Still Stings a Little

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we packed up and left our old neighborhood in the wind!! I have absolutely NO regrets. NONE. In case I wasn’t clear, NONE!!! Nothing compares to being able to live in peace, to not feeling the need to have a firearm nearby while cooking dinner, or watching a movie, or walking to the mailbox.

However, last Wednesday evening, I received a phone call from my mom that stung just a little…ok, a lot…kinda.
This is one of the buildings on the property across the street from our old house. Those familiar with the Atlanta area probably recognize it. It’s located on Lakewood Fairgrounds. When we bought our house in 2007, there were talks of moving Zoo Atlanta to this property, which of course piqued a lot of interest in people. There were many other RFPs (requests for proposals) that followed, all of which were denied for one reason or another. Almost the entire time we lived in that neighborhood, I kept updated on this land’s development, not only with the hopes of our property value increasing, but with the hopes of our developer finishing the other 25 homes that were promised. In turn, the crime would decrease because of the presence of more homes and more people. This was my hope. Well,  of course, my hopes were shattered, as were the hopes of many others.

But since last Wednesday, this story has been on the news every single day, taunting me and teasing me. And quite frankly, it’s been pissing me off. NOW we want to develop this piece of land and provide 1,000 jobs. NOW we want to “revive” the Lakewood area. NOW we want to actually give a crap. And what makes it even more irritating is the fact that this has been on the table for at least 3 years, and not once did ANYONE say ANYTHING to us about it! It wasn’t ever mentioned on any of the websites with the other RFPs, none of the city officials at our neighborhood meetings uttered a word about it, NOTHING!

I literally felt sick to my stomach, even though I was simultaneously asking myself, “Sharmaine, would you really have stayed knowing this?” I immediately sent a text to Mike and Raven. Within minutes, Mike called, cool as a cucumber. He wasn’t the least bit upset. He and Mom both made a lot of sense. A good investment really isn’t worth our safety. And it’s been almost a year since we left, which means had we stayed, it would have been this long before we even started HEARING about this, and there’s no telling how long it’s going to be before it all comes to fruition. Mike also isn’t convinced that it’s really going to help with the crime anyway. AND he reminded me that our houses are now not even worth a THIRD (yep, you read that right) of what we paid for them! So imagine how long it’s going to take for them to get back to their original value. Would we have wanted to try and stick it out that long? COULD we have? Not likely.

But knowing all of this, and being the logical, linear thinker I am, I have to admit that it still stings. Just a little.

This seems like an appropriate place to post this nice little photo. This is our lovely house. I took this picture about a week and a half ago. That’s one of the dining room windows. (If I had the courage, I would love to take pictures of the inside, since it has been literally stripped.) Now, what I would like to know is who put up the board??? Maybe it was one of the considerate crackheads and/or burglars who also closed the back door behind them after they kicked it in and stole our laptops. I’m just sayin’.

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