Who You Gonna Call?

This past weekend was sunny (for the most part) and beautiful. We managed to get a lot done in our yard, including hauling off a large heap of brush with the help of our friends Andy and Blake, as well as our neighbor (the same one who sold us this house) and his trailer and Dingo.

The Dingo helped haul over the big logs, and smash down the brush into the trailer. One load was all it took, and we reciprocated on his property and helped with a downed tree limb.

Two loads full later, I was BUSHED. After all, I had been up since 3 a.m. that morning, still excited and revved up about the Pianos on Parade news.

The next day we were back at it, transplanting the last of the herbs over to the side lot, adding mojito mint to a small patch of greenway at the base of a telephone pole, and moving the straw bales down to the chicken coop.

There was plenty of cleaning to do inside as well, although you wouldn’t be able to tell, I swear there is clutter in every room of our house!

There were several visits by different neighbors, with more plants and seeds to share, along with some lovely flowers for my fairy garden projects underway. We also managed to get about half of the lawn mowed – but we were both still very achy and tired from moving so much brush the day before.

On Sunday night, as we relaxed with some popcorn and watched a show on Netflix, we had the doors open, enjoying the cool night air.

That’s when we heard it…pop…pop…pop pop pop pop pop!

I turned to Dave, “Gun or fireworks?”

“Gun. Up on 9th Street from the sound of it. Get the doors closed, I’m calling 9-1-1.”

He dialed the number and we waited…and waited…and waited…

For at least FOUR minutes before they took us off of hold.

Meanwhile we watched the shooter run down Indiana, which sort of dead-ends right near our house and then resumes a half block later. He then ran onto an empty lot between the white house on the end and the red brick house next to us, heading south towards 11th. The guy was long gone before 9-1-1 even bothered to take us off of hold.

It made me wonder if we would have been better off hanging up instead of staying on hold (something I’ve heard can often trigger a faster response.

It was a solid seven minutes before we ever even heard a siren and at least ten minutes before the ambulance tore away. Far too late for the woman who died of gunshot wounds on the front porch of her apartment building.

This was the closest experience we have had with violence in the neighborhood since moving here over two years ago. And while I’m not necessarily shook up over it, I can’t help feeling rather helpless and frustrated. We saw the shooter running down the street, hand in his pocket, getting away, and there was nothing we could do about it as we sat on hold and waited for them to respond.

I’m not scared off from this neighborhood, but that was an incredibly disturbing experience. Something is quite broken here, folks. Quite broken indeed.

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