We live miraculously close to a new commercial development, complete with a Kroger (score!), a Party Store (YIPEE) and a Hobby Lobby (Triple YIPEE with smoke trailing from the Mastercard). You can also slum it greasy-style at a McDonald's, a Bob Evans, and a Cracker Barrel (for those of you residing in the north, Cracker Barrel is the single most influential reason to pack your wares and migrate south of the Ohio River Valley). This development was established several years after my husband built the house and a couple years after I became Mrs. Crazy Cat Lady and moved in. Now that they are planning to construct a Sam's Club less than 5 miles away, I'm certain my husband wakes up every morning and gives himself a high-five over the strategic location of our home. Most of the development is complete, save for a few stores in the strip mall that stand vacant, thus proving that "economical recovery" has not yet reached Lexington. Builders have now started a $200,000+ neighborhood in the rear of this development, joining our neighborhood with the business sector. (We get to be the crotchety folk that spit sunflower seeds and rant about how we were here first). The best part? I now have a backroad to Kroger, Hobby Lobby, Liquor R Us, Panera, S&S Tire, and the best little bistro this side of the city. I do not have to go out on Nicholasville Road to get there. I understand that you may not fully grasp the gravity of this statement so let me say 4 things that may enlighten you:
1. Nicholasville (which is at the other end of Nicholasville Road) is often referred to as "Nich Vegas"...for good reason.
2. Nicholasville Road joins Nich Vegas to Lexington. It is cheap to live in Nich Vegas and work in Lexington. And it's only about 5 miles away, as the crow flies (I can't believe I just said "as the crow flies"....but since I did...it's sort of in a holler).
3. We also live about 2 miles from the only traditional mall in the city (we now have Hamburg, which is one of those shopping centers...clogged with parking lots and separate store entrances and people who think a stop sign is an unsolvable geometry problem).
4. And it's Christmas (sort of)
So, how do you solve a problem like Nicholasville Road? You use the back entrance that Santa delivered because you were extra good this year!
It is embarrassingly easy to unconsciously FLY down this back road. Not a stop sign or speed bump the entire way...until they parked a sheriff's car in front of the model home. The first time I saw it, I slammed my brakes on so hard I just knew Soccer Mom in the mini behind me would be picking convertible leather out of her grill for weeks. But as the police in this area tend to do, it was abandoned by anyone with law-enforcing capability. And so it has been for over a month. I do tap my brakes as I drive by, just in case, but even that has been unnecessary.
Last week, I was making a mad 5:30 pm dash to Kroger for the milk I forgot to buy at Sam's just an hour earlier when I spotted something...odd. It was still odd when I returned. Something was on fire in front of the model home, behind the sheriff's car. So, I drove down the cul-de-sac to get a closer view. Definitely fire. Definitely smelly. But I had no idea what it was. I've seen my fair share of furniture on fire (at some point in college, after consuming a trash can of hooch, it suddenly seems like a fine idea to drag the couch out to the street and set it aflame), so it kind of looked like a La-Z-Boy...but I couldn't be sure. My cell was on the charger at home. All I could do was send positive thoughts to 911. At this point, the 100 or so other housewives that use the same back entrance to Kroger were noticing. Surely someone else has a cell with them and has called it in. Surely. I thought about calling the sheriff's department when I got home, but since we're on the county line, I didn't know which office I should call and sometimes they get annoyed when you try to be all helpful and stuff. The next day I was headed back to Kroger and looked over to see if the house and car had burned down in a fiery pit of neglect. Nope. And in the same spot where the fire had been just the evening before...was a brand new, shiny green port-o-john...to replace the scorched one. And that's what a port-o-pot looks like when it's burned almost to the ground. Explains the smell. I have no idea how it happened, I guess it was not deemed newsworthy. But I do envision some of the construction workers standing around with Bic lighters and burritos, saying "hey, watch THIS! I can light my farts on fire!"