Small Town Whining

If you read my other blog, House of Prince, you may have noticed that over the last few months I have been trying to become a better person.  That is quite a large project.  I suppose I can call it Project:  Become a Better Person, but it’s not something I simply decided to launch.  It’s just an over-arching thing I try to do all the time, and lately I’ve been thinking about it much more and mentioning it in my writing more often.

Anyway.  Part of this project is that I am trying to complain less.  If there is something to complain about, surely there is a way to make that thing better or make it go away, so why not try to fix the situation or make myself at peace with it rather than spend time complaining about it?  After all, there is so little time in the day as it is!

Part of every Monday through Friday, for me, is spent walking along a particular stretch of Reyes Adobe where there are no homes that face the street.  It was once a beautiful, centering experience (at least when I’m walking alone) but for the past few months I have been unable to ignore the growing collection of poo, garbage, and dead weeds piling up all along that stretch.  Just this morning there was a freshly shattered porcelain coffee mug lying in pieces all over the sidewalk where children walk or rides their scooters or bikes.

I finally started actively noticing this mess and wondering when someone was going to clean it up a few weeks ago, and kept meaning to find out whom to alert, but I put it off and forgot about it (every day) until the porcelain mug fragments put me over the edge.  What’s more, I saw a small (and poorly done if you ask me) graffiti tag scrawled low on a retaining wall.  It was tentative, as if it was created by a good kid who was toeing the line between naughty and nice, and didn’t really mean it.  Nevertheless, that kid was stupid.  Nothing makes my blood boil the way graffiti does.

Before we moved out of Los Angeles I would have had to hunt around and be transferred to multiple city agencies before finding someone to address the cleanup.  But here in the Agoura Hills bubble, a few clicks of the mouse and I found an email address and three direct phone lines to city officials.  Certainly their public maintenance schedule can’t be as backed up as the city of LA’s.  Of course, they are all out of the office already, taking early Memorial Day vacations.  You can bet I’ll follow up with them next week.

I read The Acorn’s weekly letters from residents with amusement.  Some of the things people write in to complain about seem so insignificant in the bigger picture.  While here we worry about cars speeding along a road, people in parts of LA worry about drive-by shootings.  As such, the poop along Reyes Adobe really isn’t that bad.  But that is why we moved here.  Less graffiti, more free parking.  And without gang-related violence weighing down my thoughts on a daily basis, I can focus more on doing good outside our bubble.  (If you want to help me do that, please click here to donate money to Help a Mother Out, a diaper donation charity that gets diapers to families who cannot afford them for their babies.  Thank you.)

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