linky do's!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

a house isn't a home unless your loved ones are there

my parents retired and moved to my grandmother's house. before they handed in their keys i broke into the house with the hidden key stopped by the house to say my final goodbyes and cry and mourn what was once my young adult home.  it's funny how living there for 6 years impacted my life.  i'll miss the closets (my room alone had 3 - a huge cedar walk in closet and 2 large storage ones).  the house had 12 closets altogether, plus built in drawers in an upstairs spare room.  it was one kickass house.

my mission was to bring home my old prom gowns and whatever goodies i found in my old changing table.  i was going to bring my wedding gown and veil home, but couldn't find the tub that mom had for it (it was in the spare room.  the thing's as big as a coffin).  i found the prom dresses easily as they were in my "seldom used" closet.  the changing table was in the attic.  it was one of those 70s affairs, wicker and plastic that folded out, with a couple of baskets for diapers/clothes/blankets etc (it'd be condemned in this day and age for safety reasons).  considering the thing was nearly 40 years old, it wasn't cracked or dirty.  i opened that puppy up and this is what i found:

a crocheted shawl.  i'm not sure who made this for me.  mom didn't know either.  i'd like to think that my nana crocheted it for me.  

not knitted or crocheted, but a little carter's vest that i vaguely remember wearing (and loathing).  what's interesting is it's a size 5 (i think i wore it in kindergarten) and it fits petunia NOW.  actually, it's a bit short on her.  i had freddie try it on, and not only was it short on him but TIGHT.  the kiddos are not big by any stretch; in fact they're consistently on the lower end of the growing curve at the doctor's office.  either children were way smaller back in the day (i was tall and thin back then), or clothing sizes are really that far out of whack.

crocheted pink booties.  i think they match the pink crocheted hat that petunia has long since overgrown.  mom had no idear who made these either.

these drool bibs are destined for a soak in some oxyclean.  even after a gentle wash, they still had yellow stains.

mom said my my aunt dorotha (once removed) made me this bonnet.  too bad i found it too late.  it would have looked cute on petunia.

i think these mittens were store bought.  they matched the bonnet.

mom said this was my baptismal blanket.  as i hung it up to dry after i washed it, i couldn't figure out the design in the middle - an ark? an elephant? a turtle?  none of the above - it was a snowflake, with little snowflakes stitched around it.  it's a store-bought blanket, but i was touched to find it.

blast from the past - a gown from one of my SAI formals.  petunia didn't seem interested in playing dress up.

i also brought home 2 t-shirts - and orange ET shirt and a red and white baseball shirt (remember those?!) with the smurfs on the front and my name ironed on the back - remember fuzzy letters?  i have to rewash the baseball shirt with a color catcher as the color ran from the collar and sleeves. when the boy put on the ET shirt, it was too tight.  it was in his size, but mom reminded me that they would have bought me a girl size.  still going on the kids little in the past/kids bigger now theory.  the boy was disappointed that he couldn't wear the shirt, but it'll be there for when freddie and petunia are big enough.

the changing table was full of other stuff - my old undershirts (lord did i hate wearing them when i was little - that attitude didn't change much becos i hate wearing bras too), long john underwear (i have no idear why mom kept these), bags of old tights (ugh) and a couple cute pairs of pajamas, one being a nightie that looked very holly hobbie.

the other things i found in the table were bits of old pine cone and some mouse turds.  yes, something built a nest in there.  i was dismayed to see this.  as i shook pine cone petals off the shawl, i heard the voices of dr. zazio, dr. chabeau and the cleaning specialists talking in my head - why do you want that dirty piece of clothing?  do you really need something that has pine cone petals and mouse poop on it?

yeah, i did.

these were the only items i could salvage from the changing table.  i washed them well, hung them to dry, and now i'll pack them away in the attic.

there were other things i wanted from the house but couldn't have.  mom and dad left the changing table behind for lack of space (hoarders mentality that i can be, i wished it could have been reunited with the matching bassinet that lives in my grandmother's attic.  oh well.)  a chair that used to be in my room at my childhood home couldn't be salvaged becos it spent too many years down cellar and was full of mold and mildew - the last thing someone with allergies and asthma should have.

sometimes i feel dumb for feeling sad about leaving a place where i haven't lived for years.  i've long learned that HOME is wherever hubby and the kids are.  i've returned to my church a few times for services and the boy's choir practices, but it doesn't feel like *my* church anymore.  i got the same feeling when i stopped by the old house to look through mail for my parents.  it was akin to viewing a dead loved one - while they look the same, they don't, becos their essence or soul is gone.  the church and my old house aren't the same, becos my parents' essence are no longer there and can't return anyway.

it's funny.  parishioners tell me how much they miss my parents.  how they wish we could come back to church.  the national church dictates this rule - former pastors aren't really welcome at former parishes.  it's to help facilitate the mourning/healing/moving on process in the church.  it makes sense tho.  imagine leaving your job, and returning to see someone in your place.  it feels weird for you, and no doubt feels weird for the person who took your spot.  now, a parish can make a retired pastor a pastor emeritus but it doesn't necessarily guarantee a pastor can be welcomed back by new pastors (ask me how i know).

there's no doubt that they people miss my parents.  but no one misses them as much as i do.  my dad has been my pastor my entire life.  my dad has been pastor at his parish for 19 years.  sorry, i win this one.

last night i had to run to the grocery store.  in the middle of the freezer aisle a song came on the muzak, one that was popular around the time my folks' dog rusty died years ago.  it hit me at that point that my folks would never shop in that store again.  that they'd never live in my town again.  i almost started crying and moved away from the waffles quickly.  i bought myself a crochet magazine, cherry blintzes and a mike's hard lemonade to keep myself from totally breaking down.  crazy, right?

my parents are now settling into their new/old home.  they started their new routine with the kids by keeping them overnight last weekend and taking the kiddos to the farmer's market and big playground on wednesday.  i'm used to relying myself for dealing with kid emergencies (i.e. picking up the boy at school when they call that he is sick; running a pair of pants to the school when he ripped his at recess; running errands to target and aldi's).  we are going to a new church for holy week and easter services.  i have my moments, but our new normal is getting easier and better.  it's all good.

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