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Beware the perils of homeownership

Mr. Thornbush

by Jordan J Hall


         I noticed the scabs when I was authorizing the last of the payments for the property. ‘Buy for the land, not the house.’ That is what they say. Assuming the scabs abated, this purchase was the first thing we got right in a while. The small ranch guarded the meandering hill that took you to the top of the property. A view to behold. Shutesbury was a town nobody knows about, it was perfect. Jane and the girls would be missed while they stay in the city for classes, but the dog and I really need some time away. All that mess in Dubuque…

           Anyway, the lot provided a great deal of sweat equity. This was the plan, we said it for years. Pay off the first house quickly, then buy a second house, a rental property. It was our path to self-employment, we thought nothing of the trappings of being landlords.

           There were some hulking trees surrounding the acreage, half dead and reaching to the house as if grasping for help. These overzealous plantings from 80 years ago were drowning the ground of light; at least half of them needed to go. Kudzu, poison ivy and bindweed wound themselves up the trees as if to improve their view of the valley. The combined effort allowed bad plants to hold sway over the back border. Something told me to cut it all down...

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