Two doors down from us there lived an old woman who strongly resembled the Baba Yaga (well, without the chicken feet or the iron teeth). Her wiry steel-grey hair was always neatly bound up in a bun on the top of her head. Her teeth were strong and yellow (no dentures there). The combination of long nails and somewhat arthritic hands gave her a fairly creepy clawed look, but truthfully she was a very kind woman with a fairy-tale-witch look about her.
Baba came to every annual homeowners’ association meeting and sat in the front row so she could complain about the kids and dogs in the complex. In all fairness, she complained more about kids than dogs (and never once yelled at us when Thor was a puppy and ever-escaping the house unleashed).
When our buildings were originally constructed in ’78 they were intended to be a quiet retirement community (in my six years on the board I was often reminded of that fact by Baba) with no children or pets allowed. That, of course, explains why our complex has a giant flat-topped hill in the center with absolutely no amenities whatsoever: rumor has it there’s no pool, garden, or park up there because the hill was created as a construction garbage dump by the contractors building the place. Or, there’s bodies in there. Who knows?
Baba Yaga was a stubborn and nice lady who wouldn’t allow anyone else to shovel her sidewalk (it gave her exercise and the opportunity to see what’s happening in the complex in the winter), do her shopping or any other assistance. She always struck me as a rather lonely soul: her kids had all moved out of state and she’d expected to retire in a nice quiet community that ended up somewhat crazy with all the noisemakers moving in and out.
She moved out three years ago after saying “I’m 90 and I’d rather just have my money and die at my son’s house.” She sold her house and moved to Philly, I think.
In the end, Baba Yaga got us all back for our noise and general shenanigans. I’ll never know if it was intentional or not, but I suspect those iron teeth are grinning somewhere.
She sold her place for $35k. THIRTY FIVE GODDAMNED THOUSAND DOLLARS. Sigh. Those of us who stayed when the bottom fell out of the market in our underwater-mortgages cried a little when one of the NOT abandoned units sold for under $50k.
The new owners…well, they’re an entirely different post.
PS: Clearly spellcheck doesn’t know Russian fairy tales…it’s insisting “Baba Yaga” is spelled incorrectly and wants to change it to “Abba Yoga”. Ha!