By Joseph Fraley | CNA Board Member, East 2
Happy New Year, neighbors! I hope it brings you peace and love. I’ve lived in Concordia since 2017 and joined the Concordia Neighborhood Association as a board member one year ago.
My family bought our house on Roselawn Street in July 2019. My sister-in-law spent the early days of COVID-19 with us. The three of us pulled the pet-stained carpets, and signed our bedroom subfloor: “COVID Quarantine, April 2020.”
In September we built a fence so the dog and cat could safely enjoy the yard. The cat walked right under the gate and into the world. My wife Amanda signed up for NextDoor.com, looking for help tracking him down. A picture of me from our neighbor’s security camera opened her inaugural feed.
“Does anyone know this man?” the caption asked. “He seemed suspicious, but maybe he was just looking for his cat…”
The pandemic bled quietly into 2021, so we built a deck for safe gatherings with friends. We moved 6,000 pounds of dirt to make way. A mouthful of dirt ended up in the street out front, where it blew dust across cars and houses down the street.
We prayed for rain throughout the driest summer in a century. When our annual street cleaning day finally arrived, they did their best. Their brushes spread the mud like a paint roller over three blocks.
The annual Fernhill Park summer concerts and a movie night were canceled in the interest of public safety. So, we hung a used billboard tarp on the back of the house as a makeshift screen. I hand painted replicas of movie posters to announce a COVID-safe movie night every Saturday. One neighbor attended the first half of two movies.
My wife said, “I guess we’re all done working on the house…” I look around. The kitchen cabinets hang visibly crooked, like a prop from the gravitational anomaly in the San Francisco Bay area, the Mystery Spot. An ailing cherry tree upends all four fences at the back corner of our property. The broken shower tile leaks into the subfloor, and ultimately the crawlspace.
“I guess so,” I replied. “Maybe next summer we can get more neighbors to come out for movie night.”