Shamed for a Bike Ramp: What's Wrong with My Home Owners' Association?

3 years ago
Maybe I am just a hillbilly living in suburbia?

Let me tell you a little bit about me. I am practical, not elaborate in needing too many material things, I love allowing my kids to experience the world by doing, building, creating, and seeing.

A wooden bicycle ramp

Last year Knight and the hubby went to the man store (aka, Home Depot) and purchased scrap wood. The purpose was to allow Knight to build something. And that he did. He built a bicycle jump with no plans and no help. ALL BY HIMSELF. It is awesome! However, based on suburbia standards, this unsightly jump is an eyesore to all the people who must drive by. How do I know? Because my HOA let me know in the form of an official letter. Clearly, the hunk of wood is an embarrassment to the community.

Really? A bicycle jump built entirely by a seven-year-old is a complete disaster? It works perfectly, and he uses it every day. He drags it out onto the sidewalk where he and his neighborhood friends compare with one another how incredibly rad their jumps are. Should we not be celebrating such an achievement, as parents and community members? Has America become this entitled? It is shameful. I live in a nice house in a nice part of town and yet I am embarrassed at how some people think. Is this who we’ve become? Our big houses in shiny neighborhoods displaying our perfectionism to the outside world—this somehow defines who we are? This is not ME. I am embarrassed, not of the jump, but to be associated with people whose perceived image ultimately corrupts the very world around them.

What does this teach our children? To be elitists, or worse, materialistic elitists, perhaps. Not my kids—they will know that every home you pass by has a story. Every person is equal to the next person—big house, tiny house, apartment, or living in a box on the street. There is NO difference. Living life with false perception is a wasted experience. My kids will know what defines you is not what you own, where you live, how perfect your house looks, or with whom you associate. You are defined by the compassion you have for ALL people around you regardless of their things.

Perhaps I am just a hillbilly living in suburbia. If that’s the case, then I apologize for not conforming to this perceived reality. But I doubt that. God alone knows the truth behind all perfectly groomed houses. Some things you just cannot cover up.

Have HOAs gone too far? Have you had experiences that have questioning the true integrity of people?

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