I'm a Victim of HOA NAZIS!

It’s been a week since my silence. There is a very good reason for that. I didn’t even know there was a name for my neighbors—HOA Nazis! I am not kidding you. I have grown up and lived in very affluent communities in the Bay Area, California, for twenty-five plus years. What I experience and have to put up with in my neighborhood in the past two years change my perception of snobbish, busy-body neighbors forever.

In the first year, we were written up for 1) excessive decoration in general and during holidays (and not removing them timely,) excessive potted plants, parking our Mercedes station wagon and Custom Express Van on our own driveway parked overnight, leaving Christmas tree on our side yard. Last year, we were written up for not removing patriotic decors after Fourth of July. For us, it wasn’t about Flag Day, Memorial, Fourth of July, Labor’s Day, or Veteran’s Day. It was purely our mindset—proud of being an American and in support of our country men/women. I drive through main road of our golf-course community every day. There are flags out for past two months. There are cars in driveways parked overnight, garbage cans, yard waste bags, construction debris, lawnmower, rundown 10-foot ladder, yellow propane tank, adult bicycles…left in the open where neighbors can see. They have been there for months. None of the above bother us. Only it validates the fact that we are being picked on. Or, it makes a difference whom your next-door neighbors are.

Few months ago, two board members paid us a visit because the neighbors were concerned that we were running a childcare operation because we had many kids running around, playing regularly in our cul-de-sac shared by two TYPE-A neighbors.

Last week, when our local homeschooling friends were here. A "neighbor" called the police. The officer said the neighbors have written us about their concerns with children out unsupervised, running into neighbors’ properties, teasing two dogs (I found out later it involved one dog, one child not even mine,) and on that particular day riding on bikes/scooters without helmets--all with no avail. I was baffled about being written up on these said concerns because at that time there wasn't any. Only thing the police officer could have done was written me a citation for kids not having their helmets. He didn't. He knew there were more to it than meet the eyes. He did go around and visited my two neighbors. I am sure what he heard was unfavorable towards us. Again, nothing further came out from that since.

Two days after the incident, we did receive a letter from one of the two next-door neighbors. It was dated February 25, post-marked February 28—I didn’t receive it until last week, March 7. The letter asked that

our children and their friends stayed off her property--I am sure they might have…meaning they might have stepped over the gravel in front of her property when the snow mound accumulated since February.

not leaving Christmas trees (plural) and stands (plural) where
everyone can see
—One tree and one stand were left in our side yard. I didn’t even notice it until the letter. Husband intended to remove them but honestly has forgotten about them when he was rushed to leave for a 3-week trip the night before his departure. No, these people are very unforgiving. Things have been brought out repeatedly from years past!

not leaving cars (plural) with flat tires (plural again) where **again** everyone can see—**one** right front tire in husband’s car was flat where one and only one neighbor could and **would** see. I didn't see it simply because I didn't go through every spot of my yard with a microscope or fine-tooth comb. I really do have a busy life.

last but not least, we keep up our overall home appearance because she and her husband would be doing some home improvement and lighting to "improve" their enjoyment in spring and summer this year? Based on the written letter and that you haven't visited our home, you must get the impression that our property is a run-down dump and site-for-sore-eyes. Honestly, it is NOT. I thought of uploading a panoramic view of our property for you to JUDGE. I am only one I know in the neighbor that sweeps my porch, driveway, and even the cul-de-sac. We powered washed our house all in November. My front and back porches have been scrubbed and stained last summer, by hands, on my knees in 100° days for two months. I pick up pine cones and pine needles regularly (if not daily when we are not out of town.)

Each time we come home, I wonder if I would find a letter by the door or in the mail after being gone for a week or so at a time. We haven't for a long time until last Wednesday. I couldn't sleep or put my mind to ease since last Wednesday. I was very troubled the next few days. Finally, I spoke to the neighbor who has written the letter and addressed all her concerns. It was my quest to make peace with her and other neighbor before my husband's return. She acted civilized and appeared to be satisfied with my pleads. She said she didn’t have problems with our respectful children. Our children didn’t tease her dog. She however was concerned our 7-year-old looking for frogs in the creek in her front yarn (boy—this happened last summer and our son hasn’t stepped foot in her “property” since then!) I invited her over at her convenience and point out "things” that bother her in our backyard and I will discard them...so that we don't have to deal with her or our other next-door neighbor again! I have had it! We didn't live to irritate our neighbors. We really love to be neighborly and be godly "love thy neighbors."

We are singled out and picked on because we are different. We are not "THEM." Our kids don't go to school like others. They are not accustomed to see kids playing during the days other than in playgrounds and school grounds. It's not that they are anti-homeschooling. It's about us not fitting in the "norm," "mold"...We have infringed upon their "customs," their lifestyles. We will never fit in. We don’t live for our house. I know only solution is to sell our house and move to a non-HOA community. Unfortunately, we are in no position to move right now. The market is soft and our town is flooded with new, vacant homes. Cost-of-living is on a rise fast. We pay anywhere from $3.30 to $3.60 a gallon for regular unleaded. Last week, I paid $75 to fill up our van. People in the country are unsettled and cautious with big expenditures/commitments. Maybe, just maybe, our neighbors would buy us out if they "hate" us so much--won't that sweet!

