Archive for October, 2016
The Tree Phase One of the Plan
It took a few weeks, after we were notified, we had been successful in our bid to purchase the lot at 1125 aka ( Highway 1125) for the property to transfer .
The first thing we did was to ask for bids to remove the gigantic tree close to our house. We had stated in our “plan” to the city this would be done. The tree almost 90 feet tall was failing, it was less than 10 feet away from our house and if it had fallen it certainly would’ve taken out at least two homes. Estimates came in from nearly $5,000 to the lowest at $2,500. We went with a local company Tree Pro.
the loss of this gentle, yet worrying, giant was also going to be missed. I knew we would no longer get the benefit of shade on our balcony and mum’s flowers would have to be changed out and air-conditioning would be cranked up come summer, the tree provided so much shade to our lot and home. I love trees, always have done, it breaks my heart to lose them.
What I hadn’t realized , this tree with its huge trunk and outstretched branches, some of which could be trees themselves, blocked from my view, through the den window, from all manner of issues in the neighborhood. How secure and serene my view whilst the maple had stood guard. The lifestyles of others hidden from me. I was lost in a world of bark, butterflies , leafy limbs, squirrels , birds and living things – my non human neighboring so much more pleasant than reality!
“What the eye doesn’t see and the mind doesn’t know, doesn’t exist.” D H Lawrence
All of a sudden – windows were opened to more than just sunlight and heat. Stark reality invaded my home, no longer could I sit at the desk in the den -protected from view and protected views- as fingers pounded the computer keyboard on a daily basis . The goldfish bowl of life opened me up to view, it was and is intrusive to my little world . The bamboo blinds helped but still there was a nakedness to the views which I hadn’t experienced in the 40 years of living here all because of the absence of the tree.
I knew the tree was a hazard, I knew it was dying slowly, I knew it had to go but I didn’t know how much that tree had added to my happiness and how desolate the outlook when it was gone. It softened and protected .
The wood hauled away the stump ground down leaving the “ashes” of what was once there.
But even in its death throes still it made its presence known, gigantic roots extending throughout the lot next door, reaching for the water source we knew was to be found beneath. The trunk and upper branches lost to the chipper and lumber yards but the roots would not give up so easily . The clearing of the lot and new landscaping would be compromised. My only hope to replicate the privacy , beauty and well-being that had been taken away by the chainsaw would be in some ” creative” plantings”. The tree was so large it will take many, many months if not years to retrieve the ambiance and peace of mind the old maple afforded us ……..
To be continued…………….
October the month of ghosts, witches, goblins and ghouls . The fun time for most, a religious celebrations for some Samhain
The interest in ghostly happenings is at an all time high. Witches and superstitions, black cats with arched backs are everywhere
The problem is black cats can be at risk at Halloween or at least a spike in cruelty has been known to happen
And now thanks to the Ghost Hunters extraordinaire television shows etc. we have a plethora of “ghost tours” all around the world, the darkness becomes a “beacon” for those with cameras and phones hoping to catch a glimpse of the world beyond the veil ( the unknown state of being after death)
There are tours of houses, buildings, cemeteries you name it, participants expectant of meeting someone or something and capturing a glimpse of the unknown. There are thousands of them.
Recently Charleston Village Society was contacted re yet another Ghost Tour of Lorain’s oldest cemetery. The cemetery is on city property but as readers know we have been the historical and figurative “keepers” of the cemetery. We declined to enable this event.
There are many reasons NOT to have one of these tours but mainly the headstones are in a very delicate state some are flat on the ground a misstep and another damaged headstone, the cost of replicating these headstones is around $700 to $800 dollars each. Money we don’t have. The ground is very uneven.
Who is responsible for damage done , who pays should someone fall in the dark , does the group have insurance? This cemetery is in the middle of a residential area do the neighbors want 30 or forty people under their windows all October late at night ? The concerns and lack of respect to those whose bones rest there does not sit well .
So unless someone wants a guided “historical” tour during daylight hours we are not in favor of “ghost hunters” traipsing over the graves of Lorain’s pioneers and founding families.
There was yet another “ghostly tour” last week – and we strongly objected before that tour took place and afterwards. The upshot is the cemetery will now be signed “closed at dusk” along with the no pooping dogs.
The tour company said we would donate! No this isn’t about money – hard to believe since we are desperately needing donations to keep the cemetery stable- it is about respect. Respect that is long overdue to those who lay beneath the green trees.
So by all means grab your cameras , follow the guides to beyond the veil somewhere else – UNLESS you want a tour of Lorain’s oldest cemetery and the stories of how a group of people loved, lived, sailed the inland seas, their contributions to this city and this land , then we would be most happy to oblige ( before dusk)
And then ,as I sat one day on the balcony trying to enjoy a summer morning, the vehicles were once again using the lot as their personal cut through, construction vehicles parked, dump truck full of debris, the noise and even more vehicles finding a place to park, peace shattered. I realized I did not want to spend my last remaining days looking at this situation? Since the city has very little accountability for those that do what ever they want – we had decided we at least needed some control over what was happening to “Highway 1125” . We started the paperwork……….
I could just imagine our life with vehicles and construction equipment parked under my windows – the continued “cut through” from the alley to 4th with other visitors too lazy to go to the alley entrance way. The situation would be untenable . The decision was made to try to purchase the lot next door as another vehicle used the lot as a cut through to 4th from the alley.
The City of Lorain can’t enforce any damned one of their ordinances IF the people cited just continue to break them. I don’t know why we bother with anything but new build inspections!!!!!!
