Showing posts with label home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home. Show all posts

Friday, March 2, 2018

You Can't Go Home Again

            As a child I remember hearing idioms such as "a penny for your thoughts", "too big for your breeches", and "you can't go home again".  What????  I thought adults were such morons.  First of all, I was always certain that my thoughts were worth more than just a penny.  "breeches" was a term we hadn't used and so I had no idea what that was.  And "you can't go home again"?  Of course, you can.  In my childish mind, I took the phrase literally.  If I went to a neighbor's house, for instance, I was expected to come home.  Even as a college student I knew that I'd be going home again.  It wasn't until many decades later that I finally figured it out.

            "Home" is not necessarily a residence and family.  The "home" referred to is the past.  It's not just time that has put the distance between us but the evolutions and economical rise and fall that have contributed to a sense of loss as well.  I think this should be a topic for my brother's blog, but as he has not posted to his blog for over two years, I guess I will attempt to write about it on my own.

            He has posted many pictures to facebook.  Mostly memorabilia from 1960's and 1970's.  Even those two decades seemed to have differences in neighborhood and community.  Our Midvale neighborhood was fairly new.  I don't know how many houses existed on the entire street, but I think at least 30 at the top half of the street where we lived.  I remember many pregnant mothers, and all stay-at-home at that.  I knew of only one mother who worked outside of the home.  Other than that each of us seemed to be raised by all of the mothers on our street as there were many children, activities and spending time with one another.

            We all went to the same neighboring newly built elementary school.  Doors were left unlocked on all sides of the school and not just the front door.  School shootings were unheard of.  We didn't have school lockdowns. I think more field trips had been offered in the '60's  than were offered in the 70's when Corey and Kayla attended. But I could be wrong. 

            The Salt Lake Tribune offered pages to announce births and weddings.  We had a black and white TV which offered three stations: NBC, abc, and CBS.  We would drive up to Grandma's house at least once a week.  At that time her house was located behind the capital building.  My brother and I would always have great adventures there with my cousins.  We would explore the house inside and out.  

            Many years after my grandpa had passed and my aunt moved out on her own, the family talked grandma into moving.  It really was a huge house for one person to take care of.  I think even more work was required for the upkeep of the yard.  She did not move until after Corey was born, but he will never have the same memories that I did of that house on Edgecomb Dr. It's really too bad.  I was told that Grandma had contributed to the design of the house.

            I think our visits to Grandma were made more frequently when she moved to Murray.  I was thrilled to learn I could ride my bike there - not that I did it often.  Usually, we went by car, but I can remember taking the bus a few times also.  It was the condominium in Murray that Corey and Kayla might think of as "Grandma's house".  After she passed the condominium was sold.  It's still a sensitive subject for a few family members.

            Spending time with all of my neighbors was part of my childhood.  I remember going to others' houses and they would come to ours.  Our neighbors, the Birds, would take us to American Fork with them in July for the Steel Days parade and activities.  Although it's been several decades since I have been, I am happy to see that this is still a community event - (here

            Jenna has grown up in a society of many working mothers and hasn't always had the option of spending time with neighbors the way that I did.  We don't just drop by on people the way we did then.  Play dates need to be scheduled.  Appointments need to be made. 

            The school she attends in Myrtle Creek is quite different from the ones she'd attend in Salt Lake.  Still, there are lock downs and precautions that didn't seem necessary when I was growing up.  Oh, I'm not saying that wicked things didn't take place during the 60's and 70's, but nothing like they are now.  Corey and I have had a hard time letting go of the house where we were raised.  I saw a picture on facebook recently of two police cars parked in front of a house in my old neighborhood.  The caption warned others that the resident had been recently burglarized.  I'm sorry to read about the intrusion, but it does make it easier for me to deal with losing the house.  There are many members of the neighborhood that I know and still have contact with, but even more that I do not.

            So while many things (both tangible and not) have been lost, others have been gained.  I, for one, am grateful that technology has made the vacuum easier to lift along with other appliances.  Retrieving some items from closet or cupboard seemed to be a chore in itself - but then having to use them to complete the chore . . . well, I am happy I don't have to do the same heavy lifting as my mom or her mom before her.  I am grateful for having so information at my fingertips - literally, but horrified about it at the same time.  Research seems to be so much easier with sites such as Google, but often it seems there is more personal information offered that it seems like an invasion of privacy.  For instance, I don't know the exact location of Roland's two oldest daughters, but perhaps enough that I could track them down if I had the finances or desire to do so.

            They have moved around so often I don't know that they even have a sense of home.  I wonder if they even have any memories of where they'd been and who they've met.  I don't suppose it's easy to "go home again" if you've never had one.

