plans, never realized
We bought our house on Florrie St. in 1989. It wasn't all that much to look at but it was ours. As a kid it seemed huge. I remember thinking I'd never be able to jump and touch the ceiling in the living room. Not long after, maybe the next spring, my uncle and some cousins visited. It was the first time we hosted our family in our home. I distinctly remember my dad giving a tour of the house and pointing out all the modifications and remodeling he wanted to do and seeing him kind of bask in the feeling of owning a home and showing it all off. Now, this was 1990, money was good and I think my dad wasn't quite tired yet. We talked about putting in an above ground pool and a deck and planting a vegetable garden. I was even allowed to sketch it all out on butcher paper that I always borrowed from the school teacher next door. What I didn't know then was how hard it can be to take the last few steps to reach a dream. All the modifications and remodeling never seemed to actually happen and what did get done...a back patio, some cement work and a cinder-block fence...it never actually got finished. We managed to put beautiful tile in the living room and hallway, but never got around to putting the baseboards back down and the cinder-block fence was never sealed and capped. The kitchen island was torn out and never quite reconstructed. Money for these projects would come in but then just as fast bleed out. The booze and slot machines had to get their take and raising kids couldn't have been cheap. All the focus on getting custody and buying a house must have been exhausting. My family's home entered a long and slow decline. I'm not sure why I've been remembering all of this. Those early days were a long time ago. Maybe the deck and pool and garden never happened, maybe the unfinished patio is being lost to the elements, we were still close to having those dreams fulfilled. Close might only count in horseshoes and hand grenades but it feels better than getting nowhere at all. I sometimes think a sense of incompleteness has become central to my personality. And maybe if we planted that garden, it would all be a different story.