Friday, July 8, 2011

How We Spent Our 4th of July Weekend

Summer's flying by.
Part 1. We built a fence. Not your typical, "keep the dogs in and neighbors out kind of fence," but a "hide the lawn art" kind of fence. You see, for many years now (8? 9?) Dale has exuberantly shared his love of Halloween with the neighbors. He's just an exuberant kind of guy. This love of Halloween has earned our house the unofficial title "Halloween House" from many locals. It’s one of those local little secrets. As in, everybody in our neighborhood knows about it (and many outside the neighborhood), but apparently our city leaders don’t. So we were a bit surprised when we were given "two weeks notice" to remove a couple hearses from our backyard. Our beloved city inspector deemed them a nuisance and shared with us the city ordinance that says we cannot have inoperable vehicles on our property. Inoperable vehicles or lawn art? It’s all a matter of perspective. Upon further reading of the code, we learned that we can have up to two inoperable vehicles if they are behind an opaque fence. Dale’s commitment to his Halloween fans continues as we chose to spend our 4th of July weekend building "the fence." Many thanks to the neighbors who helped out (Jeff M, Mark H, Jason N, and Jeff M some more).

Stay tuned for the October update, when we learn whether "storing" these vehicles in the front yard for the Halloween season creates any additional city concerns.
2004 photo of Hearse #1 in front yard
2004 photo of Hearse #2 in front yard

Part 2. As if building a fence wasn’t enough, we also ridded ourselves of a couple old couches. You know your couches need replacing when the basement couch is far better than the upstairs couches. When my mom first learned that Good Morning America was interviewing us in our home last June, she exclaimed, "Not on those ratty old couches of yours?!" So, frugal as we are, we wouldn’t want to buy new ones. We pulled the old couch up from the basement and accepted a friendly donation of another couch from some great friends. The "worst" couches were appropriately loaded into a trailer to take to the dump. We obviously couldn’t take them straight there, though, as the dump was closed for the holiday. So where to? The neighbors up the road! We heard they were having a fireworks party, so Jeff and Dale dressed up for the occasion (tipping their trucker hats to Day 144 – Trailerhood), piled all the kids into the van, lit the blow torch, and brought our own comfort seating the to the party!

A Serious Lawn Couch - Heading to the Fireworkin'
Watch (listen?) for more of the "Dale and Jeff" show on a series of upcoming podcasts… coming soon…


  1. Love that you decorate for Halloween. Can't wait to read/see what you have in store.

  2. That's one nice lookin fence. Well done.

  3. The fence is looking good. I am loving your blogs :o)

  4. Truly this is sad. I agree that the idea of having a vehicle sitting on blocks rusting away in somebody's yard can look junky, but from the look of these two fine classic beauties I would say this does not fit that profile. I am sorry that you had to hide such fine artwork, I would have loved an opportunity to see those. Perhaps the government should change the law to discourage blight on peoples lawn and not such artwork.

  5. Thanks for the praise on the fence. If a job is worth doing once, it's worth doing twice, right? Well, being as this was our first fence, we spent Monday morning taking down the planks we had put up on Saturday night. We did a much better job the second time around. :-)

    @The Gearheads: We thought about petitioning the city and such, but in the end we figured it would just be easier to play by the rules. The hearses will definitely be on display in the front yard by October. You should stop by for a visit!