           For more idioms, you can click here for meaning.  Unfortunately, this site does not provide the origin.  Some are self-explanatory.  You are encouraged to look up origins on your own.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I Don't Spring Clean - I Clean When the Weather's Crummy

We got a new furnace and thermostat – which we haven’t totally figured out.  It was really cold yesterday morning.  Not a big problem for Jenna and me, but Roland needed warmer.  So he made a few adjustments and the air blasted and continued after he left.

I put my hair into pigtails to keep it off my neck.  I keep it up during the summer because it is so thick and weighs like a fleece blanket in addition to the already blasting sun. 

When Jenna and I left the house, my hair was still in pigtails.  I have worn it down when the morning air’s been cold.  But I didn’t bother taking the bands out of my hair, but secured my hat around them.  It was amazing how warm my ears felt.  I may just continue to do that.

In addition to a new furnace, some new appliances were added to our house.  As we made room for all our new material things, items were moved, furniture rearranged and it looks like a tornado blew into our house.  It’s in need of so much attention right now.

It’s much easier to clean the house when the skies are grey and the elements are cold and dreary.  When the sun is out, I would like to use the sunshine for other things – like reading or running errands or even taking the dog for a walk.  It’s hard for me to be motivated to clean when the weather is nice.

My niece and nephew would always clean whenever they would stress – which happened quite frequently when they were living with mom and her health had deteriorated.  I thought it would be nice to have them in my house (though the clutter alone could give anyone stress) and right now I’m so ready to let go of everything, I wouldn’t care what they threw away.

Monday I did an excellent job going through the drawers and discarded a lot more than I kept.  I need to do that with every room in the house.  But I have to be motivated.  I think I need to take a break and pick up when it gets dark again – which seems to happen earlier with each passing day.

I remember voting online for whether to keep daylight savings or not.  Must have not been legit as the anchors are sending reminders to set our clocks back.  The majority said to get rid of daylight savings.  Like 80%.  I hope that this is the last time we have to move our clocks an hour and that we can just stay on standard for the duration.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hartman: For All of your Contracting Needs

            No, I am not getting paid to advertise.  For heating and air conditioning I had always used Gils.  Gil comes out and gets the job done and no need to call back because the system works and they don’t leave glitches.  They’re reasonably priced – inexpensive even.  But it’s just a father and his son.  They don’t finance.

            We called Hartman when our furnace seemed to give out.  They had serviced our furnace before.  I hadn’t remembered, but it was Hartman’s paperwork tacked to our furnace that hadn’t been serviced since two years before we moved into the house.

            As I was waiting for someone to pick up, I started playing with a switch on the side of the furnace.  Apparently it had been knocked into last time someone had been in the closet to retrieve or return the card table or step latter.  The heat went on, but as it had been seven years since the heater was last serviced, I made an appointment and asked to get a bid for Central Air (Gils had given us one, but were quite booked during the summer and quite overworked I am guessing.)

Hartman’s bid was just a little above Gils – only they could finance – which could be done over the phone.  Sorry Gil.  I really do like your service.    We won't forget you.  You do a great job! But I just wasn’t comfortable paying it all up front at this particular time.

Hartman was to our house bright and early yesterday. Though our furnace and water heater were both working, Roland and I realized that their days were numbered as our furnace was 35 years old and our water heater was 15 – which I understand is 3-5 years longer than normal.  Mineral deposits may have kept it alive.  At the same time I think may have been solely responsible for sucking our water pressure as the water pressure we have now is so much better.  Who would have thought?

I never looked at our relic furnace and water heater as blessings before.  We have been major blessed that neither had gone out on us – or our tenants before us.

Hartman does plumbing, electrician, roofing . . . Last night the plumber was here making things right.  He told us what a good company Hartman is to work for.  Thus far, I don’t have any complaints.

Thank you Jason, Stetson, Julian and Jim for making a difference already.  Summer will be so much bearable.  And we will definitely use you again.  Especially for the electrical part, I’m certain – as we know only a few electricians and they are PRICY!!!  I bet they don’t finance either.  And you do seem more reasonable with your prices.

Could be more thorough with your communication skills, I think.  As with many big companies, often the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing.  But everything has been resolved (at least we hope it has) and for that we are grateful.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Biff has always kept his body in great shape inside and out.  I wish I could say the same for his room.  I don’t have a picture of how it looked before I started cleaning.   

These pictures truly represent half-way done.  

Anyone who has been in Biff’s room can tell you that this is the cleanest it has looked from the day we moved in.

Actually it was clean one other time.  I took a picture for evidence.  But somehow I have misplaced that evidence.  Doesn’t matter.  I told Jenna that when David moved out, she could move into his room.  Not that her room looks any better

I had eight garbage bags FULL of Biff’s stuff (clothes mostly) I think three or four full of garbage.   

