As I write this I shortly leave for my last walk over to my childhood home as an owner.
I know it's ridiculously over dramatic to suggest I feel like one of the inmates in The Green Mile. But, it is what it is, and it's perhaps one mile away, so it fits and I'm going to keep it.
Someone once suggested we should just sell it, and be done with it; as I was squandering money by having it just sit there.
Squander rolled off their tongue like a fine honey slowly dripping onto a slice of ripe apple. A heavenly treat for the eyes and taste buds at the same time.
Ironically, it's appraised now about the same as it was back then, so on that aspect it was a wash.
After my parents' passing I had visions of doing just that; only, to face challenges of time, money and, to be frank, will-power at times.
The inevitable has finally come, albeit 13 years later, and shortly after 4pm we hand over the keys.
Sadly, years have taken it's toll, and the house is a faded rose. Whomever the next owner is, will have to dedicate a lot of money to restore the home to its former glory.
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In truth I've lived more time at other locations than I have in that building. But, it was the first place I have any memories of, and some are as crystal clear as if they just happened a few minutes ago.
- The sweet cherry tomato plants that spread like a spider web over a 6' x 6' planter bed and into the walk way, because my father didn't use a tomato cage to trellis them.
- Replacing the old, diseased peach tree with several dwarf trees, back in the early 1970s.
- This included a Satsuma Plum, which is still producing fruit to this day, despite dwarves supposedly petering out after 10 years back then.
- My painting on the patio area (with water), only to have the brush slip from my hands and fly through a window; and then my reaching through the hole for the soon to be obvious unreachable brush.
- Then the emergency room visit to Brookside Hospital for stitches on my left wrist. (I still carry a scare which has led to more an one conversation, where I've had to explain it wasn't a failed suicide attempt).
- The handful of neighborhood friends playing in old Fort Eldrich, which my father cobbled together out of scrap redwood, back when redwood wasn't a commodity you could simply walk into any Home Depot to buy (there WASN'T Home Depot back then!!)
- The name was a contraction of El Cerrito and Richmond, which I stuck a D in for no particular reason.
- My father, the school teacher, deciding one year that every month my sister and I would have a home-work assignment on some foreign country, and he'd bring home a real 16mm movie print to project in the kitchen as we ate Swanson International Menu TV dinners.
- My personal favorite was the German Style Dinner.
- The cranky neighbor complaining that he saw 27 cats sunning themselves on our patio roof one day (we had TWO cats).
- That same cranky neighbor helping us get Tigger out of the front yard's stand of 10'+ tall birch trees by squirting her with a garden hose, and her immediately falling like a rock.
Those were amongst the good memories and ones that came forth as I was writing this blog entry. (YES, in a macabre way, I have included the wrist slashing, amongst the Good).
Of course, I have some not so fond memories. But, those are for another time because I'd prefer not to dwell on the dark side right now.
I had better sign off now so that I have plenty of time for what must be done today, since it cannot be done tomorrow.
Lord please help my camera batteries have enough charge so that I can take at least one photo of each room.
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For those preparing to send me an email correcting my spelling…Please don't.
It was a typo, which I had already corrected, only to put it back a minute later. Memories of one's childhood home are part of your whole heart, and cannot be erased so, I decided to run with that.