It wasn’t the first time this salty lady had terrorized his family. And it wouldn’t be the last.
But as he watched the torrent of tears stream down his daughter’s cheeks, he just couldn’t take it anymore. This wasn’t the time for calm examples. It was a time for action.
A new house in a new city was going to be a wonderful, fresh start for the Jelm family.
Richard’s new job was amazing and well worth the move. The only thing that matched it was the neighborhood and schools nearby. His daughter, Hailey, would have so much fun. Things seemed perfect – at first.
It was weeks of natural adjustments and stress. They had made the rounds to those that lived around them and offered “hello gifts”.
Everyone had been lovely and welcoming, except for one old woman. She grabbed their gift with an exasperated sigh and then slammed the door in their faces. Richard couldn’t believe it!
However, the Jelms weren’t ones to stir the pot, so they simply went home and told their girl to avoid the unpleasant woman.
Things seemed to settle down and life found a semblance of comforting routine when, one day, Hailey was outside playing and laughing. The old woman stuck her head out the window and yelled.
Richard ran out to see what was happening. The old woman’s face was red and throbbing with irritation.
But the reason left him standing there speechless. She was furious that Hailey was making too much noise and laughing. It “distracted” her from her television shows. The next event came only one week later.
One of the things Richard adored about his wife was her kindness. She made it a point to go to those in the neighborhood and share supplies with whoever needed them during the lockdown.
The old woman, however, pulled out her phone and filmed everything – saying she would report his wife to the police.
He couldn’t take it anymore. First, he told the woman that she was totally crazy!
She needed to mind her own business and no one was breaking any rules. Second, Richard called his friend for advice. He also lived in the area and might know what was going on with the old bat.
It turned out his friend was well aware of the notorious grandma.
She had had even gone as far as making her own signs to keep kids from playing in the empty parking lot beside them. “Notices” were a common thing to find in their mailboxes. She thought she owned the place. It was also about to take a turn for the worse.
It was a cool but sunny day, and Hailey was expressing her budding talent as an artist with her colorful sidewalk art.
There were happy bunnies, smiling flowers, and lots of cute clouds. As if on cue, the old woman stormed out. This time, Richard was ready with his phone.
She didn’t seem to care she was being filmed, because she went around the house, and pulled out a garden hose.
The wrinkled nightmare pointed it at the little girl’s drawing and let out a heavy stream of water – washing away the gorgeous drawings. The next words out of her mouth were unbelievable.
Richard felt the rage rise as the acrid octogenarian then threatened to call the cops on his kid for being “an out-of-control little brat with no respect for people or property.”
Every part of him wanted to clock the woman, but her next statement gave him much better ammunition.
“I’m the president of the neighborhood association. You’re not allowed to do this! Keep it up and I’ll have you all kicked out!”
There wasn’t a better setup Richard could have hoped for. He pulled out his own phone and dialed his friend – the actual president of the association.
His friend was the entire reason they had relocated to the area. He had helped the Jelm family through their entire move.
Now, Richard listened with utter satisfaction as his friend very thoroughly ripped the woman a new one. Her face turned every color of the rainbow as she bellowed and screamed.
The new paradigm was made very clear. The old lady was to stop saying she was part of the association, putting up her own signs, enforcing her own rules, and leave the kids alone.
If she broke any of them, especially with bother any kids, his friend would be the ones to call the cops.
It was a delicate truce, but better than nothing. There were no more attacks, but Richard often caught the lady starting daggers out the window at his family.
It became easy enough to ignore the ire. Sidewalk drawings became a regular thing. And, best of all, the other neighbors loved them!