...there was a quiet little street.
It was not a long street, it came to a dead end after only a few short blocks. It was not even paved, it was in fact, covered with layers of gravel that eventually flung itself to its outer edges leaving potholes where cars actually drove. The people living on the street would take turns knocking on neighbors' doors to collect money to buy new gravel to fill up the holes.
Once the money had been collected, some Saturday morning truckloads of gravel would arrive and all the men living on the street would go out with shovels and rakes and spend the day filling the holes, and leveling off the street surface the best they could. It made for a tiring day.
Then, one year, the dead end part of the street was annexed to the city, the people rejoiced, and immediately requested their end be paved and brought up to city code. Oh, it was expensive and the homeowners spent many, many, MANY years paying off the expense on their property taxes. However, everyone knew it was worth the price.
At first the city took very good care of this several block stretch of dead end street. The crews would come out with their city trucks, hose down the gutters and then the sweeper swept out the loosened the debris that had begun to collect there. They even came in the autumn and cleared the drains of all the fallen leaves.
The city no longer had funds to look after the street. It fell into neglect. Potholes appeared, native greenery began to grow along the gutters, and once the rainy season appeared it was the locals that donned boots and headgear and with rake in hand went out in downpours to push and pull fallen leaves out of the drains. Complaints to the Powers To Be, fell on deaf ears. Sometimes an anonymous somebody would buy a couple of bags of 'Road Repair Pothole Patch' plop them into a pothole, slice it open and hope the local drivers would run over it until it leveled off and fill the hole. Poor substitute for an up-grade repair, but 'close enough for who it's for'.
Lo, the mailman delivered a brochure from the Bureau of Transportation addressed to:
The label read: ADVANCE NOTICE OF PREVENTIVE STREET MAINTENANCE.
This summer, the City is planning to repair and seal your street,...What????? Us ladies were ecstatic, phones began to ring. Gone would be the potholes and the native greenery from the gutters. We were all "twitterpated".
Then, as all bubbles seem to do...our bubble burst. I re-read the brochure. Damn, that fine print! What that first paragraph really said was.
"This summer, the City is planning to repair and seal your street, or nearby street, as part of its neighborhood street maintenance program." Sigh. "You will receive at least 24 hours' notice before work begins, and your street will be closed."
Now, the good thing is the brochure also states the street will be cleaned first and yesterday after a long, long time, the street sweeper did go up and down the street...once...at least loosening the local greenery, if not physically removing it from the gutters. However, I'm not getting too excited...the sweeping could have been a simple fluke.
The brochure assures me (if) my street is going to be worked, I will wake up some morning and find a 'door hanger' notice announcing the work will begin in 24 hours and I will have to move my parked car (LOL), and to keep all my people, pets and other vehicles off the street until repairs are made.
I've decided I'm not going to get excited until my 'door hanger' appears. And, there you have it...Once upon a time, there was a quiet little street.