I Didn’t Think It Was That Crazy

I was reprimanded a little by my friends/neighbors for something I did. I didn’t think it was that bad, but apparently not too many people would have done it. You can listen to the story and then tell me if you would have done the same thing.

Ok, so it all starts with this house down the road. When I say “down the road” it’s not in our subdivision but rather the road you have to drive to get to our subdivision. It’s a bit of a country road, although it’s Alabama so most roads are somewhat that way. We live in an area that is new to development, so some of the roads out this way have single houses along them have have a bit of property. Most of them are well kept, up-to-date homes. Then, there’s the yellow house..The yellow house is at the corner intersection at a four way stop before you get to our subdivision, about five blocks away. You have to pass it to get to our house, so I’ve been driving by it almost every day for about a year. It’s a… well, trashy house. It is faded yellow with green mildew stuff running along the bottom half of the house. They have some old chairs (no sofa) on the front porch, and some other junk. There are those infamous pink flamingos, two to be exact, greeting everyone that approaches the front door. Speaking of the front door, it’s alwaysopen because the house apparently does not have air conditioning. No air conditioning in the deep south? VERY hot. I guess they get a nice cross breeze because they always have the back door open, too, so you can see all the way through the house when you drive by. Mind you, I can’t actually see what’s going on in the house, I can only see daylight coming from the other side. These folks also have an assortment of junk in their yard, including, but not limited to, a bulldozer, several small wagon thing-ys, a truck, a riding lawn mower, tires, spare doors, etc.

So you get the idea of the kind of folks that may live here. I think most would assume they’re “good ‘ol boys” if not straight up rednecks. But if you look past all the junk, you would see there is an old barn that is falling apart on the back of their property. There’s another out building of some sort as well- and I find both of them fascinating. I crane my neck looking at that barn everytime I go past. I have wanted for months to stop and ask the people who live there if I can take a picture of their old barn.

The other day when the kids were at Mom’s Day Out, I decided I would stop and talk to these folks. Ash happened to call just as I was getting near the house and I told him what I was up to. He was like, “For heaven’s sake be careful, if they come out with a shotgun or something, make a run for it!” He always knows just what to say to put me at ease. Actually, for some reason, I wasn’t really that nervous. I just didn’t want a dog running out to chew my leg off when I got out of the car. Well, no dog did. I pulled up to the back of the house because that’s where their “driveway” (I use that term loosely) was. The back door was open, anyway.

I got out of the car and shouted “hello?”. A woman who I would guess was around forty-something (but looked much more “weathered” ) came out. I introduced myself as her somewhat neighbor and told her I’d been eyeing her barn for about 7 months now. She smiled a warm smile, though she had a couple of missing teeth and told me I was welcome to take pictures of it whenever I wanted. In actuality, she was quite nice. She was accomodating when I told her I’d like to bring my kids to take some photos in front of the barn, too. All in all, it was a nice experience and I didn’t feel like I was intruding too much.

I came back and told my friends about my encounter and they almost lost it. They couldn’t believe I’d have the “guts” to go up there and ask strangers (who, in their words, could easily hide a body on their property and no one know it) to do stuff on their property. They didn’t think I should go alone, but I told them they were perfectly nice people who just happened to have pink flamingos and bull dozers in their lawn.

Anyway, here are a couple of quick photos I took that day. I didn’t stay too long. I didn’ t want to over stay my welcome.

Would you have done the same thing?

old barn

old barn 2


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Michelle
    Sep 04, 2009 @ 04:58:11

    Of course I would have done the same thing. And, no offense to your friends, but is it right to assume that poverty-stricken, or even trashy, equals dangerous? I find that attitude a wee bit troubling. I live in a very small town and see plenty of “trashy” houses around here. Some of the sweetest, friendliest, most generous people I know are people who are poor (by most of our standards), and even trashy. If I follow the implied logic of your friends’ argument, then is it okay for a woman alone to approach an upscale home? Do murderers and bad guys never live in “nice” homes?

    Redneck Proverb: Just cuz ya ain’t GOT nothin’ don’t mean ya hafta BE nothin.


    • metaphase
      Sep 04, 2009 @ 13:21:53

      Yes. I think my friends were kidding, at least half kidding. I think they couldn’t get over that I went up to anyone’s house and asked to take pics of their property. Also, there’s this stereotype that people here all have guns and are ready to protect their homestead. (Though this is a stereotype, some do feel this way!):)


  2. Michelle
    Sep 04, 2009 @ 04:59:34

    Oh, P.S.~ Love the barn, love the pics. Take the kids back for more.


  3. 3continentfamily
    Sep 04, 2009 @ 05:28:36

    I agree with Michelle

    I love that you did this and the barn is very cool! People are way too paranoid. To jump immediately to ‘hiding a body’ is funny!


  4. Matthew
    Sep 04, 2009 @ 12:53:57

    I think your approach is totally, 100% fine and here’s why. Having been born and raised in the deep south, if we were going to kill someone, it’s probably not going to be a secret. Everyone is going to know it and more than likely, we would alert “the law.” We wouldn’t hide them on our property either mainly because we wouldn’t want any coons diggin’ and eatin’ up the body.

    I think you know that there are no unanswered questions with me, I’ll ask just about anything, so kudos to you for driving up there and asking.

    Now you should extend the love of Jesus to them. Now that you’ve been there, when you take the kids next time, perhaps a small baked good, casserole or dessert should accompany you along with a “is there anything we can pray with you about? We go to Cottage Hill BC and would like to invite you to come sometime.” You never know the impact you’ll have on someone’s life – regardless of their current “station.”


  5. asmalltowndad
    Sep 04, 2009 @ 16:53:37

    Well Sis you know me, a whole lot of redneck and trust I almost everyone, but after stating this, I will say you have to be careful. The main reason is meth, they cook it everywhere around here that is secluded, especially old barns, homes and fields. They warn hunters about it every year and unfortunately some of the crack heads will defend their property first and ask questions later. Most home owners will welcome you and greet you as this lady did, but it’s that one out of fifty that might create all sorts of pain. Beautiful pics, and you know I love old barns, but be careful.


  6. Christina
    Sep 05, 2009 @ 22:11:08

    I think all the comments you’ve gotten so far kind of sum up what I was thinking. Yes, I’d love to think I’d be brave enough to go ask a “neighbor” if I could take a picture and that I’d fully expect them to be friendly… but I’m a paranoid person who watches way too much news and I’d be afraid of possible dangers. Plus also I’m just horrible about going up to people I don’t know like that. So even without the possible dangers, I’d probably only think about doing it, but never actually do it.

    Anyway, it’s cool the neighbor was nice and I agree, bring something as a token of thanks when you go back and who knows? Maybe it’s the start of a new friendship?!


  7. Shawn
    Sep 08, 2009 @ 16:42:28

    First of all, if anyone knew you as well as I do, they would know you have the “I DON”T CARE” attitude. If you get into danger, you would do the karate chop on them after you point your finger and tell them what you think. Secondly, because people doesn’t have materials things doesn’t mean they don’t have love and kindness in their hearts. I bet they don’t have credit cards bills maxed out either,or they are not trying to keep with the Jones’. Just remember, it is not what you have or where you live but what you have in you heart. Thirdly, I think the first picture would look great in my kitchen, don’t you??


  8. Elaine
    Sep 09, 2009 @ 00:47:30

    I’m right there with Christina. I wouldn’t have the guts to ask any strangers if I could take pictures of their property regardless of anything. But now that you have, I like the idea of taking muffins or something along next time just to say ‘thank you” if nothing else.


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