that these tenants have. They are dedicated to making the best buds for grandma! Several times I’ve seen crews of horticulturists pruning the plants with green light headlamps after midnight.
They are also very protective of grandma’s stash. During harvest time tents are pitched in the front and back yards for added security. The Neighborhood Watch Program in our neighborhood is something completely different than McGruff the Crime dog.
I was also unaware of the skunk smell that these miniature pot farms can produce. I recognized the smell before driving down a country road, thinking it was a dead animal. Now I know that smell. Two months out of the year our neighborhood smells like an unfriendly dead ugly dog. Maybe that’s why grandma moved to the City?
I’ve read that smoking marijuana has a calming effect and it reduces aggression and motivation. Not in my neighborhood. These people fight all the time. Perhaps they don’t smoke it. Perhaps they should. Fortunately they don’t live in the neighborhood all year long. They only live here during the growing season from May to September. I knew it was May two weeks ago when my son witnessed a lady beat a man on the head with a golf club in the front yard of the pot farm house. Don’t worry; she didn’t do too much damage to the club.
One of the conditions of growing medicinal marijuana in our county ordinance is that it must be screened with fencing. True fact: Home Depot sells more bamboo fencing in our county then all the counties in the state of Tennessee. And we don’t even have a Home Depot in our county.
When it comes to yard work there are two groups of people: those that like it, and those folks that don’t. I do not judge anyone on where they stand on the issue. But in my neighborhood there is a third group that is a radical off shoot of the folks that don’t like yard work. It’s not that they don’t like yard work and can’t afford to pay landscapers because their BMW payments are too high. It’s a group that has a deep hatred of all living organic matter and a belief that it must be killed by painfully poisonous chemicals. And Round-Up is that chemical choice.
Round-up is sold as a concentrate and the recommended use is 1 part Round-up, 42 parts water. But four of the 18 homes in my neighborhood (22%) apply it quarterly in its thick concentrate syrupy form with a paint brush – leaving no fighting Darwinian chance for a blade to grow or, god forbid, a wild flower to bloom.
These four neighbors don’t own typical gardening/landscaping tools or equipment other than chemical masks and bio suits.
The benefits of Round-Up vs landscaping are 1.) less time working in the yard, 2.) increased tolerance against chemical warfare, and 3.) less time working in the yard.
I don’t know who started this landscape technique, maybe they read about it on Pinterest? Or they were influenced by the NASA Mars Exploration program. I don’t care. But I do hope that it stops. Perfectly nice family homes on calcified dirt, gives the neighborhood a very eerie look. Photos provided by the good folks of Google Earth and by NASA/JPL.
My Neighborhood Pic#1
My Neighborhood Pic#2
Dwelling Unit on Mars
My Neighborhood Pic #3
The Neighborhood Support of a Hero
I believe that military personnel that are called to serve overseas are heroes. They leave behind families that depend on them and learn to cope when they are away. These families sacrifice as well, AND are part of the military heroes that I look up to.
I also believe there are many other occupational heroes to, such as police and firemen, forest rangers AND tow truck drivers. To a lesser degree of military personnel deployed overseas, these occupations also save lives and make the world a better place for people that are in need and are inconvenienced. However, for the tow truck driver, not only are the families affected when the driver is deployed – so is the entire neighborhood that lives on the same street as the tow truck driver.
For the past two years, such a hero lives down the street from us. Before he moved in, I didn’t realize that these drivers are deployed many many times EVERY night. AND that tow trucks are the loudest type of diesel engines on the planet, AND that they cannot shut off the 160 dB back up beeper as a favor to the neighborhood.
Many nights the driver will come home at 3:05AM, and whisper “I love you” to his girlfriend (or pick up drugs) only to be deployed at 3:07AM on his way to help a person in need (or someone that needs drugs).
So the next time you are in need and call AAA at ungodly hours of the night, remember that the hero tow truck driver that answered the call has woken up his entire family and neighborhood. If that driver is in a yellow truck, is short, has a Chihuahua, and is missing a few fingers on his right hand, you can also thank my family and my neighborhood for the sleep deprivation we endure EVERY night.