Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Living on a Construction Site

One day last week I was enjoying a quiet morning with the baby -- Epu had taken Nutmeg out someplace -- when I heard some loud noises coming from the yard. I assumed the garbage men in the alley were being extra loud. Later, I happened to look out the back windows, and this is what I saw:

Well, not exactly that. The excavator was there, but instead of empty, flat dirt all around it lay the remains of the apple tree. I was sad to see that the landlords decided to have the apple tree taken down, since we had enjoyed it all summer -- its shade, the birds and squirrels it attracted, we even ate a few of its apples. Oh well, I thought, they're just prepping the lot to sell. I don't know if I've mentioned it, but the landlords decided to put both the house we're living in and the lot next door up for sale about a year after buying it. Yeah, we considered buying, but decided against it, partly because the price they want is way out of our range.

Anyway, after knocking down the apple tree, the excavator sat there for a few days. Small birds contintued to sit on the tree's branches and chirp merrily, seemingly unaware of any changes. It snowed and the whole scene took on a Christmas card look, perhaps that of a Christmas card you'd send to a construction magnate or a tractor-obsessed 3 year old. Then, on Saturday, while we were in Oak Park looking at houses, this happened:

Our lovely, snow-covered side yard had become a partially dug foundation. Acutally, it was still going on when we returned at noon, with the excavator dumping dirt into a dump truck. It went on until 4 p.m., and the house shook a little every time the digger made contact with the dump truck. By coincidence, Nutmeg did not fall asleep for her nap until about 4 p.m.

This is not a great situation to live in. While the activity fascinated Nutmeg and she dragged a stepstool over to the window so she could watch better, the noise will definitely get old real fast. There is no fence between the gaping pit and our patio/back stairs area. Fortunately, Nutmeg refuses to walk on what used to be our lawn, even to pose for pictures (like this) because she says it's "too dirty."

Our landlords never called to let us know this would be happening. Now, we did know when we rented the place that they planned to build on the lot at some point. So it's not like we rented under the assumption that we would definitely have a nice yard next door instead of a construction site for our entire lease period. But since the landlords put the place up for sale I assumed that construction wouldn't be happening before we move out in May. And I was wrong. I don't know if they sold the property and this is being done by new owners, or if they're doing it themselves, or what.

Oh well. It's certainly incentive to get our butts into a new home soonest. Maybe we can even get out of the lease early because of the noise. Oh, and on an encouraging note, it's now Tuesday, and after Saturday, the work crew never returned. So apparently not an everyday thing, at least not at this time.

1 comment:

ioio said...

This is my husband's curse. He used to say that one year after he'd rent, they'd dig up the streets and people's homes would get torn down.

Gosh that really sucks. Really.