About the house...

It turns out that my house was a community project.


Two young men unloaded a new china hutch and one of them informed my mom that he did the plumbing in the house. The next afternoon, a fellow came running across the street. I was busy putting up the garden hose after watering my camelia and hibiscus I had planted barely in the nick of time before they choked to death on the dust in their pots.

He asked, "How do you like your house?" Then asked again, a bit louder. I thought he was talking to his friend across the street, never dreaming he was talking to me. When I finally heard him, I was thinking, "Great, we'll do a neighbor thing here." Sigh...

He did all the talking and told me about every house he and his crew painted in the past three months and then told me that our house was the nicest of them all, even the new neighborhood that was about 15 miles away.

I'm glad, actually, to know that my house is great and better than other new construction houses. There's something comforting about that, I guess.

It seems, though, that just about everyone in Picayune, except the people at the utilities and phone companies were in my house before we bought it.

Only in a small town!

"What's your address?"

I tell them.
"Oh, I painted the bedrooms in that house."

"What's your address?"
"Oh, that is a great house! I did the floors in it."

"What's your address?"
"I'm sorry, there is no house at that address."


So either a person has walked the floors here or they don't believe a house is on this lot which has been vacant for the past 50 years.

"I promise it's there! No, I get mail at the P.O. Box because my mom doesn't want to have to deal with mail during vacation time. What can I do to show you that there is a house there? I must have my driver's license."

"Go next door and get your vehicle registration. We'll take a tax receipt as proof."

I go next door. "Where do you live?"
I tell her.
"Okay." She types it in, types in my VIN and tells me to write her a check for $307. Boom. I've got my registration and only then do the Dr. Lic. guys believe I live in my house. I should have told the plumber and the painter to go with me. Then I could have pointed to the taupe color of paint on the man's shirt and said, 'That's the color of my bedroom. Yes. I live in that house.'

The plumber could have pointed to the other spot on his shirt and said, "That's the color of the bathroom."

Somehow, I think I'd still have to write that check for $307. Besides, it feels great to be driving around legally. The registration, inspection sticker and my license all say, "Mississippi". I'm a real Mississippian now. My business card says so.
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