Friday, July 24, 2015

Moving Away From Yesterday

All I needed was probably 30 minutes that could drag into an hour or two to finish painting the small kitchen and dining room of my childhood home when my mother called. It was getting dark. I needed to leave.

I had no intention of leaving until I finished. I gazed out the window. The wolf had begun to stroll the neighborhood of gingerbread houses built in the early 1940's. I patted the lid on the paint can, wrapped the paintbrush in plastic, took off my gloves, washed my hands, picked up my purse, my

Partner was a feral dog my dad rescued
and was difficultto move 
but she made it to dog heaven 
and lived with my small pack
 until she went on to the real dog heaven.
dogs and exited the house within five minutes.

My mom sold the house two years after she moved in with me. I wanted to buy the house, but my mother felt that would cause conflict with my siblings. To think I couldn't wait to get out of that house when I was 18.

Lying on the front stoop as a teenager reading as it rained at night, I used to imagine it being a street in 1800 England. The curve in the road when I looked to the left with the yellow glow of the street light gave the neighborhood a regal glow despite its blue-collar soul.

I feel like knocking on the door of the different renters and give them a lecture about mowing the grass, getting rid of weeds, picking up trash, and what is it with the window blinds being so broken and hung out of kilter. I have a substantial emotional investment.

There are sections of the neighborhood that have held up from decay. When my dad passed away, it was like someone blew a whistle, and the area close to my parent's house went down.

Dad loved his riding mower. He went up and down the road mowing all the single women with kids yard during the day. My mother never allowed him to mow her grass. He mowed it too short. One woman had an angry ex-boyfriend take wires off her car's engine. At midnight, dad went to the fried chicken fast food where a neighbor worked and reattached the wires her ex-boyfriend had pulled from her car.

My mom's pet dachshund's first day in her new home was a fabulous day for her. She ran up and down the hallway with my sister's dog Molly celebrating the new house.

I still drive by the family home and old neighborhood. The family who lost their house when the dad lost his job, the mom who played ball with her sons every day in the alley, the neighbor who discussed the heatheness of unchurched families, birthday parties, sword fights with an old picket fence posts, graduations, marriages, babies, parents roam the streets.

My sister calls my new home, dog heaven. If a dog can move on, so can I.

#Cherished BlogfestThis post is being submitted to the Cherished Blogfest in which you describe a cherished object. A house is rather large, but it is an object.

11 comments:

  1. How wonderful that your old home is still standing. So many are torn down, without a trace. Funny story about your father mowing the neighbourhood lawns, but not his own. :) Partner was a lucky dog, living in your "dog heaven".

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    1. I was lucky to have grown up in the neighborhood. It was a good one.

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  2. One lucky pup indeed there. Old homes that still look nice and are at least semi cared for are hard to find these days.

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    1. The old neighborhood is a study in contrasts. Some houses and areas are in remarkably good shape. There are a few houses boarded up and of course many, many rentals.

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  3. Hi Ann,

    I'm trying my best to not go back to my old home. I have this feeling that the beautiful garden I created might just have been turned into a garbage dump. Good to know that your old home is still intact.

    I shall send our beloved dog to your place ;)

    Have a good weekend, Ann.

    Gary

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    1. Gary, Thomas Wolfe was right in you can't go home again. I did not show a picture of how the house looks today. It's tolerable, but it is certainly not a home. The landlord never keeps a tenant long. The flower beds and garden are long gone. Just a few volunteer flowers that seem more like weeds in an unkempt lawn. Don't get me started on garbage.
      So memories are a better thing.

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  4. As an Army brat, I never was able to get attached to a house for very long, because we moved so often. However, now that I have a house of my own and have put down some roots here, I'm starting to understand what you mean about a house being cherished.

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    1. You would recognize these homes. There is a variety of them build during World War 2 in most military towns. I think there were three of them in Warner Robins. I have a friend that bought one Atlanta in the early seventies and sold it for over $200,000 in the late seventies. There was a big renaissance in that area of Atlanta, lucky her.
      I think it is a matter of time that the homes in this neighborhood are torn down.

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  5. This post has so much nostalgia-- thankyou for sharing such a personal story, and for taking part in the Cherished Blogfest– it is posts like this that make it worthwhile for us cohosts.

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  6. I can certainly understand an attachment to a house. So many memories and just the feelings a place can arouse. Nicely written memories.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  7. My mother's old house sat in a neighborhood like that. We sold it a week after she died. There were so many memories tied to the house, as I lived there from 4 to 19.

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