This is the last post I will make from this house, except for a Memorial Day post I have set to go.
I've been here 14 years and one month. When I first moved here, Natalie was an infant. In between then and now, I had another child, got divorced and got remarried. There's a whole lot of history - good and bad - in this place.
The thing I will miss the most is having my parents across the street. Oh, we're only moving about six or seven blocks away but the convenience factor of having one's parents across the street can't be beat.
On second thought, the irritation factor can't be beat, either. At least now, we'll be close enough to still bum a meal off of my parents, but not close enough so that they are all up in my face all the time.
This house - the one I'm leaving - is situated in what we call the compound. It's a corner house and on either side of the home is a relative. Or two or three. So all the yards - from two houses down to the west and the house to the north, all conjoin in some way to form a really big complex of yards and homes. At any given time, there are about ten kids outside, plus various aunts, uncles, cousins and other assorted relatives. It's great when you want to have a family gathering, but other than that, it pretty much sucks. Especially when your family is as nosy as mine.
So this flight from "the compoud" rings like freedom. No more aunt and uncle upstairs; that would be the batty uncle who does nothing but scream and curse all day and the aunt who has sneezing fits that last up to an hour. This is the same uncle whose hobby is feeding birds, thus turning our yard into a wildlife sanctuary filled with birds and squirrels who never, ever shut up.
No more aunt next door who constantly wants to know what we are doing and why we are doing it. No more little cousins running back and forth by the doorway. No more mental self-torture of comparing myself on a daily basis to the fitter, happier, more productive cousins next door.
Now, my yard is mine. No sharing, no dibs on whose friends were playing out on the lawn first.
Oh, and no more idiot across the street who revs his truck engine for at least a half hour every morning before he leaves for work.
The block we are moving to is not without its share of horrors. For instance, last night one of our new neighbors had a party. A pre-teen girl party. Twenty of them, screaming (and you know that the decibel level of a female pre-teen girl can shatter ear drums), running up and down the street. And there's the guy next door who has a tendency to suck face with his girlfriend for hours at a time in front of his house. Minor things.
The best things about the new house? One of DJ's best friends from school lives next door, and about half the boys in his class live on our street. Constant baseball and basketball games outside. Natalie's best friend lives around the corner. The people next door (the one with the kissy face son) are huge Yankee fans. Hey, that's what I like in a neighbor!
I've known a lot of the families on this block forever. One couple, I've known for about fifteen years. Another couple - I was close friends with the husband in junior high; we grew up just three houses from each other. This street is famous for its block parties and barbecues. They're the kind of people who will see you doing work on your house and before you know it, they will all be standing in your yard with tools and cold beer, offering help or advice.
So today we start taking our belongings out of this home and driving them over to the new home, leaving behind the invasion of privacy issues, the sticky bedroom door, the uneven floor in the kitchen, the noisy uncle, and - most important - the baggage that went with this place. After all, this is where I lived with my ex, where I divorced my ex, where I built a lot of miserable memories. For the first time, Justin will not feel like he is living in an ex-husband zone. This is a grand step forward for us, it's almost like we are starting over. Fresh. No layers of bad marriage dust lurking around the corners and under the beds.
We bought paint yesterday. Beautiful bright colors, not a stitch of boring old white. It's our house. We can do whatever we want. If that means golden walls in the living room and a red hallway, so be it. We made plans to gut the bathroom and start over. We ordered new windows for the room where the office will be. Natalie has plans to paint flames all over her walls. DJ wants Justin to paint a mural on his bedroom wall so it looks like he's sleeping in Yankee Stadium.
Our fridge makes crushed ice (I know, I'm obsessing over this, but I have a compulsion with eating ice), we have a garbage disposal, I finally have the flat top stove I always wanted, the garage is going to be fantastic rec room and we are determined to make this horrible lawn look decent.
We are going to be poor, there is no doubt about that. But we are going to be happy. Sure, I nitpicked and bitched about everything the other day, but I'm feeling better as the days go by. Every crack, every little blemish, they are all mine
to fix and I love the way that feels.
Now comes the hard part. The actual moving. I'm really not that fond of hard labor.
Anyhow, thanks for putting up with my endless posts about home buying and moving the past few weeks. Look for my Memorial Day post tomorrow (or late tonight) and I'll catch up with you on Tuesday.
Everyone enjoy your holiday weekend. You know the drill - don't drink and drive, eat lots of burgers and try to visit a local war memorial if there is one near you. You can see photos of my last trip to the Nassau County Memorial here