Saturday, May 19, 2007

Town Fair

A few years after we moved into Erie, the Chamber of Commerce sponsored a "Town Fair" -- those first few years, it was a sad affair with a few local businesses ponying up a little tent and a few brochures to hand out, and the one local restaurant doing a barbecue. The main street in town was blocked off and everyone wandered around for a couple of hours in the scorching heat.

Since then, it's become quite the soiree. Local hospitals and other businesses set up big tents and have raffles, local craftspeople sell their stuff, live music and fireworks -- and a couple thousand people.
It's still scorching hot, of course, but it's definitely worth a stroll through main street to see everyone. This year, they had two days of balloon launches and after-dark concerts.
I don't usually go, to be honest. Even though the fair in the last few years was a far cry from the sad collection of tents that first year, it's not really that fascinating to me. The Adorable husband loves to go and see everyone, and watch the fire department dismantle a car and demonstrate rescues. Eat a little barbecue, watch the kids get pony rides, that sort of thing. So, I did go this year. We parked near our old house (which used to be a prime location for the fair -- we could easily walk to the festivities)...which left me feeling terribly depressed and sad about the whole day.
I had a really hard time selling our old house. I loved it -- and even realizing that we had no need to have a second house, no urge to be landlords, didn't make it any easier to sell. The buyer immediately started renting it out and it's been occupied for the last three years or do. I get really sad driving by and was just devastated when we parked on the corner and realized that the yard is COMPLETELY overgrown -- three and four foot weeds have taken over the entire yard, the hundred or so rosebushes that we had so carefuly planted and cared for and weeded every year were completely buried by the weeds, which in some cases were taller than the fence. No "regular" grass anywhere anymore...just crabgrass and weeds.
Outside the fence, they at least mowed down the weeds, but there isn't a spec of grass anywhere around the elm trees we planted. The flower beds are gone, even the mighty peony that impinged the door every year is buried under the flourishing weeds.
Sigh. I know it's not mine anymore. But if they can't be bothered to do the basics -- like MOW -- how can I assume that they are taking care of the inside of the house? Or doing the basic maintenance that is required to keep a 120 year old house standing year after year?

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