In the past few weeks I have been considering giving up blogging. I don’t feel like I have anything to say anymore, and then there is the time element. In the time I have free to write a blog, shouldn’t I be doing more productive things with my time? Like cooking dinner or spending time with my husband or working on other creative writing projects that are being sorely neglected? What’s the point anymore?
I guess the blog never really had a purpose. It was self serving - a form of journaling. Also, I am pretty sure that I thought that the blog would make me famous some day, at least in the world of bloggers. Alas, I don’t have a gimmick, which is what you need to be a famous blogger. I don’t have a “thing”. For awhile I was an expat and now I am just a married chick living in Philly. No “thing” there.
Regardless, I know that there are a certain number of people (approximately 23) who come here every day looking for a post. Oh how this strokes my narcissistic ego! So I should continue to write. There are people who are curious as to what I am up to, all over the world. Strangers. People I’m close to that I don’t email enough. So I’ll try, for them. For y’all! (Aren’t I gracious!)
This one has been in the queue for awhile but I didn’t want to post something sad right after a pretty depressing post. And then I just gave up. Now I’m just gonna say “Fuck it!” Onward and forward we go. Back into the world of blogging, however self serving it may be!
This is the house I grew up in:
Sometimes when I’m feeling nostalgic I go there via google street view and I cringe at the new landscaping. There used to be trees in the front yard. Some shade. My mother had rose bushes which they seemed to have replaced with concrete. Where there are weeds now, near the sidewalk, there were once lively and often dangerous yucca plants that flowered biannually.
When I look at that image I always replace it with the way that I remember it. I am glad that I cannot see the inside.
The other day I got curious – thought briefly about writing the new tenants a letter to say hello and “I hope you’re taking good care of my house”. I would not mention their poor landscaping choices.
With a few clicks of my mouse I had the names (and phone numbers!) of the two people who lived there. A couple? I dug a little deeper and had the age of the woman, the wife. And then I searched the man – a father, husband and son – survived by a long list of people. I had stumbled on his obituary. Killed in a motorcycle accident.
That google image was taken the year he died. Suddenly I felt like I knew too much. I had pried in on the habitants of that house and found out their tragedy – just like that. But I felt connected somehow too. I knew those walls and the way tears sound echoed off of them.
If you look closely at the photo you see the curtains are pulled back, watching the google car go by. You can’t quite make out the figure in the window. I imagine it is me as a child, tucked low so that you can only see the top of my head and a little of my eyes. I think I am hiding.
That house has known so much sadness.
When my mom and step dad bought the house, my sister asked them why it was being sold.
“Maybe it’s haunted!” She said, teasing me, knowing I am afraid of ghosts.
But maybe the family before us had sadness too. Perhaps it’s the fate of this house of brick and wood - in the middle of the street but the end of another like the top of a T – to hold tears. Maybe it's cursed.
Or maybe life just carries as much pain as it does joy.
I am going to be thirty soon. Husband thinks that thirty is old but I think thirty is the new black. I am glad to be out of the uncomfortable growing pains that comprise “the twenties”. Every year I passed I thought I knew so much and every year I would find out I know nothing at all. What I know now is that every year of life will be like this. I will never know enough. Just knowing that, though, makes me feel good about turning thirty.
Husband is planning something special for me. It’s a surprise and not quite a surprise. I know that he has something planned but I do not know what. I believe it involves my friends. I hope it involves a cocktail with a little umbrella. Or skydiving. Either way, I am feeling very special.
For his birthday (in February) we are going to the Alps to ski with his friends. He already knows that’s what he wants to do. No surprises for him. I am not sure if I love that or hate it. How do I reciprocate a special birthday surprise if we already know what we’re doing?
Oh, isn’t life just full of little puzzles to solve.