And four loads of towels.  FOUR LOADS.  This is a fraction of what I washed   

Jenna’s room was fine when we moved in four and a half years ago.  She was smaller then. Still in kindergarten.  We painted her room pink.  You’d think she would have learned to clean so it wouldn’t have crowded her out  

We’ll probably repaint it as it is going to be our computer/book room.  What will we do with all the extra space?

Jenna now likes the color blue.  We let her pick out her own paint color.

Once it was finished, we had purchased new curtains (well, new for her) and the decals she had received from Randy and Carrie for Christmas

Moved in most of her furniture  but also Biff’s old bed and dresser

She continues to add her personal touches

Though not all of her belongings have left the pink room, she has spent the last two nights in the blue room - her room which will NEVER EVER look like the first three photos on this post.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

More Parallels

Railway tracks: No description

Mom was at Alta Ridge and
on hospice care.  It was
a Friday.

She passed on
a Tuesday. 

Her funeral was
on a Saturday. 

Harold’s daughter-in-law
called me on
a Friday. 

Harold was still at
Alta Ridge and on
 hospice care. 

He passed on
a Tuesday. 
His funeral services will be
on Saturday.

We don’t have reason for
returning to the
 facility anymore.

 I hope that I will
never have a reason
to return.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Producing Salty Water (and a LOT of it)

          This post reflects stirred emotions that between October and mid December 20120
          Poor mom.  For the most part we don’t know where she’s at.  The reality of her world is so far different from our own.

          In her mind, she believes that while State Street was under construction, she and all the other residences in her neighborhood were evacuated.  The construction crew had asked them to move somewhere else.  Mom doesn’t remember where it is that she moved – but she is back – along with many of her neighbors.  For a while she wanted to make certain that everybody knows she’s back.  Now she wants to go back to wherever she thinks she lived before.  She doesn’t know the address though – but she says it’s a house.

          She called Bill.  She always calls Bill’s cell phone when she’s trying to get a hold of Kayla.  She left a message to make Kayla aware that she was back in her old house.  Kayla called me to inform me of the events that had taken place.  I told her that Nate had posted his comment on file that all of mom’s children (and some spouses) all have access to.

I don’t know if she called Corey, or if Corey called her.  Same story.  Corey asked for her address.  Mom didn’t know.  She had to ask Sunny (who happened to be watching her) She returned to the phone and gave Corey the name of the city which she has lived for the last fifty years.

          Corey said that is the same address that all of us have and she didn’t need to call anyone else.  Mom was highly confused as to how everyone was aware of where she was but herself.  Sunny was super freaked out and had stayed longer than she usually does.

          Roland and I were on our way to pick up mom and take her to a dinner at the Church she attends.  I called to say we were on our way.  I guess I should have talked to Sunny instead of mom.  There was an accident on the Freeway.  It took us 20 minutes longer than normal.

          Sunny was wide eyed and felt a sense of relief when I walked through the door.  Mom was all ready to go.  I told her to head out to the car and I would be there momentarily.  Sunny expressed her concerns.  And I said I was a little hurt that mom hadn’t called me to tell me she was back.  That made Sunny laugh.  I’m glad I could give her that.

          Mom was fine at the party.  She wasn’t restless as she had been less than a month ago when it was just the family and she was overwhelmed by the tremendous amount of people.  I was overwhelmed by the huge turnout.  Between 240 -260 people.  We stayed for the whole event.  I hadn’t expected that.
          Patrick spent the night with mom as Nate and Ellen had gone out of town.  Not too long ago mom was independent and didn’t want to be babied.  She is, after all, a big girl and she can do things by herself.  Now she dreads the idea of being alone.  She often seems surprised by letters or people who show up at her door.  They think we all know where she used to live.  But it’s all in her mind.  She’s been in the same house for over 50 years.

          I met my husband 12 years ago.  Corey graduated from high school almost 20.  But for some reason she has the two crossing paths before Corey graduated.  For the most part I’ve been a pal that was raised in San Francisco alongside her – but there was one occasion that she did introduce me as her daughter – it was to a friend that was well aware of who I am – possibly better than mom does.

          Each time we mention the name of a state or country – she claims that she has been there.  It was always “just for a day” though.

          I didn’t want this to become a “dementia blog” any more than Corey wanted his to focus on dementia.  Actually dementia isn’t the biggest focus thus far as there are less than ten posts.  I can’t say I hope to have more – but as it will be on my mind I’m sure there will be more that mention the wretched thief.  There have been days when the dementia is really bad - moreso for me than my mom.  Sometimes I can take it with a grain of salt – and even laugh.  But often I am an emotional wreck.

          The neighbor across the street has a gathering of sisters once a week.  She suggested I bring mom but just drop her off and not stay myself.  But I wanted to visit.  I miss the socialization of those that I used to associate with.  Mom, who claimed she was bored, was not interested in going.  And if I persisted, she would become mean.

