Our last few weeks at our old address were tumultuous to say the least. Dealing with our landlord’s son — he is basically the property manager for his mother — was anxiety inducing. He threatened to evict us after we turned in our notice, which makes no sense at all. He was in our yard at weird times “fixing” the lawn (the inside of the house is crumbling, but whatevs). This all culminated on Sunday. We told our landlady we could be out by the first. We paid August’s rent, which meant we were renters until 11:59 pm on Sunday, 08/31. At 4pm on Sunday they wanted to know why we weren’t out. Sam explained that he had to work and we were still moving, but he was coming over after the kids went to bed to remove the rest of our belongings and vacuum. When he arrived at our house — because it was still OUR house — all of our stuff was on the lawn. Sam thought about calling the police because the landlord should not have touched our belongings. He didn’t because we were just ready to be done. At the end of the night, the landlord spoke to Sam and made several comments not grounded in any sort of logic. Sam was told that the landlord “wasn’t a maintenance man.” He was told that houses are different from apartments in that we should have PAID for and made repairs. Then he back pedaled and said basically that this 65 year old house couldn’t be “nice.” I think of non-leaking roofs and basic plumbing as essential, not upgrades.
Anyways we are done. Done with the entire place. It about broke my heart. I’ve cried and cried and cried. I don’t know if it is because my parents lived in the same house from the time I was six years old until I was twenty-five, but I get strongly attached to locations. I didn’t go back to see the house empty. Sam handled all of it. I couldn’t bear to see hollow, empty rooms and garbage bags and that man touching my children’s toys.
I was excited to move, but I wanted to hold on to the positive aspects of our time at 1223 Park Street. Today I present my list of my favorite aspects of living at 1223 Park Street. When I start to dwell on the negative end to our time there, I pull out this list in my journal and focus on the positive.
1. Beginnings: We moved in late May of 2010 to 1223 Park Street. We had just passed our four month wedding anniversary and I was three months pregnant with Atticus. This home saw the beginnings of my marriage, Hope transitioning from a tween to a teen, and two pregnancies and births.
2. Location: The house is smack dab in the middle of the city. Less than a quarter mile from the University and less than a half-mile from the hospital. You wouldn’t know it because the house is on a little side road and surrounded by trees.
3. Wildlife: deer, rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, wild turkey, raccoons, and turkey vultures lived on our “nature preserve.” The vultures were the coolest. They show up to roost late summer of every year. In fact, Sam and I rescued a fledgling vulture on year.
4. The mantel and fireplace: It held my owl knickknackery and looked so lovely at Christmas with all the stockings and lights.
5. Built in bookshelves: My Viragos lived here along with mounds of kiddie lit and toys.
6. Large windows. This home was full of light. There were large windows in the living room. We would sit and watch the deer wander by on early mornings.
7. My study: I had a place of my own. A little blue painted room lined with bookshelves across one wall. It was my own and I could retreat to the study for much needed solitude.
8. The sun room: My favorite room of the house. I put the dining room table in that room . We would east all of our meals with the light streaming in and in the winter the darkness was a blanket enveloping the warmth of our meal.
9. The pantry: I had shelf after shelf after shelf to store so many cans of green beans and boxes of pasta. I had room to stock up and I did.
10. My rosemary bush: I planted it when Atticus was born and it has grown every year. Atticus likes to crush the leaves in his hands to make his fingers smell like spaghetti.
We have some beautiful memories to cherish and we are ready to make our new apartment a home and fill it with new memories.