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Thursday, May 11, 2017

A fine flowing ditch of serendipity


When we moved in last July, there were some less than wonderful aspects of the house and property, as there always are. One was drainage of storm water. Occasionally I would take the maintenance man by the elbow and point out the defects, some of which were attended to, and most of which were not. Management here was no better, and management “higher up” was useless, which sometimes is the problem with rental property. If yours does not meet these standards, bake cookies, often.

When my next door neighbor and soon to be friend moved in, her tolerance level for less than her standard took her toe to toe with management even sooner than it did me. By fall I was so concerned about her blood pressure I suggested she back off and leave it to me. What happened next shows there is serendipity in more than we know.

I asked Mr. Google several times for an organization that regulated mobile home parks and struck gold with the Association of Manufactured Home Residents in Ohio living in Communities (formerly known as parks)…and so forth and so on, that actually regulates the park conditions. 

To be sure, I called the head of my county’s health district, and got the name and phone number of the Association’s director, to boot. Then, when I dialed the number in the state’s capitol, the director himself answered the phone. It may be that small, or that understaffed, but it was a real talking person, and we had a real conversation.

“Yes,” he said, “we are working hard to bring the last of these communities into compliance,” and “yes, I will have Bob near that address next week. I’ll have him make a call and look around.” Bob picked a perfect day to take a look, because not only did he encounter flooded properties, mine and my neighbor’s included, Bob met the next level of management, looking around the property for the first time in a year or so (according to some other flabbergasted residents). I think perhaps Bob knew who to call and say “Want to walk the property with me tomorrow?”

Sometime during the week, Bob’s boss called me and said Bob had reported that management said the entire problem would be solved by the end of March. This was during one of those spring like days in January. I made a note on my desk pad and proceeded to forget about it.

I left for spring break vacation in DC with granddaughters, not considering the note on my desk pad about drainage resolution, and at the end of March I was comatose, with no recollection of the drainage of my property being corrected. 

When I actually returned home at the very end of April, drainage still was not on my mind. An entire week of May passed before my neighbor, who schmoozes with people and knows things said “Aren’t you excited! They’re starting the drains this week.” And by golly, they did.

Perhaps the universe had me in a coma for a reason, men tending not to work so well when nagged.

Today Dan, the maintenance guy, told me about the pipe with holes under the gravel, and when it settles a bit, they’ll dress the top with topsoil and plant seed. I told Dan that would be great, and not one more word that might sound nagging.


34 comments:

  1. I'd rather they keep stone on top and maybe put some plants along side, as those holes do get clogged, hopefully it will be the end of the problem...You sure know how to get stuff done!

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  2. Looks like a french drain and it's alright to put grass on top of it. Just no trees. Like a stealthy old ninja, I get the loppers out and cut down saplings through my fence on the neighbors side. Wonder what they think when they see a four in high sapling stump?

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    1. It's a shame so many lovely trees are invasive. At the old house there was a cotton wood that I let stay, because they leaves sound so nice in the wind. Twenty five years later it cost us more than a thousand dollars to rescue our septic.

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  3. Good for you! That is certainly taking the bull by the horn so to say!!

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  4. That is serendipity indeed. You can count on your computer skills for finding that fine organization to help you with your property.

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  5. Great detective work, Joanne. Well done.

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  6. Well played...A French drain like the one we have at our cottage....Before that all the water from a storm poured down the hill and into the (at that time) non-foundation under the house. The drain worked beautifully. You are good at getting things done.

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  7. How wonderful for your community. There is nothing quite like the smell of water that has been standing for days and weeks. You will be happy it is gone.

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  8. Its good there are organizations out there to get rental properties up to code, par, whatever you want to call them. People pay good money for rent, least they can have is a property that is maintained and free of potentially harming products. I know in Phoenix if you have a rental property and the air conditioning goes out in the summer, it has to be fixed within a day or serious fines can occur for the owner.

    Glad your problems are being solved!

    betty

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    1. I told "management," that I like it here. I like my house; I like my neighbors; I love all the children. I want to like the property just as much.

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  9. You know how to tell a story Joanne:) and you are right about the universe too.

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  10. Serendipity is a beautiful word - and a glorious feeling when it comes home to roost.

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  11. as a former landscaper, drainage is one of the least addressed aspects of residential, commercial and road construction that is addressed. It is one of the easiest problems to solve if planned in advance, planning after the fact almost always fosters more problems than necessary. french drains and a slope away from any sized building are paramount to proper flood and runoff control. I still remember putting the downspouts for our home in the California mountains underground and having them flow into a half hollow log we found on the property and the amazement we had as the water flowed right into the log and over the bank into a sometimes dry creekbed. Hope all the work they are doing will solve the problems for you and your neighbors.

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    1. This residential mobile home park was started in the fifties, with no planning. It in on a hill. In truth, when they decided to renovate a few years ago, they should have done the planning and ground work. But, they didn't. However, it's not irreparable, and I don't mind holding their toes to the fire, so to speak.

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  12. It seems Joanne that if you can just get to speak to the right person then things usually get done. Well done.

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  13. Simple. Just like a farm land drains system we have here.

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  14. Hooray for decent, drainage and I hope all the drains work excellently. I would never have thought to search for that kind of information. I'm totally useless at research. It's good to know there are people like you out there that do know how.

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  15. Hari OM
    ...I think you just found some kind of 'silver lining' to going through trauma. That's our Joanne!!! I recall my father digging such a drain in our back yard many years hence; it did the trick and I trust you find that it does for you too... YAM xx

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  16. The previous homeowners put a big drain in the ground on the side of my house I'm guessing to divert water when it "floods". My house is on a hill with more hills going down. Water aint going to stay long I don't think.

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  17. You certainly know how to get things done, Joanne. Your neighbor is lucky to have a friend like you.

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  18. Wow! I'm just catching up on your last few blog posts. That was quite an adventure. I'm glad you sound back to normal, dealing with bureaucrats etc. I was on a bus this week that decided to stop on a sixpence when the traffic lights changed to red. I went flying up the bus, catching onto every handle as I flew past it. Luckily, I managed not to fall. Your blog has shown me how easily we can injure ourselves.

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    1. How fortunate and outcome. It all happens in a blur!

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  19. hooray for tough old birds who know who to call to get things done. what would the world do without them.

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  20. You sound good, Joanne❣Welcome back❣Linda@Wetcreek Blog

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  21. I wish the universe had not gone so far overboard to prevent a bit of nagging ...

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  22. It's so nice when someone follows through.

    Love,
    Janie

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  23. I hope you have no other projects for management to deal with...I do not like to think of you being obliged to go into a coma to get results.

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  24. Good - always around somewhere if you look for it.

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  25. We need more Bobs to sort things out !

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  26. (Getting caught up... again)... You amaze me! You just don't mess around... you get it done! We've never met in person, but I just visualize you as that WWII poster... the woman with her kerchief on her head, her arm raised... and... by gawd... get it done! Yes, you amaze me.

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