October 25, 2010 9:49:00 AM
Well, I guess you have wondered where in this world I have been. I have been doing that little something called building a new house. Yes, the next phase of my life is beginning. Blue Cross is right about somethings - I have found myself in another age bracket and you guessed it, a rate increase.
I have lived at 113 Eastwood Drive since 1985. I also was starting another time of my life the day I moved in here - a single parent. I have pulled up in this driveway so many times I cannot count them. I have windexed the windows, scrubbed the floors (on hands and knees) and cleaned the closets so many times that I could live here blindfolded.
I have also seen my only son leave for college from this back door. I have come home from the hospital after my Dad died to see the lights of my bedroom shining. I have left in a hurry for the birth of my grandchild, Coleman. I have seen my other half - Mike - take the curve in the road as he returned to his home and that has been Dallas, Asheville and finally Atlanta for 15 years. However, Mike is here now for some two years and we made the decision that it was finally time for us to have "ours" instead of his and mine.
It has not been a fast decision. We looked for a year for a place on Southside but to no avail. We found ourselves wanting a bigger closet here or a garage there or just too much to repair over there so we felt we should build.
Aha! Little did we know that this process would take three sets of house plans and a year out of our lives but this is where we are at this point - some 30 days away from moving out of 113 Eastwood Drive. Yesterday, I signed the papers and we closed on my house of 25 years and I can tell you it was a bad day for me. I did not think I would have been so sad.
I''m real sentimental about a house. To me, a house has never been about the four walls or the number of square feet. My house has sheltered me in storms and in happiness and in sorrow. It has waited on me to return from beach vacations and seen me off on much anticipated trips. I have wished to be home and in my bed or wished for my own shower at other times.
I have gone to bed early with headaches and sat awake at night looking at Frank Webb''s field and barn (they back-up to my backyard) worrying about this and that. I have been greeted by the sun streaming into my den and wondered why I was in such a bad mood. I have watched movies, talked for hours on the phone and knitted 500 miles in my chair, here at this home.
There have been Christmas mornings, birthdays and just hot dog and chili nights. There have been surprises and same old things. There have been nights without the a/c and wonderful nights beside the fireplace (gas logs now). There have been the usual new things - carpet, tile and of course, rearranging the furniture and it did look better for a little while. I can tell you every hole in the wall and which picture I took down. I can tell you what bump that was and where that creak is coming from and oh, that was just the ice maker!
Therefore, it is with some trepidation that in a little less than four weeks, Mike and I will be moving to our new home. We chose to stay in East Columbus and in the city so we will be going to Plantation Pointe - a retirement community. At our ages, it just seemed the place to go. My daughter-in-law, Jennifer, is a speech therapist at Sale School right across the street from our house and Cole will go to St. Mary''s when he starts school, just down the street. My Mother lives at the end of our new street. So, here I go another phase .....
I will turn my house keys over to a young couple. I am hoping they will have the same feelings for this old house that I have had. James Conn built this house in the 60s for his family and I have always said he built it for me in some ways. I am hoping that this new family moving in will feel I "kept" this house for them. I know they will begin to recognize the bumps and creaks and I hope they will want to come home, just like I have so many times.
I am taxing myself about my cleaning routine in my new house and where, oh, where will everything go - this cabinet or that one. I have never had a walk in closet and I can''t even imagine all my clothes being in one place. I have never had all hardwood floors or a kitchen island. I have never had an alarm system. I just had Gladys, my Boston Terrier, to tell me someone was around and now, I will gently move her headstone to my "new" backyard.
Yes, I will move memories in just a short while. I have decided that home is where you hang your hat and I plan to make my new house just that - home. Forgive me for not writing but you will be hearing from me sooner than later and if you are in East Columbus, come on by and see Mike and me - we will be at home.
Carol Littlejohn is an occasional contributor to The Dispatch. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org