Sunday, June 22, 2008

House for sale

My house is for sale. Again.

I visited my hometown today, to help a friend and her dulcimer-playing husband celebrate the launch of his first CD. On the way back to the interstate, I cruised past the house where I grew up, and was dismayed to note a For Sale sign on the lawn.

This will be the second time the house has been resold in the 11 years since I inherited it and sold it after my mom and dad died. Nobody stays long.

As you can see from the picture, it's a compact little brick colonial, and at 1600 square feet, I guess it's not the McMansion of anyone's dreams. My parents built it in the postwar exodus to the suburbs for a whopping $16,000. That was big money at the time, I guess. I was in high school when they paid it off.

They lived there for 45 years. I don't think "moving up" ever crossed their minds. My dad had been a POW, and was happy to be alive. My grandparents lived there, too, and my grandfather, a handyman and carpenter, enclosed the screen porch, built bookcases of knotty-pine, and turned the room into a den. My mother painstakingly selected the delft tile which surrounded the fireplace.

Well, the realtor's website told the whole story. The bookcases in the den are gone. It's been turned into an exercise room. The living room has been painted in neutral colors. My mother's vibrant, blue tiles are gone. The fireplace looks like a gas fixture now. My tiny bedroom still has the white shutters at the window, but has become a computer room.

Nothing stays, does it? Soon my husband may have to contemplate the sale of his own family home, as his mother grows increasingly frail. I haven't much good advice for him. Except, perhaps ... maybe you don't want to drive by very often. Cherish the memories. We both love the poetry of Robert Frost, and this poem of his popped into my mind today, as I was driving home:

'Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Only connect!

I know that's a quote, up there in the title, but I can't recall who said it. Anyway, I went to the Order of Julian's annual JulianFest this past weekend, and spent two marvelous days doing just that. What a treat it is to see old friends, make new ones, learn more about Mother Julian, and have a change of scene.

Southern Wisconsin is so beautiful this time of year! There are flowers in bloom there that have been gone for weeks in the Middle Atlantic. Unfortunately, we also had heat, humidity, and impressive storms and heavy rain. And this Jersey girl experienced her very first tornado warning, on Saturday afternoon, as we all left our meetings and hurried into a lower hallway of the retreat center, where there were no windows. Thunder boomed overhead, and those of us who are locals made tornado jokes -- black humor on this subject apparently abounds among midwesterners -- while the rest of us waited somewhat nervously. As a certifiable "weather geek," I was dying to go outside with my camera -- but I had left it in my room!

The tornado passed south of us and went into a lake, we were told later. So we resumed our schedule of music, fellowship, and prayer (8 services in 48 hours!). Next year I hope to be there for the Affiliates' Retreat as well.

Hopefully without tornadoes!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Unprovoked

My former Rector has been letting loose on his blog again, complaining about a former church member who continues negative blogging about Rick Warren "even though they left our church four months ago!" One of his responses to this is to quote again from Uncle Rick:

“If you wrestle with a pig you’ll both get dirty.”

A couple of months ago, this would have elicited a blistering response from yours truly. Now? A giggle and a yawn. I have said what I had to say. I am so out of there!

To paraphrase Dorothy Parker: "Loving my new church is the best revenge."