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Dear Previous Owners,

First of all, thank you very much for selling us our first home three years ago.  We really do love it, and it is a perfect place for our little girl to grow up.

However, I have a few gripes with you about some rather strange decisions you made while you were living here.

Why is there a closet behind a closet in the basement?  Yes, I understand the utility of having storage space, but does the storage space need its own storage space?  Why not just make one big closet/pantry/cold room instead of taking the Alice in Wonderland approach to entryways?

And speaking of tiny doorways, is there some reason why you put in a half-height door to the nook under the stairway?  There is more than enough room for a real door.  Why are you forcing me to crouch down through a rabbit hole just to stand up inside a full-height space?  It will, admittedly, make for a pretty awesome playhouse for Abby when she gets a bit older and when I get the walls up in there, but in the meantime, it’s stupid.

Moving upstairs, did you need to wallpaper the kids’ rooms?  Really?  Is your one child so much of a jock that every square inch of wall space needs to be covered in baseballs and footballs and basketballs to show that he is, in fact, male and heterosexual?  It looks like overcompensating to me.  The other room, the one that we affectionately call “the lizard room” because you had two lizards in it when we went through the open house (staging, anyone?) had a more sexually ambiguous Noah’s Ark theme to the wallpaper, but it again runs into the wall of good sense to have a repeating pattern that shows no less than 16 Arks getting ready to sail.  Read the Bible!  Noah wasn’t leading a flotilla!

All of these complaints are minor, however – mere crumbs from my giant cake of annoyance – when compared to your concrete fetish.

I get it.  Lawn maintenance is a pain.  No one enjoys cutting their grass, and when you live in front of a noise berm that causes your yard to drastically slop upward about halfway to the wall, that hill can be a pain to cut.  Some people let it grow a bit wild.  Some people plant lilies all over it.  Some people hire neighbour kids to run the risk of rolling down a hill all tangled up with a gas mower.

But no one, no one at all, concludes that the only way to deal with it is to concrete the whole thing over, build a stage (a stage!) out of stone, and then leave a barren slope of dirt where the grass hill used to be.

After many hours of weeding and planting, we're still left with a lot of concrete and a noise berm.

What… the… hell?

When we bought the house, it was covered in snow, so it was hard to appreciate just how odd the back yard really was.  We figured that it would be low maintenance and fun for parties.  We also assumed, strangely, that there would be some kind of plant life in the garden plot that used to be a hill.  Yes, it proved to be fun for parties, but it was a rude shock when spring arrived and we suddenly found ourselves staring out the back window at a field of mud.  It did not bode well for someone that was born with two black thumbs.

(Also, why is there a stage up there?  Did you have a band come in to play during your garden parties?  Are you into really intimate local theatre?)

Here we are on our 4th summer of trying to figure out what the hell to do with our backyard and no real options have presented themselves.  And with a little one getting ready to boot it around next year, I can only imagine the degree of skin abrasion she’ll be facing when she first falls on her cement lawn.  Can you buy outdoor baby gates that attach to stone?  Can you put Astroturf on a concrete pad?

And one final thing: change your damn mailing address.  I’m getting tired of having to burn your bank statement and 407 bills.  Plus, I think you’ve missed about 7 weddings since you left.

I have attended 5 of them in your stead.

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