Yesterday I had a dentist appointment.
Said sarcastically: I’ve only been living at the Jersey Shore for 12 years (cough, cough) and my dentist, eye doctor and lady parts doctor are still an hour away. I could never bring myself to leave them.
So I kill several birds with one stone. I get my teeth cleaned, visit my mom in the cemetery, visit my dad and feed him hamburgers, subs, ribs and other artery clogging fare and sometimes I even get to see a friend or two.
After an hour trip up the parkway I popped in on Daddy with subs from Jersey Mike’s. Did I say I was definitely cheating on my diet? We chatted, caught up and I fixed his TV.
Aside: My father and his TV issues are massive. He wasn’t able to watch TV for an entire day because the remote wouldn’t work – and God forbid he called me to ask for help. No. He waited until I went up yesterday. On Monday when I called him, he explained the dilemma and I schooled him in the art of using the DTV box to change channels – voilà TV!
So back to the TV repair daughter… I looked at the remote and realized the 9 was depressed. I unjammed the number and snap! The TV turned on and the remote worked! He thanked me a thousand times, like I cured cancer (I wish). I love my Dad!
At 2:30 I headed over to the dentist’s, and by 3:30 I was back in my car, top down, music blasting.
Should I ride by my old house? Maybe I’ll see Skippy or Aunt Dolly?
I gave in to my inner voice and swung by the old homestead. Wow! Does it look different! They built a driveway (we had none) and a carport and an addition. It looked nice. It brought back so many memories!
When I returned to my dad’s house, I showed him the pictures. I’ve been dreaming about that house a lot lately and those pictures made my father dream about it last night too.
He was telling me this morning that he was thinking about how many different people lived in that house. Originally the house was three rooms (pre-addition) and a small upstairs. My dad told me there was a host of boarders and tenants that lived with them.
Daddy was a cry-baby (his words, not mine), so he slept with his mother (my Nanoo) in the back bedroom where my Aunt Tootsie and Aunt Mimi also slept. My Uncle Joe and my grandfather slept in the front room (I always knew it as the parlor) and the tenant d’année lived upstairs.
Imagine all those people in 3 rooms? Crazy. The Depression.
In between tenants, when my dad and his siblings got older, he and my Uncle Joe slept upstairs.
Over time tenants came and went, the family grew, moved out and then moved back in with and without their spouses and or children. My Aunt Tootsie was the first of the family tenants. Uncle Joe came next. Then my mom and dad moved in and I came along 4 years later.
After we moved out when I was 4, my Aunt Mimi who was widowed by her 26-year-old husband (he died of testicular cancer) moved in. I’m not sure of the timeline, but the next person that moved in was my Aunt Tootsie after my Uncle Teddy died. Mimi moved downstairs with Nanoo and Aunt Tootsie stayed there until she fell ill and moved in with her daughter.
Now it was time for me to move in. This was my third apartment after leaving my parents’ house. I quit my job and went back to school for my Master’s Degree and teaching certification. My parents offered to pay my rent for me but I wasn’t going to make them do that.
My Aunt Mimi asked me if I wanted to live upstairs in my old house, rent free. Nanoo had already died a while ago and she was very lonely. So I moved in with all my shit – furniture, clothes – everything! My dad painted for me and my mom decorated the kitchen with black and white checked contact paper to give the room a little pizzaz.
I showered downstairs and was allowed any overnight guests. LOL! That didn’t work. I had been dating my boyfriend John (now husband) for a while and he used to stay over and I would pretend he showed up at 6 am to see me. I would go as far as to walk down the stairs, answer the door and walk on all fours back up so it would sound like 2 people coming in.
I was nuts!
Everyday when I came home, Mimi had to hear ALL the events of the day – no matter how mundane. She and my mom were like the FBI!
I lived in that house for almost 3 years before I got married and moved in with my husband – right up the street.
All my apartments were in the same few block radius. I went from Evergreen to Entwistle and then down to the end of Entwistle and back up to Passaic Ave – and now I live at the Jersey Shore – but that’s another story.
I loved living in my grandmother’s home. It was so familiar and brought back so many memories. I wish that we would have kept the house in the family – but I guess we all have to move on.
Move on but never forget all the good things.
© 2012 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.
- My Life As A Jersey Girl (culturechoc2010.wordpress.com)