but, it is a victory, nonetheless.

it is not exactly a pyrrhic victory, but it feels like that sometimes.

the good news is that we get to keep the garden. and the dogs are safe from further prosecution 🙂

the good news is that people were good in the end, and that i have SO much wonderful support out there, and that people stood by me and helped me in countless ways. i appreciate every single one of them. they are too many to enumerate, but i thank every person who has helped in any way. every gesture meant the world, and helped me stay on track when i might have been tempted to just hide in bed 😉

the good news is that the oak park prosecutor is a nice, honest, fair guy. he may not have agreed exactly with what we have done, but he was above board and did exactly what he said he would do- dismiss the dog charges as soon as he saw the license documents (last time we went it was his son there, so he truthfully never saw our licenses). he even took time to speak to us for a long time afterward and explain things to us and tell us tons of information.

the good news is that the judge was exactly how she was last time- evenhanded, level-headed, patient, and kind. i am so happy that we ended up in front of her and not some wacko ( i don’t know any other judges in oak park, so this is not meant as a slur on anyone- i am simply highlighting how great our judge was).

the good news is that KJ, the famous code enforcer from the beginning of this story was there and he was great. at first he wouldn’t meet my gaze, but after a while he had to walk past me and he whispered something so sweet in my ear that i truly might have cried. he is such a good guy in such a cruddy position, and i feel bad for him. i do wish him all the best, and hope that his bosses get more rational, his paychecks get bigger for all of the aggravation he has to deal with, and his days get easier.

the good news is that our lawyer is honest, in spite of the stereotypes about lawyers. he helped us when we were in a jam, and he had no idea that it would get his name out or help him in any way. he just did it because he is a solid guy. in today’s world, i would say that is a strong shining light!

the good news is that, because of YOUR efforts, oak park might emerge from the dark ages. the battle is not over for the zoning to change, and the codes to become clear, and the city council members to get off their power trip and rethink their job descriptions. but now people care.

the good news is that because of all the momentum that was generated, people’s eyes were opened. lots of people, myself included, were sort of passive in the face of government before. i just went along, figuring that most rules had good reasons, and i was mostly happy to comply. but this entire experience has shown me that you have to be educated. you have to ask questions. you have to have a strong internal compass for morality, and you have to be willing to stand by your Self (capital S on purpose) even in the face of people standing against you.

the good news is that i will have healthy food for my family, and they will have so many learning experiences to draw on. they will know that it is ok to stand up for your beliefs, and that many people will come to your defense if you are Just and correct. they will know that some things are worth fighting for, and that you need to know what your priorities are so that you can live in accordance with them.

the good news is that star husband has come through this mostly unscathed, and maybe even a little proud of his non-conformist wife 😉

the good news is that i can get back to living instead of managing, and that hopefully i can give more to this blog than my rants and my recipes (although both of them will probably continue, at least a little bit).

the good news is that we won. i am trying to wrap my head around the idea that a dismissal without prejudice is a dismissal nonetheless, and that the prosecutor has given me his word that he has no intention of bringing this up again. we won. it may not be the slam dunk vindication that i was hoping for, but it is the best that can come from this decidedly UNbest situation.

the victory is surreal, as was the battle. and maybe this is the way it should be: the end should reflect the beginning, and events should come full circle. maybe this is the way to tie up this experience in a neat little package so that i can continue on to other things.

we are done with this chapter. i am DONE, in an existential way, with this chapter. my family is done, and my neighbors are done, and my dogs are done.

and now it’s time to take my marbles and go home.

the show is over, and the lights are out.

the garden renegade has left the building.

but you can be sure i’ll be back as soon as i’ve had some time to decompress 😉

cuz i would miss you guys as much as you would miss me.

and that’s the nicest good thing of all.  🙂