Serpent in the garden

There is a serpent in the garden, but unlike the Biblical serpent, we apparently invited this one in.

In the mid nineteenth century we created the larval form of a creature we know as “Homeowners’ Associations” as the country started to transition from a mainly rural/agrarian society to an industrial/urban/suburban society. The larva wasn’t too dangerous so it was ignored and might have died eventually but in the nineteen-sixties the FHA and Urban Land Institute got involved. As the need for more and more housing increased, suburban communities grew and these agencies pushed for a uniform look.   In order to protect this uniformity these communities would have rules governing how a house should look: how tall the grass could be, the height of a fence, the color of the siding. In return, they offered green, growing “common areas”, some services, and maybe a swimming pool.

http://www.khahncpa.com/hoa/-history-homeowners-associations/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeowner_association

Doesn’t sound too bad right? After all, it keeps down in the “unsightly” stuff, right?

Unless you look at the dark underbelly. If you are one of the millions who have to deal with a HoA you know how dark they can be. For instance, you do not have a choice to belong or not. If your home is in one of these communities then you belong and you will have to pay your “dues”, in addition to the taxes you pay to the state and/or city. You pay your property taxes, but you do not have full rights to your property. You can only use approved colors on your house. If something needs to be repaired, you must repair it, never mind if you don’t have the money to do the repairs. If you do not get it repaired in a certain time period the HoA can and will fine you. To them, it is more important that you get this done than if you have enough food on your table. If you risk live and limb to do the repairs yourself, to save money, they will tell you that you assume the liability. If you are injured, it is your problem.

Do you like leaving your decorations out after the holidays? Sorry, you are required to take decorations down within a few days (or weeks for Christmas) in a HoA. Do you want to put up a flag? You better check your HoA by-laws. People have been fined for having Old Glory flying. Did you get new cable in? You may have to paint the wires to match the color of your siding. (no joke, this happened to us) Is the paint on your metal chimney old and chipped? They can tell you to have it painted. Do you like to work on your car? Sorry, that is not permitted here.

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/real-estate/homeowner-associations-devils-or-angels-1.aspx

http://real-estate.lawyers.com/homeowners-association-law/homeowners-associations.html

If you ask someone who is in favor of a Homeowners Association, they typically say they like that it protects their property values. They like that their neighbors have to “keep their property up”. They like being able to tell their neighbors what to do with their own property. Property values and appearance; those are materialist concerns. These people are not concerned with the safety and security of their community they are concerned only with themselves.

I submit that HoA’s are not a creation of Light. God had no hand in creating them. He teaches us to care about others, to teach and guide them, not force them to do as we say. He tells us to be concerned with our own righteousness, not with our neighbors’ failings.  He tells us to focus on him, not on material concerns.

But there is one who does tell us to worry about how we look, what others think about us, to protect our material items, the first Serpent, the one that slipped into the Garden.  His son, the larva, HoA, has grown into another serpent and we have invited that serpent in to dwell with us.

3 thoughts on “Serpent in the garden

  1. Our next move will be to something similar, a Continuing Care Retirement Community – so I’ll look for signs of the larva.

    The good part is that it is someone else’s job to paint the wires in a CCRC. The bad part is that you pay for it. We haven’t separated things into the two parts-lists yet.

    What’s wrong with ordinary suburbia? My neighbor is compulsive about removing every leaf with the jet-engine powered leaf blower, but he can’t make me do it. Sometimes I leave our out forever just to annoy him.

    A friend got around a HoA’s ban on pets by getting hers certified by the doctor as ‘comfort animals,’ which I thought was deceptive, since she no more NEEDS them than she NEEDS a new dress. She goes away for months and leaves them at home. But it irked her that other people had them (legitimately?), and she’s a lawyer, so the HoA has to shut up.

    I don’t know which is the side of the angels in this.

    Nice post. I saw you were starting your second book, and hopped over here to see.

    Alicia

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome. I keep some blankets in the corner and usually have some tea on the fire. Make yourself comfortable.

      “Our next move will be to something similar, a Continuing Care Retirement Community – so I’ll look for signs of the larva.”

      Years ago, when I was working to become a police officer I did some security work for a Retirement Community. They can be great places. I hope y’all are happy. 🙂

      “What’s wrong with ordinary suburbia?”

      -laugh- Where to start. IMO, a good part of it stems from a “me first and to hell with everyone else” attitude. Another part stems from our (humans) desire to “police” others, but not ourselves. There has to be a fine line, a balancing point between us and them.

      “My neighbor is compulsive about removing every leaf with the jet-engine powered leaf blower”

      He would do better for his lawn if he left them there. The natural nutrients in the decaying leaves are far superior to the artificial stuff. Treat the earth with care, it is all we have right now.

      “A friend got around a HoA’s ban on pets by getting hers certified by the doctor as ‘comfort animals,”

      One of our board members kept bringing her “yapper dog” into the meetings, saying it was a service animal. I never quite bought that story myself, but since it is hard to disprove, and the ADA will fry you if you are wrong, I kept my mouth shut. –sigh- Yes, I am on our HoA board. I believe in the saying “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

      “I don’t know which is the side of the angels in this.”

      I would say neither side is angels. Both sides are filled with “me first” and both try to sound reasonable. But then Satan sounded reasonable when he convinced Eve to take that fruit.

      “Nice post. I saw you were starting your second book, and hopped over here to see.”

      Thank you. 🙂

      Yes, my sister and I have one book done and have submitted it to a publisher. We’re waiting to hear back from them. In the meantime, we’re going to try to get a start on book two. In due time, we’ll start a page under the nom-de-plume, for now you get to deal with me and my not so conventional thinking.

      Like

      • Be sure you do your reading on publishers’ contracts vs. self-publishing BEFORE you sign anything.

        I just went live on Amazon last night with my first book, Pride’s Children, and the writing was hard enough, plus I had to learn a few techie things, but it ended up being incredibly simple on the Amazon side once I got a decent cover and a clean epub – and it is done.

        My writing partner got a traditional contract – her book will come out next year. I hope it turns out to be everything she wanted.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s