I am a faithful reader of Bill Renzulli's blog and as a result have been doing a lot of thinking. He has been writing about when he and Patience moved here and the mess that the neighborhood was. Most people don't know that we have lived here in LowerTown for the past 15 years, or at least I have. We were here when it wasn't such a good neighborhood and have seen the progression that has taken place since all of the artists have moved here. It has been a bit harrowing at times, with home inspections and such, but has been well worth it to me. See, a couple of years ago, my husband really wanted to move, and move bad. I was kind of wishy-washy about it, because I really didn't want to leave the home where I had raised 2 step-daughters and my son. It was really the only place that he had ever known, and I hated taking that away from him. Not that he wouldn't have learned to be happy somewhere else, but I really love this house, so, in my mind, that was the excuse that satisfied me, and though I shared it with no one, my husband relented to stay here. Now comes the kicker! He said that he wasn't going to live here without fixing up the house. We had already remodeled the bathroom once, and that was a real pain in the ass! The thing that I remember most about that time was the fact that we had a really good neighbor at the time! Harper Stackhouse is his name, and most of you locals probably know him, but, anyway, he said that it wouldn't be a problem if we were to use the shower while we were without one. So, most of you know that I have a job where EXTREME temperatures really take a toll on the body, and all that I wanted to do was hit the shower when I got home. To this day, I still wonder what all of my former neighbors thought when they saw me running across the lawn in my red terry cloth robe, and a towel over my hair. Anyway, it was quite humorous! I have a lot of good memories of times with Harper, and maybe I will share some of them sometime. Anyway, the next time that we remodeled the bathroom it was much better, but a little harrowing. I thought that things were going well, until one day when I came home only to find that I had NO FLOOR in my bathroom at all, the dudes were standing in the basement looking up at me when I came home. The floor joists were completely rotten from previous leaks (before our tenure here) that had not been properly repaired, so they had to rip the whole floor out and start from square one! It took a little longer that expected, but the end result was well worth it. Darryle Sosa is probably one of the best tile guys around and has done several projects here in LowerTown that are quite noteworthy. The most recent remodel project was the kitchen and I really hope that I never have to go through that again! We started the project on Pete's birthday of 2006! The guy from Kitchens Incorporated was supposed to meet me here one morning at 9 in the morning to take measurements. I came home only to find that the demolition crew had beat me here! I walked into what used to be favorite room in the house, even though it was the coldest room in the house and needed so much work, only to find that every memory that I had, all of the good times, family meals, roll making, beer drinking, and such, had just gone down the shitter! In my mind I knew that the end result was going to be better, but damn, all of the memories seemed to escape with every blow of the sledge hammer! I started to cry and I am sure that Mr. Measurement guy thought that i was a real FREAK! It's funny how you can become so sentimental about such simple things, but that kitchen really meant a lot to me. Things progressed pretty good, until one day, I came home and there was NO BACK TO MY HOUSE! No walls, no nothing! I felt like crying again! When was all this crap going to end? I was ticked at my husband for putting me through all this, ticked that I couldn't cook a meal, ticked that my life as I knew it was over for the time being! See, men just don't understand, or at least the one that I am married to, that if you take away a woman's kitchen, you have taken away half of her life! It's not that I cook a meal every day or anything, but the kitchen is where I usually went to find some sort of solace, or just a place where I could be alone and think or read or do a crossword puzzle, because no one else really ever went in there. So, to make a long story short, or longer, the foundation had a huge hole in it that the previous owner had knocked out to run extension cords and such so that also had to be repaired, I guess that it needed to be done. Then there was the cabinet issue, and i won't even go there right now, because if I do, I will be boiling mad by the time that I finish this blog! Anyway, 3 months later, on Christmas Eve of 2006 was the first time that I was able to cook in my new kitchen! The first neighbors that I invited to see the kitchen were the Renzulli's, along with friends, Dee and Lee! And of course, the Cromikas! I was scared to cook in it the first time, but hey, it was Christmas Eve and a gal has to do what a gal has to do! Probably one of the best Christmases I can remember, and probably one of the best gifts that my husband has ever given me was and up to date kitchen with all of the amenities, and I got my KitchenAid mixer that year also! What a year it was! The next project was my son's room, the front room and the living room, or den! In the front room we put in a whole new ceiling and hopefully, someday, will knock all of the plaster off the walls and put in sheet rock, but the best addition to that room was the gas logs in the fireplace, but my husband and I have had no time for romance in front of the fireplace! In the den we also closed off doorways, as we did in the kitchen, and had a custom built space for the armoire where we keep the TV and such. It's been a lot of work, but well worth the outcome. I love this old house! I love its character, its color and everything about it. I will write more about other aspects of the house, and some good times and probably some bad times at a later date. We aren't near finished with everything that needs to be done, but I am happy here and intend to stay for a long time. Also, I am grateful to my neighbors that have come here to pursue their dreams and make my neighborhood a better place.
WORD OF THE DAY!
un·guent (ŭng'gwənt) Pronunciation Key n. A salve for soothing or healing; an ointment