Monday, March 10, 2008

Shoot, why ya gotta be bringin up old sh**

Thanks to my dear sis Abigail, it is now MY time to reflect.

As big of a hole that it was where we grew up, there is NO place else I would have rather spent my first 15 or 16 odd years of my life. New Jersey is instilled in me still and I will always miss those days.

I remember all the bad too, but it all came from good intentions. For instance:

Yes- our carpet had speed bumps (dangerous ones, too)- BUT Amanda was just trying to clean the carpets. I mean, who knew that mop buckets full of water would cause a wood floor to do that?

Yes-we did our dishes in our bathtub. But that's because our beloved father was gonna redo the kitchen for Mom while she was in England, but just never remembered to finish it. This is a double whammy too because it caused our ceiling to fall apart right above the landing and that was miserable and wet and soaked our socks. Just to add to that, I can't tell you how many showers I didn't take, just because the hassle of emptying the dishwasher, er,bathtub would have been, not to mention the wet food that was in there too.

Anyway, One Dirty Tree was a disaster, but I always said if I won the lottery I would buy that house. No way in hell I'd live in it, but I would own it. Not sure it's even fixable really. It's like Dane Cook said, "Paint rust any color you want, it's still rust." Anywho, the tree is gone now and it's sad to me. It was the mascot, if you will, for that house.

My sister Abby was talking about our neighborhood on her blog and what it was like for us growing up. The one thing she said that struck a cord is that the world just doesn't seem to be as safe as it used to. Maybe it's because we're older and wiser now and know what's going on out there, or maybe it's just the truth. I remember nights playing jailbreak with the neighbors all night. Or catching fireflies with old mason jars, or camping outside. The neighborhood seemed so safe but I think it was just so closeknit there that nothing mattered. I can remember the names of almost everyone I grew up with but can't remember names of people I see regularly. It was that kind of town. Good ol New Jersey.

I remember Ethan, before the Ethan we know now. The drummer from Toxxic Waste, the garage band with hits such as "Constipation Nation". The guy who would play the Mister Softee song on his keyboard out of the attic window just to watch the neighborhood kids get their hopes up.

I remember Josiah asking me, "How many pushups should I do?"

or Jenna having us help her stuff those envelopes all night.

I remember my sisters crazy obsession with the NKOTB, and how my brothers and I made a bonfire with their posters and all at a BoyScout camp.

I miss that stuff. I miss Milly watching over us and judging, and playing with the O'Connors, and getting refridgerator boxes from Fridgedaire to make armor suits so that we could all beat each other with sticks. I miss our back porch, thank you Ike. I miss collecting stickers from News Nook, or seeing how far I could stretch a buck at Philly News. I miss Brenton stomping out our hamsters (RIP Brenton). I miss the downpours and the flooded streets. I miss eating sh** at the jumps on my bike, and ballgames at the community center. I could go on. I miss it all.
Unfortunately, after dad left, we were forced to as well.

Not to say I don't love Colorado, because I do, but if I could just have back a few things that were left in Jersey, I think I'd be much happier. Like honesty, reality and Vincents Pizza and Panzarotti's. Hell, throw in CVS and Aunt Charlottes too, and while you're at it, a little Philly News and Market, News Nook, the Community Center and the Hendricksens front porch. It really was a good place, wasn't it?


Abby said...

It truly was. I was craving white pizza the other day and longed for the days Sal (himself? haha) would walk it from the pizzeria to your front door. I love how some days just smell like a ball game at the Community how the air smelled back then. Sometimes I still get that feeling and it makes me want to go watch baseball. I miss the way Aunt Charlotte's infiltrates your nostrils right when you walk through the door.

I think about how we used to send siblings to the store and reward them with a candy bar or something just for going..and I can't believe we were allowed to even GO to CVS at such young ages alone. Think about it..would you send Willow to the store for you? Probably not.

Amanda was in 133 a few years back and she said it looks great. They even kept the big blue counter. I was too shy to go up and ask them if I could take a walk through..but every day that I was there and sitting on Millie's porch shootin the stuff with her..I'd stare longingly at that place and oh so want to just walk up those porch stairs and knock on the door.

I'm also like you in that I've always wanted to own that house. Sure..after it was all fixed up, of course. I bet I'd still be scared of the basement though. Geeze..didn't we all at some point decide we were going to live down there? Painted it (the peach Jenna used for her room. I remember..I remember!)..moved furniture down..but then night came and it was like PEACE, I'M OUT!

But I also feel like we all did so many things and have so many memories from that place because mom wasn't one of those parents who was ALWAYS on your butt, ya know? She was never telling us to NOT do stuff. And if she was it was probably because it was stuff we shouldn't have been doing. Like..I don't know..making up mean mean songs about your darling baby sister..or practicing butt breakers on your siblings.

I say it all the time..I wouldn't change my childhood for anything.

YogaNana said...

Wow, Micah!

Beautiful post!

There are things about those days that even *I* miss, but of course they're all about having all my kids close like a little flock of ducklings and having the sewing machine up non-stop because I was always making something for someone, every single day except Sundays when I didn't sew because I didn't want to be frowned upon. I miss all the little friends tromping in and out and crowding everyone around the table for dinner, and I miss everyone piled on the couch or one of the beds for read-aloud at bedtime. I miss the family holidays.

I guess I don't miss the house, but I do miss the home. (sniff!)

Jenna Consolo said...

Micah, this was great! Gave me a good laugh. I spent most of my formative years in that house, leaving it only to get married. At least I got to leave on good terms, and maybe that's why the memories don't haunt me as much. I just loved my childhood too. Hey, it was Philly Fruit Market, remember? Not News. My friend Kristin Hanna's family owned it. I had to walk baby Jonah down there several times a week to be weighed on the butcher's scale to see if he had gained weight. And ride my bike back from Rite Aid with a jolly old jumbo sized package of pampers, balanced like a boom box on my shoulder. Ah, yes, good times. Love your new blog!

Hannah said...

After you left Jenna, a new shop opened called Family news and Market. I think Micah mixed the 2 names together. At least I think that's what it was called.

I miss it too. Sad part is, I don't think I'll ever go back. I don't know that it would be good. I have all these great memories and I kinda want to keep them that way.

Oh yeah, WooHoo!!! Micah has a blog!!!!