Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm Famous!

Well, at least among my friends who not only read the Durango Herald, but also make a beeline for the Bear Tracker section, which, it seems, is exactly one of my friends.

The Herald printed this photo today:

Pretty cool, eh?

Took this one a few minutes later...

Michel lent me his good camera so I can take photos of houses for work (merci!) so I'm practicing, and the zoo in our garden is making it easy! 

I took the hummingbird one while talking on the phone with Jeanette, who happens to be the friend who noticed the bear picture in the paper. :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Adventures in Real Estate

"Get there early to pick up the homeless guy's sleeping bag and stuff off the porch." That was the advice I got before showing a house a few days ago.


I got there well before the potential buyers and had just enough time to move the sleeping bag, hide the cords he was stealing electricity with, and gather the mounds of junk food wrappers. Mounds.

It didn't feel wrong to hide this evidence because once someone buys and is living in this home, no one's going to be squatting on the ground-level back porch.

But their first question to me was, "So... what can you tell us about the soup kitchen around the corner?"

Then, as they're measuring the rooms in this house they've fallen in love with, they notice that about twenty people have come in and out of the beautiful clump of trees across the street. In with a back-pack, out with nothing. It seemed like a place where these wanderers could unload their burdens, literally and figuratively, judging by the colourful conversation emanating from the leaves. I was fascinated and would have enjoyed the sociology lesson if I hadn't been in the hood to sell a house.

And I just might have, had these smart shoppers not driven around the corner and noticed Hilltop, our local halfway house. I knew it was in the vicinity, but not that close or I would've mentioned it when they showed concern over all the dreadlocked activity going down. I'm glad they saw it now instead of weeks into a contract, though.

But during the two hours they were imagining their furniture in this house, I couldn't stop thinking about the tube of Anbesol I found among the candy wrappers, remembering how awful my recent experience with toothache was. Anbesol wouldn't have touched the pain - I used Nick's leftover Percocet! All the junk this guy eats doesn't help I'm sure, but here in America, crap food is the cheapest thing you can buy.

How do you get out of this horrible cycle? How do you get into it in the first place? If you had a tight group of friends in the same situation, would you even want to get out of it? What's society's role in breaking the cycle? I think the soup kitchen is great - we've served dinner there and Cayenne helped plant their homegrown garden - but is feeding them daily healthy meals keeping them on the streets?

Probably not, but these were the thoughts going through my mind as I remade his bed. I tipped the wheelbarrow back on its side like he'd had it, hung up the ratty towel, and then, not 10 ft from his sleeping bag, nearly stepped into a huge pile of bear poop.