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  1. #1

    Battle for Shady Pines part 4

    Part 4

    Barbara came in and pulled the plug on the internet connection. Bob had evidently been in there longer than he realized. It wasn't uncommon for Barbara to give him a "time out" on the internet when he would be on there too long.

    "Enough nonsense, we need to discuss this problem with Mr. Reynolds" Barbara stated.

    "Mr. Reynolds?" Bob asked.

    "The ******* down the street that I turned in to zoning for having a business in his house. He found out is was me that turned him in. He told Ms. Gonzales that he knew and would get back at us" Barbara replied.

    "Us? You were the one that turned him in. I told you not to. So the guy was having a UPS truck pick up shipping from his house in the afternoon. He probabaly sold stuff on Ebay. That's not a big deal. He wasn't doing business out of his house and people weren't coming and going there" Bob stated.

    "Doesn't matter, he pissed me off when he cut me off at that HOA meeting when I suggested stricter rules, Barbara said.

    Bob snickered to himself at the irony. "So what's the problem?"

    "Well he's one of those ignorant rednecks that like to hunt and he has a big truck and pitbulls" Barbara said.

    Bob blinked a couple times and rolled his eyes.

    "Damnit Bob, ignorant rednecks like that do crazy things and bring down our house value! Don't you know anything?" Barbara screamed at him and walked out of the room.

    Bob shook his head and went back in the closet of doom.

    The subdivision Bob and Barbara lived in was originally considered a very "upscale" neighborhood. Really it was just 10 acres of cookie cutter McMansions, each with barely 1/5 of an acre per house. What it now lacked in charm and novelty it made up for in strict HOA rules and old biddies that loved to turn neighbors in for the smallest infraction. If your mailbox didn't match your neighbors EXACTLY, you would be getting a fine from the HOA. This meant design, color, even height above ground.

    Bob had a while back, "surveyed" the subdivision for resources and with an eye towards security. There was a retention pond that could be used for water on the East side of the subdivision. The North end of the subdivision backed up to a swampy area and a creek. To the south was a little bit of woods and then an abandoned industrial park. To the west was US1. The subdivision itself was situated about 2 miles north of Interstate 295. There were some "seedy" areas of North Jacksonville just a few miles south on US1.

    No one that he knew of had a well in this subdivision, all the water coming from Duval county sources. There were no septic tanks, all houses were tied into a local sewer system.
    A few of his neighbors were known to Bob, but most of them were not. After the housing crash, many houses became rentals after speculators lost their butts on their "investments" of the McMansions. So now there were very few of any of the original people in the subdivision. With about 50% of the houses being rented out with a fairly high turnover, people tended to come and go every so often around Shady Pines. This was the way it went in so many subdivisions any more.

    Bob would have liked to collect rainwater from his gutters, but strict HOA rules forbade it. It was also rumored that Florida law did not allow people to collect rainwater. Bob never checked that out because his HOA would not "allow" it anyways.

    Most of the houses in the subdivision were standard 2x4 construction with plywood and then a stucco veneer placed over the plywood. One or two houses were constructed of block.
    Aside from the handful of old biddies that caused problems for anyone that didn't keep their lawn neatly manicured or dared to have an extra car in their driveway for more than a few hours, most everyone else kept to themselves in Shady Pines. The HOA and "community" meetings that were organized years ago were never well attended, and the discussions involved always seemed to have to do with complaining about various neighbors.

    "The Robinsons have a clothesline in their backyard!" Bob remembered an old biddie mentioning at one of these. She was throwing a hissy fit about it. This despite the fact that the Robinsons had a wooden stockade type fence around their backyard. This meant that the clothesline couldn't be "seen" from the road.

    Someone called the old woman on the carpet about how she knew that, given you could not see in the Robinson's backyard.

    Looking greatly offended, she proceeded to tell a story about how her little dog was barking at something there one day and she checked to make sure "no one was in trouble" at the Robinson's house.

    Everyone in attendance seemed to glance back and forth with one or two snickering. Everyone knew this lady and knew she wouldn't pee on someone's head if they were on fire.

    The HOA and "community" meetings petered out rapidly around the time of the housing crash. Everyone seemed more concerned about their upside down home values than complaining about their neighbors- except for most of the old biddies.

    Bob attended one of these meetings with Barbara, the one where Mr. Reynolds dared to cut Barbara off and what started the vendetta Barbara set off on.

    Reading online, Bob read of people's plans to organize their neighborhoods to all prepare together. Some argued that you "needed" those unprepared neighbors to form a "neighborhood protection team" if TSHTF. Others asked "how will you feed them?" The polyannas seemed to think that you could be the only well fed person in a community and no one would notice but instead would work with you happily without questioning anything. All of these scenarios seemed to envision everyone flocking to the prepper looking for leadership and all the answers, with of course no one questioning anything. Even to Bob this didn't seem very realistic.

    Bob attended that HOA/community meeting with Barbara in order to gauge interest in a discussion about preparedness with his "neighbors." Bob might not be the brightest crayon in the box, but even he recognized this would be a lost cause.

    Given their location just a few miles north of some seedy areas of Jacksonville, Bob realized their only hope was a quick bug out if something ever did happen. But Barbara would never "allow" that, no matter how bad things looked. Bob put his hopes in meeting some like minded people in the area that could assist him when the time came.

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    "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed..."

  2. #2
    well done ld,
    i think you've been checking on some associates.
    that last paragraph..
    i have military associate. a friend finally just came out and told military that he needed military to come and "assist him" protect him and his, defend him.
    put in whatever words you like.

  3. #3
    Administrator protus's Avatar
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    Good read.
    I got a feeling ole Barbra needs to drop her petty feud real fast....lol
    Hey Petunia...you dropped your man pad!

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