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July 15, 1999 I'm ready to move. Today I was looking around the house, at the boxes, the mess, and reality struck me. This is the last week we will live in this house.

Three years ago we began remodeling this house after my Aunt Pauline died. It was in terrible condition. The windows were falling out, the ceilings caving in, roaches and rats infested bedrooms and the attic, and the house smelled of human urine and feces. The yard, almost an acre in size, was over grown. You could barely walk out the back door for the tall grass, over grown bushes, and the vines that had taken over the yard. But the house was free, and with me pregnant we needed a bigger place to live then the 650 square fare foot apartment we were living in.

I was pregnant at the time, and since I was no longer working because of my brothers death and working with the DA and the police department on the case, I was designated as general contractor. (like I didn't have enough going on) My goal was to have the 1498 square foot home, totally remodeled by Christmas. Six months. Six months to practically put a new house up underneath the roof.

Everyday my mother and I would arrive at the house and clean out the rooms. We found boxes of letters and pictures from Germany, a coin collection, diamond rings hidden throughout  the house(they appraised at $9,000), money (over $100) and personal and financial documents dating back to the early 1900's. It seems that my Aunt Pauline was a pack rat. And to some extent that really benefited me. We had furniture, really good furniture for the first time. She had beautiful mahogany tables and chairs, window tables and bedroom suits, hand sewn linens and afghans of all colors. It was after going through the letters from Germany that we picked the name Johanna for Wild Child's middle name.

There were many ups and downs during the six months we worked on the house. the painter I had ended up being a drunk and didn't complete the job. The hardwood floors were refinished, with one of the hallways having to be totally replaced. The antique iron work on the front of the house was sent to be restored only to come back looking worse than the way it left. I did however hire a wonderful contractor who replaced all the windows and doors, gutted the kitchen and transformed it to something any good cook would love, replaced the ceilings and anything else that needed to be replaced or repaired. My plumber was wonderful to us, giving us discounts because we had so much work to be done -- the shower had rotted through and had to be replaced, the sinks and toilets replaced, not to mention a good bit of the original plumbing.

We moved in December 24, 1996. Thankfully I didn't have to really move anything, I was eight months pregnant at the time.

A lot has happened since then. We had Wild Child, we had many family celebrations, my annual Halloween Party, the last Christmas with my mother, all of Wild Child's first as a baby, a miscarriage, and the mourning of my mother after her death. I'm ready to move on, ready for happy times, in a house where we can create new memories and new traditions. A place where I can feel normal without the haunting memories of those long gone. A home in which we created and built from the ground up, that is entirely ours, with no past but only a future.


Back to Journey and Destination

Listening to Madonna, Ray of Light.
I'm trying to talk my friend Stacy into having her own, online journal.
Absolutely nothing is getting done on the new house, so I'm really pissed.
I signed up for a new ISP today, Earthlink.net.They are giving away free digital video cameras for people who subscribe for three months. If I like their service I may drop AOL.


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