          So I cried.  I cried because I wasn’t invited.  I cried because mom was acting like a childish brat.  I cried because I was crying over something I couldn’t control.  I was pretty good about holding it in until we started playing games.  I took off the minute Nate returned home from school.

          That all took place in November and December.  Since Christmas, mom seems almost comatose at times.  Just as disheartening as trying to coax the child inside.  She lost her driver’s license over a year ago and became mean – well with me anyway.  I’m the one who had taken her to the Driver’s License renewal.
          There had been a few days when she had become her mother and greeted folks in a friendly way, without a care in the world.  And she was always pleasant when she went out with Sunny – at least in the beginning.  But Sunny has seen the mean side of my mom since. 

          Next week we have another family meeting.  Kayla and I are ready to take action.  Corey and Patrick both seemed to express a denial. But we may all be on the same page now.  Mom needs a community.  She needs a routine.  And the rest of us need to return to our roles of children and not the caregivers that we’ve become.

          I was so diligent about going through Jenna’s folder once she returned home from school – but have been quite slack for an entire year now.  I need my focus to be where it was.  I need to keep my mind clear of heavy tears.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Our cracker box of a house

          I’m really not a kitchen person.  That would be my husband’s domain.  I thought I’d be happy with just a hot plate. I’m actually loathing our kitchen which consumes of more than just a hot plate.

          First of all it was designed for tall thin people – neither of which I am – though I was thin at one time.  I obviously blew out – but was never up.
When we first moved in I figured I could put the food away or I could put dishes away – but there is no way I could reach both areas.  As I seem to be the only one in the household who is capable of doing dishes, I chose to fill my reaching area with dishes.

          I used to refer to it as a trailer kitchen – though I have been in much roomier trailer kitchens since we moved in.  My husband called it a Galley – though I believe there is more elbow room in your average galley.  I kid you not – if there is more than one person (not to mention the dog) in the kitchen, we are literally in each other’s way – unless of course one is cooking and the other is doing dishes.  If the fridge is opened, someone is in the way. 

          Now the person who designed the kitchen must have decided that eating and preparing were done at the same time – while standing.  I don’t know where homeowners were expected to sit – seriously.  There is no dining room to speak of.  So we have a table right next to the sliding door and across from the pantry (realistically a closet with two shelves). 

My husband loves to have company over.  So if anyone is sitting at the table and someone needs to exit the kitchen – the chairs are in the way.  I have seriously gone out the sliding door and gone around through the front door (but only if the front room is my destination) just to avoid inconveniencing everyone else – yet someone is always inconvenienced.  Trying to get to the bathroom is an entirely different story. Our house was not designed for company.  It was barely designed to live in – although the bedrooms are actually really nice sizes.

Beside our stove are the washer and the dryer.  Another piece of work.  Trying to do laundry.  Can’t sort it in the kitchen.  Can’t open the back door fully because the dryer is in the way.  I really want to hook the washer and dryer up on the opposite side of the wall – which is on the outside currently.  How great it would be to make a room outside.  I don’t even care if it’s insulated or not at this point.  Make a laundry room and eventually use a separate wall to move the table to.  We’ll have to lose the sliding door.  Oh, well. 

          Oh, that’s another area where a lot of thought was given – whoever installed the sliding door.  I’ve been in houses where the sliding door wouldn’t lock and a broomstick was inserted between the slide and the wall to prevent the door from sliding.  Not in our house.  The lip where you would put the broom handle is actually on the outside of the house.  Good job!

          We do have two bathrooms.  Now that’s a plus.  Well – one bathroom with bath included and one with just a sink and toilet.  But still – we didn’t have two toilets in our much larger house and we really needed a second one.  Our one bathroom was larger though – probably both of our current bathrooms combined.  But the tub over here is a little bit larger than the turkey pan sized tub that we had at our first house.   

          We do have a problem with the water pressure however.  Sometimes we have to flush and plunge at the same time.  Or we have to take the porcelain top off the tank and push the plug down.  Oh, the joys of using the bathroom.

          Then there’s the heat.  The furnace seems to want to heat up the living room – and as there is no ventilation, the bedroom gets hot.  Very HOT.  Or we can leave the fireplace running (it’s electric) and warm the front room and the furnace thinks since that room is warm that the whole house must be.  And then our room stays cold.  I would rather have it cold than hot.
          I suppose I shouldn’t complain as we’ve had several homeless people wandering the streets with their shopping carts (especially on garbage day).  Too many people are down on their luck.  For how much longer?

          I’ve seen houses offering a lot less than what we have for a much larger price.  We actually have quite a good deal as far as rent/mortgage is concerned.  So I know we are blessed.  Sometimes I have a tendency to overlook that.

          I look forward to the day when we can afford a luxurious bathroom with a human sized tub and Richard can have his luxurious kitchen.  That would be great!  When no one is down on his luck and that everyone can have his own place. Right now I am trying to be more gracious about what we’ve got.