Trapped with cat, but HOA to the rescue

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, January 24, 2024

By Steve Stricker

Monday 1:25 pm, January 15,  snow piling up on top of sleet that began falling Sunday around 5:30 pm.  Feel as if I had been rudely jerked back to February 2021, same rare conditions, same result – Yogi Berra, would say “Déjà vu all over again” because of extremely steep driveway and hill to get to and from my house, frigid temps preventing melting, I was trapped in my house for eight days –  missing two Sunday Masses consecutively for the first time ever and going a wee bit “cabin fever” crazy!

Then, Thursday January 18, freezing rain falling, ice and snow piled up, can’t get out of the house since that Monday, meds, eye drops, food running out for me and Jag, as in February 2021.  Somewhat panicked, could only control stuff on my end – said my Rosary, shaved, first shower since Monday, dressed, and sent this email to our HOA:

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South Oaks HOA

South Lamar, Blvd.

This is Steve Stricker, 509 Donna Cove. I had my house built in 2000, one of the first here, years before any HOA, but I pay the dues – although I personally get nothing from doing so. In February 2021, because of ice and snow, very steep driveway and hill as you know, I could not get out of my house for 8 days. I called the HOA president and was told they could or wouldn’t do anything. Now, here again, since Monday, January 15, 2024, I am again trapped and can’t get out. I am running out of medicine, eye drops, food for me and my cat, and even with temps in the 50’s next week, it still will be over 8 or 9 days if lucky for me to get out – this is an emergency! I don’t care about pool parties and whatever, I care about living, and being trapped here is not only physically frustrating, life-threatening, but mentally stressful!! Please do the right thing HOA and get some snow moving equipment in here to clear Donna Cove and other driveways like mine that have us trapped.  Respectfully, Dr. Steve Stricker 509 Donna Cove”

I totally empathize with others in this situation, but this is about survival – no eye drops controlling pressure in my only glaucoma eye means going totally blind – meds, and no food for me or my cat, is slow death  And yes, I was here to experience the ICE STORM of 1994 – no electricity for two weeks, which attributes to my stress about this current situation!  Stranded, locked in, can’t get out, suffocated, cabin fever…!

3:20 pm, Thursday, January 18, Eagle column due, taking long nap – knock on front door, half asleep, opened to bunch of folk all bundled up with two parcels of stuff from store and homemade for me and Jag from our South Oaks HOA!!! Humbled, humbled, humbled – Thank You, Thank You, God! 

In faith, and as time passes so quickly, know that me and Jag will be okay, but next week is a lifetime away.  In Vietnam for a full year July 1969, for the first time tried to wrap my head around what that year ahead would be like – and pictured a train track into infinity and was overwhelmed.  And now, just looking to warmer weather this next week, 8 or 9 or more days away – am seeing the same train track….

Time, time, time, God’s time, all will be okay, just time away.

Steve is an Oxford resident and received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (Counseling) from Ole Miss.