Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The last cookie feast

so long ago.. in the days before Weight Watchers there was this day.. a day unlike any others in my life. a day I thought of today only because I had blogged earlier about a friends move. and it brought me back to one of the days after we had moved all of our furniture and belongings out of our first home we owned. For a first home for a young couple (we were both 21 when we got married) the house we bought was freaking gigantic. It was a large American Four Square around 3,000 square feet. It boasted 3 stories on top of a finished basement with a bar, a huge front porch, a brick patio, a desk, and a sun porch, a bathroom the size of a bedroom and an old world charm. Having been built in the later 1800's in resembled my great grandma Rachel's and great grandpa Nick's home on their farm where they raised their 11 children in Riceville Iowa. My mother and grandmother both cried the first time they walked through her doors... the first time I walked through her doors I asked our realtor "are you sure this is in our price range?" and then refused to walk through the rest of the house because "this is it" I didn't even need to see the house.. It felt right.. all the little adjustments made over the years, the years of people living within those walls... the laughter that filled the rooms wall to wall year to year... it was so old I was sure there was a ghost living there although I never saw or felt one.. the house had been struck by lightening a few times and had also had a huge fire in it at another point in time. The reminder in the dining room where one corner of the wood floor sunk as you walked over it. The rest of the living room carpeted with only a perfect square cut out to show the beautiful gleaming wood floor.. ahh I loved those wood floors.. every bedroom had them.. the stair case the same dark wood stain... every door way and moulding... all the same... so this brings me to our last feast... like I had said, we had already moved everything out.. we stopped there just one last time to clean out the fridge, throw some stuff on the curb for the garbage men, and breathe in one last time in our first home together. We had almost a full gallon of milk and as I went through the pantry (that was the size of a bathroom I might add) I found a box of thin mint cookies... somehow I managed to scrimmage up a few glasses (I think some old solo cups from a party that was in the bar in the basement) and Tim and I sat on a folding chair and the edge of a desk looking out the side dining room window watching cars go by as we ate those cookies one by one... I remember that day as if it was yesterday, but alas it was over 4 years ago... February of 2003... the same type day for me was January 17, 1987 the day I moved from my childhood home in Palatine to Arlington Heights.. our new house.. the home that my parents had worked so hard for years to be able to buy.. my mom becoming a nurse and then stashing away each of her paychecks in FULL only to save more and more for this dream house she always wanted... We searched high and low for the dream house and somehow we always came back to the DOVER.. "we want the Dover" we would chant over and over to my dad.. and of course with 3 girls humming that in your ear day and night eventually he gave in. They did put $ down on another home in Lake Zurich an Essex. My tax guy now lives in the exact property that my parents had put $ down on, and he too built an Essex on that property.. the house would have never worked for our family. My grandmother needed to live on the first floor and the Dover offered 2 master bedrooms, 1 on the first floor and another on the 2nd floor.. my dad refused to stick me in a small bedroom on the 2nd floor so he opted to only put one full bath on the 2nd floor.. it always worked out okay for our family.. we had come from a house that was less than 1,000 sq feet 2 bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen all visable from the front door. So coming into this huge house was fine for us, we didn't care.. there was still 3 toliets in the house.. always a way to at least pee! lol! So there I was that last day in my childhood home... the home I loved, the only home I knew.. and what I didn't know I'd miss the most would be the grass.. we had this HUGE yard with the thickest most lush grass I've ever seen.. in the summer it was always damp and cool and great to lay in under the huge trees, in the fall it was always covered by leaves, and any other time I just never paid attention to it until we moved to the new house and had crappy grass that just never really took no matter how hard my dad tried. I've always tried to really stop myself in lives little momments to take a breath.. and the day of our move one of our kitchen table chairs sat on the front porch so I sat in it.. and the guys continued moving furniture and boxes around me as I sat.. I looked across the street at "Grandpa Earls" house the old man that gave out candy daily to the kids in the neighborhood who came to visit him, and Jeff and Janet's house the young couple from California.. the husband a busy professional computer geek employed by Motorola.. but who had ever heard of them in 1987... Jeff Peelers house.. one of the painters on our block who owned this great red stingray that he offered my mom to buy for $5,000 which she now regrets not buying from him as it would have cost us another 50 cents a month on our new mortgage... Si & Dottie's house.. the older couple who had grown kids, and now grandchildren my age who had helped my parents when they were a young couple just starting out... The Corrado's.. a mine, yours, and ours family.. he a faithful Catholic with his children had remarried to a woman who had 2 children of her own and they had another child together.. The Walgren's house.. they had since moved out but it hadn't been long since my friend Linnea had lived there too.. I wanted to remember everything about that day, about that house, about that neighborhood.. I wanted to breath and stop life and for a few minutes.. I did..

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