Since we have lived in our home, we have been disappointed with our local HOA. I am sharing my letter to them with you below. We received one letter about our door and then a follow-up letter stating that they would hold a meeting to discuss our door and assess a fine if we did not take care of it by a particular date. I am curious to see how many of you have had invasive HOA’s in your neighborhoods. For simplicity’s sake, I used the word ‘quadruplets’ in this letter.
initially received the complaint letter about the paint on our front door
around the time that I had suffered a medical emergency related to an
undiagnosed heart condition that landed me in the emergency room at the Hospital
while my husband rushed home from work to care for our quadruplets. The issue with the ‘paint’ is actually smudges
on the door from our children’s handprints rather than a problem with the paint
itself. After we received the letter, my husband cleaned off their handprints
with cleaning solution. As time progressed this year, multiple tests
and an additional hospitalization later, it was discovered that I had a
congenital heart defect that required 3 cardiologists to perform a surgery a
few weeks ago. As you can imagine, our
children have put their hands on the door several times since then and created
additional smudges. You will have to
excuse us if smudges on our front door were not our highest priority during
disheartening that people use their free time to
volunteer for a committee where they walk around and judge their neighbors for
having their children’s handprint smudges on the front door. I wonder if they would volunteer for such a
position if their names and addresses were published in the newsletter so that
the rest of the neighbors could provide them with the same kind of
feedback. Our door is not visible from
the street. I shudder to think that
while I lay in my hospital bed and my husband cared for our quadruplets inside our
home, someone walked up to our front door and wrote down our address on a sheet
of paper. They later looked up which
code smudges on the front door violated.
That is really a sad commentary on the lack of community.
to the newsletter as the “keep of the grass letter” as it is always a negative
letter about what people are doing wrong, whether it is taking too many tables
at the community clubhouse or that gophers have popped up in their yards. I wonder what the community could become if
those who volunteered their time to judge their neighbors took a different spin
on it and decided to form an ‘acts of kindness’ committee. If a family had a sick child, perhaps there
could be signups for members of the committee to bring them a meal or provide
the child with a card or stuffed animal.
Maybe there is an elderly neighbor struggling with weeds and a volunteer
committee could help them one Saturday. Maybe
local scout troops could be enlisted to help pick up garbage at the playground
or to plant flowers. If someone new
moved in perhaps the kindness committee could bring them fresh baked cookies or
volunteer to show them around the neighborhood.
Perhaps the committee could place a free library on several street
corners (https://www.facebook.com/LittleFreeLibrary). What a great idea to have neighbors sharing
books with neighbors.
would be proud to have their names published in the newsletter showing they
were part of the kindness committee.
They may not wish to admit they were part of the group that walked
around the neighborhood with their code books, but would be proud of making a
positive impact. I realize that it is
important to keep the neighborhood looking nice to uphold home values, but
there are better ways of going about it than committees that judge their neighbors
on minute details, under the mask of anonymity.
A kindness committee would be a great way to forge relationships and
teach children the value of helping their neighbors. Yes, we will address the smudges on our door,
so there is no need to hold a special meeting about the handprints. The time would be better spent figuring out
how to create a sense of community. If
there was a real sense of community in our neighborhoods, it would also increase
our home values as it would draw people in who wanted to be part of it.