Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pardon me while I reminisce

What is home? 
Is it where you grew up?
Is it where you spend your holidays?
Is it where your heart goes when you long for days gone by?

I've had lots of homes, I guess. 

There was the duplex where my parents lived when they were first married.  I lived there too, until my brother was born and we needed more space.  The other half of the duplex was also my Dad's dental office.  I kind of grew up there too.  That's probably why I've never been afraid of the dentist.  Why should I be?  How can you be scared of someone who lets you use their dental tools on your inflatable Mickey Mouse?

Then there's the house where we moved when I was two.  I got to pick out my own carpet and wallpaper for my bedroom.  When I was TWO.  The carpet was pink shag and the wallpaper was Mickey Mouse.  (I see a theme here.) 

My Gram and Granddad's house is where I always wanted to spend the night on weekends.  My great-grandparents lived with them too, when I was younger.  I don't know if I realized how lucky I was at the time.  That house is gone now, the victim of city "progress".  I have a few bricks, a knob off of a kitchen cabinet and some peonies that grew out by the fence.  And more memories than I could begin to count.

The first house of my own was where my son grew up.  I have "first day of school" photos of him in front of the mantle from Kindergarten all the way through senior year of high school.  I cried when I put the "for sale" sign in the front yard.  I cried because I would miss the Pin Oak that we hauled to the back yard in the little red wagon 15 years before.  And the tic-tac-toe board that some little person drew on the wall in the laundry room. 

The house I live in now was built when I was in high school.  We've been here for almost six years now.  Although its become our home, I've realized some things lately.  My Dad and Granddad never saw this house.  I've wondered what they would think about it.  My Gram and Uncle LeRoy are gone now too.  Its ironic.  I finally have my house with the big kitchen and the formal dining room.  A place to host family dinners.  And now I don't need a place this big to do it.  Because everyone in the family can sit at one table for eight.

And this little house that I'm remodeling? 
The reason I started this blog? 
I never lived in that house. 
I never even spent the night there. 

There are a lot of people that wonder why I'm so enamored by it. 
Why do I love it so? 
It wasn't a place where I spent endless weekends, but I do have memories there too. 

The deep freeze in the kitchen is where my Grandmother Katherine kept the butter brickle ice cream.  It's still my favorite.  The wallpaper in the breakfast room has cardinals on it and Uncle LeRoy would make them "sing" when we would sit and eat in there.  The toys we played with were still in the front closet.  A napkin from my wedding was in the dining room buffet. 

I've had moments in that little house when I've found something in a closet or a drawer and I become my six-year-old self again.  The me that still had too much family to fit at just one table.

Now I have the chance to make this old house into a home again. 
A place where more memories can be made. 
New traditions can be established. 
And a new branch of our family tree can grow. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

They're heeeeere!

It's been a long wait, but they're finally here.

The cabinets.

Pretty.  Shiny.  White.  New. 

Wrapped up.  In Boxes.

Wait.  What? 

That means work.  And lots of it.

I think I forgot to order the option that included the elf that installs them for you.

Its already been a lot of work to get from this

to this

It's going to be a long weekend to get from this

to this

I think it will be worth it though.

I'll let you know if we survive.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Brilliant Second Act

So much stuff to go through.

Some junk.  Some treasures.  And memories galore.

How do you take a lifetime of things and potentially toss them aside?

There are things in this house that make me cry to think that they might go in the trash.  Mostly personal items that make me remeber the people who used them.  The clothes were too old or out of style to be donated to Good Will. 

No one wants to buy a dress from the 60's or before. 
Men don't wear hats these days.

So when I sent a message to a friend and heard that her theatre students would use these items and that "they would be loved", it made my heart warm.

There are beautfully tailored dresses with lace and fancy buttons.  Handbags that my grandmother carried.  A couple of pairs of her shoes.  Men's hats from Henry's department store with my uncle's initials inside.

They'll get to shine again.  On stage.  Maybe on film. 

They'll get a chance at a Second Act at The Independent School.