Evidently I haven't posted in over 2 weeks?! I apologize for my absence. I have been internally struggling with feelings of being overwhelmed this month. I am more than halfway thru my pregnancy and I KNOW that it will be over before I realize. There is much more preparation work that I want to do this time around but I feel like I can't focus on ANY of that until the holidays are over and behind me. I am taking it one day at a time until January then I can get busy!
I am happy to say that I am ready for Christmas! I have all of my shopping AND wrapping done, and the presents are waiting patiently underneath the tree for Christmas morning. All of my yummy treats are baked and my out-of-town relatives have been shipped a box of goodies. My cards are sent, the firewood is stacked and ready, and my pantry is full of food waiting to be cooked! Now it is time to sit back and enjoy the festivities before they are over in a flash and it is 2015.
Something else we have been busy doing is new to this blog...I haven't spoken about it publicly because I wanted to get it resolved and over with. Let me share the story that inspired the title of this blog....
Do you recall that we bought our vintage camper in April? Well in around August/September we received a certified letter from a lawyer here in Norman saying that he represented our neighbor (who has never spoken to us in the 8 years we lived here) and that we were in violation of the neighborhood "covenants" by storing the camper in our driveway. He included a copy of these covenants and warned that if we did not comply then we would have a lawsuit against us.
We were absolutely stunned--first by the nerve of this hateful person who would rather hire a lawyer and sue his neighbor than to come over and knock on our door, and second by how we were deceived by our realtor who never disclosed these covenants to us. We had asked specifically when we bought our house in 2006 if there was an HOA, and they said there was not. Well no technically there is not an association but these covenants (that were started in 1977) are still on the records and are enforceable by the homeowners in this addition.
To get him off our back while we figured out what to do, we moved our camper to my dad's land for temporary storage. Then in November we got another certified letter from this same lawyer stating that we were still in violation because our trash cans were being stored on the side of our house, and he included a picture of our trash cans as "Exhibit A". He warned this was our last notice and if we did not comply then he was authorized to file a lawsuit.
We got in touch with a real estate lawyer for his legal advice to see if we could go against our realtor for anything and in the end it would not have been worth it to file a lawsuit. As for our neighbor, we had a plan of our own.....
Nick and I read the several pages of covenants and found at the end that it said they could be modified in whole or in part by a majority of the homeowners. I immediately got the idea to write a petition to modify several of the pertinent covenants and go door to door for signatures. I did my research and printed a list of the 69 addresses included in my addition with the homeowner name and what year they bought their house. I then typed up the proposed changes that we wanted to make to the covenants and Nick and I set out knocking on doors to spread our message and get signatures.
It took a few weeks due to the changing weather and holidays but we finished up on Saturday and got more than the majority of signatures that we needed! In total we got 51 signatures, and most of our other neighbors had no idea about these covenants either. Yesterday we went to our county clerk's office to notarize our paperwork and file it with the county. It is now officially changed and I will hand out a letter thanking each person who signed to support it.
We are going to my dad's tomorrow morning to pick up our camper and bring it back home!! I won't be surprised if we get another letter from the lawyer but if we do, I will send my OWN letter to him stating that the covenants have been modified and if we hear from him again then we will file harassment charges. I am also not against getting the local news involved......
Don't mess with the bull or you'll get the horns :)