Landlords, Squirrels and Important Issues!
When we moved into our rental, I noticed that there was a large sheet of metal that was installed on the south gable of the house. It was an eye-sore, but our need for a home at the time exceeded my need to know the back story of why that sheet of metal had been plastered to the house.
When In Doubt, Ask The Neighbor!
If you ever find yourself looking for a rental home, I would highly recommend that you reach out to your "future" next-door neighbors. They have all of the dirt on the prospective house and are usually willing to share it. And as an extra bonus, you get a preview of the people you will be living by.
Our neighbor to the south was definitely more stressed about the eye-sore than I was. One day he proceeded to share about the previous squirrel problem that had caused a hole in the house and the landlord's approval to provide a simple patch - that sheet of metal. I tentatively listen but was not too worried as we had not heard the pitter-pattering of squirrel feet in our ceiling.
One Day That All Changed
Months later the dreaded moment arrived. The invasion has begun!
I am not sure that invasion is the right word, but it sure is a fun word to use. What was clear is that my wife, children, and I could all hear feet rustling over our heads, and on a few occasions we even saw squirrels entering their newly created doorway in the user side of the roof.
A Patch Is Not Always A Solution
We reported our "unwelcomed guests" to our landlord. She apparently reached out to the contractor who works on the house when needed, because one day there was a thin metal sheet (1 foot x 1 foot) covering up the squirrel's entrance. I was skeptical that the "fix" was actually a fix, but I tried to be optimistic.
A few days, a new hole emerged. The squirrels were not ready to give up the fight. They had treasures stored in our roof, food supplies that they had worked hard for, and they were not going to give up easily.
More Calls, Same Old Squirrels
As the noise continued, our calls to the landlord increased. First off, I did not want the house to be damaged. It is sad when renters don't make any effort to care for a property, including reporting major concerns.
And honestly, I was a bit concerned about a squirrel falling through the roof and wreaking havoc on our possessions. Read this article and then let me know if you still think I am paranoid.
The Calvary Arrived
Do you remember the contractor I talked about earlier? Apparently he received approval to attack the problem with more than a patch. He showed up one morning this week, started walking around the house, and noting measurements every 10 steps or so. This would be of a decent sized project and he wanted to make sure his calculations were correct to cover the cost of materials, and probably more importantly for him, the cost of labor.
Just this morning, the contractor and his son finished up the one and a half-day job. No more patches (big or small). No more partial solutions. The eaves of the roof have been one hundred percent covered with a metal siding-like material. It appears that there is no way for the squirrels to get in and all of the chaos and noise of the last two days scared the squirrels out before their "doorways" were covered.
Analogies Always Fail At Some Point
I always feel like I should take a deeper look at everyday events and try to find lessons and nuggets of truth.
My intention is not to make light of current events or to generalize. So I offer my apologies in advance if I offend anyone.
The landlord seems to represent a national government. My landlord's desire to protect her property does not mean that she has an inherent interest in my families well being while we live in her home. She wants me to pay rent and she does not want me to destroy her home. Everything else seems peripheral. I am not saying that the "landlord/government" hates the people. I am just saying that landlord has vested interests, and the same applies to the renters ("we the people"). Sometimes those interests run parallel or cross, sometimes they don't.
The renter represents the citizens of a country. Money is exchanged (taxes) for services. In my case, I voluntarily pay my landlord each month for the use of the house. Regarding taxation, the conversation is much more complicated. Do citizens have the freedom to pay for the services offered or is this a forced transaction? Are the services offered by the government actually usable by the citizen and/or viewed as beneficial by the citizen?
The squirrels represent anything that a citizen does not like or want. This is tough because every citizen views the "squirrels" differently, while at the same time, all citizens are at the mercy of the "landlord" in some way or another on how the squirrels are handled. For some, a squirrel is a cute, furry creature seen in parks and tree-covered neighborhoods. For others, a squirrel is a destructive rodent.
I know someone on either side of the political aisle that sees the following as a "squirrel":
- illegal immigrants
- universal healthcare
- lockdown in response to Covid 19
- the reopening of states while dealing with Covid 19
- a depleting Social Security system
- a growing national deficit
- not enough funds for government programs to meet people's needs
And squirrels keep coming back as long as there are stored treasures. These treasures represent the reason 'why' a issue is so dear to one person - a better life, more freedom, more fiscal responsibility, meeting peoples' needs, etc. We hear of friendship broken and people divided because of these issues. The reason being is that people are willing to fight and not give up on their "treasures" - the things that they view as valuable.
The awning are the protective measures the "landlord" is willing to take to keep out the squirrels. If you throw up a patch you should expect things to get in that are not wanted. It takes a lot of time and effort to make keep the "squirrels" out - time and effort that could be and maybe should be used for other things. The funny thing about the "awning" is that when something is so impenetrable that nothing can enter, there is greater potential that nothing can escape either.
My ramblings are over. These are just some thoughts that I have been pondering today. Some of my thoughts have stood firm for many decades - yes, I am that old. Some things are changed over the years. I found that when I "force" myself to write out what I am thinking, I have to really think about it!
Let me know your thoughts, comments, questions, and concerns in the comment section.
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