The Broadway Building a case in point. 11 years of inspections on a building that sits and rots covered in tacky netting , a community angered by the deteriorating state of the place and the fine just $2,172 in 11 years just over 50 cents a day by my math. Not enough revenue to buy an inspector a cup of morning coffee!!!!!
According to Lorain Municipal Court records, Spitzer Great Lakes Ltd. has since paid the housing court fines totaling $2,172 for its building violations.
The lawn mowers on Jaeger still there and can be seen from space . Fines paid and the process starts all over again!!!!!!!
The tax payers KNOW piddly little ordinances such as vehicles on lawns, eyesores galore, a derelict house that takes 40 years before it is finally demolished are ignored through lack of accountability!
Lorain and her enforcement is a joke and the people laughing are the ones that pay the fines as a cost of doing business. It is the law- abiding that follow the rules or try to at least.
It was obvious if we didn’t want to put up with the nuisance factor on 1125 we were going to have to have control over what would happen with that land.
The first item to start the process was the application :
On July 13th 2015 the City of Lorain land reutilization policy parcels of city-owned land offered vacant lots for sale .In the program, potential purchasers would apply to the city’s Department of Building, Housing Planning indicating which lots they want to buy and how they would redevelop the property.
The city will not sell land to anyone delinquent in real estate taxes or city income taxes, or anyone violating city zoning, building, health or property maintenance codes of Lorain. Buyers also may not be delinquent in on city utility bills and must not be in arrears on any payments owed to the city.
The Application PDF found here vacant_parcel_purchase_application_and_instructions
There were of course time lines and rules to follow- applications starting October 1st 2015 and then through the 1st to the 15 of the month. Applications were time stamped , fees to be met.
And here is where thanks to the “Inspection of our property” by the Dye Tribe. Our donspout disconnect
and having to paint my garage by a certain date didn’t have the outcome Dye Inspections were looking for. The red door on the garage chosen to match the ever-present dump truck – a design by Lorain ….
Dye and her family did us a HUGE service. You see because of her “timely ” complaints this family had a lovely official abatement of letter from the Chief Building Inspector Klinar to add to our application package showing we were in fact in compliance with the codes . Thanks Mrs. Dye 😉
That letter we included with our application along photos of nuisances associated with the property, the history of the lot from 1834 and the plan for bringing back 1125 fitting to the historic ambiance of this oldest neighborhood.
As soon as the 5th floor opened on that October 1st 2015 – our application containing all relevant paperwork was submitted and time stamped. There were only two other people in the waiting area and they were there for different parcels.
After a few weeks we were sent the letter our application had been accepted and so began the revitalization of “Highway 1125” to be continued …..
So many October 3rds have come and gone in real time but not in my time . The anniversary of those last photos of you with your family before heading back to MD Anderson and Texas for the trial of SGN 35 to save your life. The head and shoulders shot taken that day – apparently used at the funeral home.
Friday , your dad, was undergoing a procedure. I was once again in a hospital- and I so hate hospitals – I gear myself to go – I put on an armor of self-protection- walk through the pitfalls of triggers – knowing where they are in those places.
I prepared myself as I drove to the appointment for the laughter of those individuals working in these places as they go about their working day, white coats and scrubs , the sound of rubber soles squeaking on polished tiles, the smells, the sights of those who lay in various positions hooked up to life sustaining fluids that drip silently into their veins, the alarms going off when they don’t , those sitting in wheelchairs and those who wait in chairs that provide no comfort, the sound of curtains being drawn around a patients bed, the calls for doctors and needs over the speakers, technicians scurrying with vials of blood in handy little carrying cases,
All routine every day happenings in any hospital but for me a minefield. I have managed in this recent bout of illness and emergency rooms with your dad. I have walked myself through each day each diagnosis, each “episode” ( meaning) “a finite period in which someone is affected by a specified illness”. A throw away word which has much more meaning to some than others.
“Oh he had an episode” during the night……………..
I took a book with me to try to read , that didn’t work , I read the words but did not comprehend , my brain too busy trying to control, block and filter out unwanted sights, sounds and thoughts. I sat and waited.
The procedure was taking longer than they had said. My mind started racing and my blocking mechanism to such thoughts kicked in to hold down the doubts and thoughts which started to form.
“CODE BLUE CATH LAB” ,
A rushing of movement, a curtain being pulled once more across the entrance to the lab corridor, people flying past yet at the same time controlled, disturbing the air where I sat, carts arriving , staff with an intense look to their faces heeding the call. Then nothing just quiet efficiency from those that remained, no more laughter a deadly seriousness entered the area like a spectre waiting to gather in all hope.
I watched the curtain across the corridor, willing it to open , waiting for your dad to reappear from the place behind – nothing and then another “Code Blue Cath Lab” call— more people going through and behind the curtain.
A nurse walked by and looked at me –
are you alright-
came the answer forced from my throat. She wasn’t to know I was no longer in St. John’s Westshore but in a waiting room all alone on a Thanksgiving Day at the Cleveland Clinic and another CODE BLUE continually ringing through the hall the Code Blue being called to your bedside.
The armor crumbled, the blocking wall fell slow motion like into so much dust, intentions to stay in the present ripped away – leaving the raw and exposed wound of a scar of grief that never fully heals. I was undone and collapsed like the wall once again in two worlds…………
Although not involved with our case, the nurse checked and it wasn’t your dad. Some other loved one was sending shock waves of terror to their family .
The nurse came back held my hand – “I couldn’t help but notice your eyes – they were so full of fear…..”
I didn’t explain that the woman she had helped and was talking to was just a mere shell – the rest of her was elsewhere still trying to breathe………..