Saturday, August 10, 2013

This Old House

The place is a disaster. I was lucky to get it. It's a solid brick cottage in a fast-rising neighborhood. But it's a disaster.

The house was built in 1946, Its granite foundation suggests an even older home may have once stood here. Frani, my dear friend, has all but gotten in my face to come over and get this place clean. She has more energy than god. We started with the second bedroom because it was where I piled all Tommie's stuff. It's been fascinating, picking through the stuff. More on that later.

Frani helps with simple, unqualified ability and willingness. She gives genuinely. Together we shuffled through two lawn and leaf bags full of Tommie's mail and records. The woman kept every bill, every receipt. Frani found some old chiropractic newsletters from the 50's and asked to take them to her potential future employer, a chiropractic office in Atlanta.

Frani knows how to dive in and get the ball rolling while I suck my nails and quake with inertia. What concludes from said dive is only logical: garage sale! What is it going to be like, having a garage sale on a block where everyone knew Mrs. Fields? Where everyone is well aware that these are her belongings being sold by this unknown entity and her entourage? Ah, another friend comes to the rescue. Sharon is having a garage sale in Lilburn, and I will be hauling boxes and boxes and boxes to her house for the weekend.

Meanwhile, every surface is covered with grime. Even the roaches turn their nose up at this place. I haven't seen a single one. Plenty of cobwebs, mildew and dust, but not a single insect except mosquitos. And of that there are quantities. They see me coming with their little bug eyes reflecting the equivalent of roast mutton on a spit. Not that this has anything to do with the backyard, no! The back is only a prepubescent virgin forest, that's all. 150 x 65 feet of poison ivy, english ivy, honeysuckle, wild privet some vine I call the Weed of Satan, and other bramble. Oh and large, large trees.

I've got three large trees on my property, each of which could take out a small city if they fell. I have never hired an arborist but that is something I feel I must do to save the population of Edgewood.

I envision a treehouse perched between the two in the backyard. It reminds me of my childhood daydreams. At recess in winter it would get so cold I would often retreat to a corner near the trees and imagine a warm little hut tucked away in the underbrush. Soft lights and the smell of cooking. Some day this forest will be a place of entertainment, a true celebration of nature. Sigh! I can dream.

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