"In a nutshell, people whose lives are hard, boring, painful, meaningless-people who suffer-tend to resent those who seem to suffer less than they do, and will make them suffer if they can. People who feel themselves in chains, with no hope of ever getting them off, want to put chains on everyone else."

Well, husband did return home on Monday night and did not receive the news well one little bit as I anticipated. I tried hard to smooth things out and reasoning with neighbors' perception. He said if one next-door neighbor ever steps foot in our property, he would call the police! I finally gave up talking because he is furious. Tuesday morning, he changed one flat tire out of his car (not tires in cars as written in the neighbor's letter with copies to her insurance agent and our HOA.) While I struggled with hostile neighbors and being ill with flu followed by nasty cold, I heard a good homeschooling friend's mom is suffering with terminal illness and another homeschooling mom will be having an open-heart surgery next month in Mayo Clinic. I am the type of person who feels and absorbs all negative energies. I managed to meditate, stayed focus, and maintained peace last Thursday and Friday for a short time. Since then, it has been down hill.

On Tuesday, I heard from my daughter that her good friend won't come to Kid's Club anymore because her dad doesn't want her to. This is as a result of last week's incident when the police was called upon. Next day, he called our local homeschooling group moderator to remove his family from the roster! I respect his desire to stay off the radar (due to recent ruling involving homeschoolers in California.) However, it would have been much better if he told me himself rather than I heard from my daughter through her daughter! I know it's sinful, ungodly for me to think and feel ill thoughts of this family. I can't help but think about how I go out my way to help his family, taking his daughter in as our own, driving her to group activities more often than I can count so she wouldn't miss out—while he is busy attending his business, educates his two children, and his wife works full-time outside of their home. I saw him on Thursday and Friday. I have been keeping a distance. This morning after gymnastic practice, my husband announced that our daughter is over their house spending time with their daughter. I was rattled, anger overcomes me once again. I don’t know how to heal from their “betrayal.” I know, in my heart, that this is very uncharacteristic of my nature and that I must address it with them in person. I am not ready. Satan is working me.

I HATE to drill on negative thoughts. I find myself incapable of letting go the hurtful, inner feelings dispite meditation and prayers. I cannot focus on HERE and NOW. I have been struggling with feeling guilty for carrying such anger in me, over the past week, that it is affecting me in ways I am not functioning. I cannot give and love fully when I have anger. Thankfully, my joyful sensible children are keeping me from a nervous breakdown. I’m blind, helpless, and limited. I have been praying for His Mercy on me, for a soften heart by the Holy Spirit, and Him leading me out of this dark time knowing my desire. "Lord, I am sensing that You are calling me to be a good witness. If this is Your Will for me, then please make it clear along the way...please keep confirming it. I want to do what will most bless everyone in the family---please prepare me to both hear and respond to Your Voice. Thank You for loving me enough to guide me! I trust, help my un-trust!"

6 encouragements:

diana(hahamommy) said...

I just read a great little story about a monk living with great sadness, he was further upset because he was sad about the past and he "should be" focused on the Now. His master kindly pointed out that although the Source of sadness was in the past, the Sadness lives in the Now and deserves/needs/demands your Now attention to be experienced and resolved.
Feel whatcha need to feel, for exactly the amount of time you need to feel it... and viola! you're done :)
Hope your inner sun is shining soon!

Stephanie said...

You know how I feel if you read my reply on RCU. I got your back girl!
You are being singled out and you are different, people are threatened when we don't all conform to mediocrity.

I don't have any advice and I hope you can deal with it effectively but like Diana said you have to feel what you feel before you can move on.

I just saw your picture your hair looks so thick and pretty :)

Makita said...

I am so sorry, Sarah. I had no idea you were dealing with all of this ... I wish I had a solution for you but all I can offer is a HUGE HUG!!

There is a nice home in our neighborhood for sale... but I completely understand what you were saying about the market. That's why we didn't move to R...... when DH transferred positions.

Take care of yourself and know that I'm here for you! :)

Kaylynn's Mommy said...

I know how you feel. I have gone through similar situations with people. Hopefully things will get better with time. I will keep this situation in my prayers.

richflocker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

What a bunch of uppity up lushes. It is those kind of people that ruin our America. HOA is a bunch of worn down "popular crowd in high school" a$$e$. They are the bon bon eating slugs on our society. My house my rules.

True learning-learning that is permanent and useful,that leads to intelligent action and further learning, can arise only out of the experience, interest, and concerns of the learner.
John Holt
Real heroes are men who fall, fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they stayed true to their ideals, beliefs and commitments.
Actor Kevin Costner

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