Housing Crisis Hits Home

I live in a county known for its strict stance against illegal immigration. I support this stance. For this reason, my husband and I began deportation proceedings against Frederico last night. While he may be a nice enough critter, he’s no longer welcome. He’s very dodgy – even evasive. Worse still, he’s engaged in some serious landscaping initiatives that interfere with my plans.

You see, Frederico (I picked the name for ease of reference) has taken up residency under my front stoop. He is a ground hog we’ve spotted on several occasions, usually when pulling into the drive-way. He’s quick considering how fat he is. And every time, he dives behind my azalea and into the hole he’s burrowed under the stoop. I’m less than impressed.

Our first interaction with Frederico was when he scurried under the bushes early in the spring. DH saw him and immediately called me at work to discuss our options. according to him, there is a strict 4 furry animal limit at our house and he bumps the count to five. Since we live inside city limits, a shot-gun (thankfully) was not a viable option. We scoured and discussed the many online suggestions of ways that MIGHT discourage him from returning. No one offered guarantees (with the exception of the shotgun). In the end, my “feeling” side won the debate – I just couldn’t bring myself to hurt this poor creature who wanted nothing more than to use my stoop for shelter. This feeling lasted little more than 2 days.

Important Side Note: I have a calling in life. I am where plants go to die – a “plant hospice” of sorts. I love plants, flowers, trees, all of it. I just can’t seem to maintain a thriving plant for any substantial length of time. They need to be *very* self-sufficient to survive in my presence. Every spring, I go to the local flower shop and pick out the prettiest annuals I can find. By their nature, they are usually inexpensive and relatively easy to care for (at least until the heat of summer sets in and then they fry from 2 days without water).

I had done my spring planting only about a week before Frederico made his presence known. One warm evening, I stepped onto the front stoop only to notice that many flowers were missing from my potted plants on the side closest to the house. Realizing it had been a day or two since I last watered them, I quickly pulled out the hose and gave them a good soaking. The next evening, twice as many flowers were gone and the light bulb went off. I ran into the house and resumed the “murder the intruder” discussion with my husband. It was heated and there were many adjectives thrown around – for that evening, he was not referred to as “Frederico.” DH was kind and refrained from “I told you so” – likely in hopes we’d be able to get around the sticky laws and could instead use a shotgun. No such luck. Instead, in a frantic effort to do SOMETHING immediately, I stuffed all the lawn clippings I could find into his hole in hopes of “invading’ his personal space and making his new digs less appealing.

It worked!

My flowers returned and flourished in the wonderful rains and warm temperatures. Sadly, temperatures lately have exceeded 100 with the heat index and rains are sporadic. With the exception of some pansies and the stupid mini daisies that just won’t go away, most of my flowers have withered away. Some of the greens remain with the flowers hidden under the cover of the “big-green-bush-things-that-grew-much-larger-than-anyone-would-have-guessed-Dear-Lord-what-do-they- put-in-Miracle-grow??”. I’d really like to keep these last few flowers.

Last night, Frederico scurried back under the stoop when I pulled into the driveway. I marched into the house, threw down my stuff, changed clothes, and dragged DH out to help with the eviction. In anticipation of this event, I had bought 2 huge bags of cheap mulch which we proceeded to pour into the hole.

A few minutes into the project, my conscience awoke. “He’s probably still in there! He’s probably terrified! He has no escape” Will he be able to breathe? Have I just buried Frederico alive?” DH attempted to console me by saying groundhogs are great at digging and he will have no trouble finding a way out. With that, the more rational “thinking” side of my brain kicked in and I promptly filled the hole on the other side of the stoop. You know – the one behind the rose bush that he’s linked to the hole under the azalea.

I still have little pangs of guilt and am trying not to think too much about it. It would be really sad if he had to die under the stoop, but he did get notice and decided not to heed it. It’s his own damn fault. We’ve been living in this house for over 6 years now and the papers have been reporting the crack-down on illegals for quite a while. In the end, I still support a strong stance against illegal immigration especially when the critter is feeding on MY plants that I can barely maintain anyway.

I just never thought I’d be one of the Minutemen.

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One Comment on “Housing Crisis Hits Home”

  1. Six Says:

    LOL!! I love that you call him an illegal, even though he (at least his ancestors) lived on that land far before you did. Perhaps you are the “illegal” and Freddie is digging under your house, in hopes of having it fall and you move out. That way his “people” can take back the land and start their own civilization based on that of his ancestors!


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