Thursday, August 30, 2012

Life Goes On ... On Eastboro

So we've been here almost 4 months and things are falling into place. Not a lot has changed since my last post. More things are probably hung on my wall, and I'm beginning to feel a little more settled.

Ellie is still potty-training. I thought we would be so much farther on that by now, but it seems she has begun to regress a bit. She prefers to run around naked, and I let her do that for a time because it was just easier. She sees pull-ups or panties as security, and so she goes in them; but when she's naked she goes to the potty every time. Well, here lately I have been making her wear panties so that she gets adjusted to them, and ... well ... I honestly think she is peeing in them just to spite me. She literally went through 5 or 6 pair today, and I think it was just so she could finally run out of clean ones and go naked again. It's all good though. We are getting there. I make her wear panties when we go to the park since it's so close to home. She has to get used to wearing them, so that's that!

And speaking of the park, we are trying to get there more regularly since some of this dreaded heat has died down. We both need the exercise. It's nice to wear her out early in the morning. She's out-growing those afternoon naps, but most days, if we can make it to the park, she will take one that afternoon. This nicer weather has drawn a few of the other neighbors out as well, and so I'm finally starting to meet people and make new acquaintances. Just the other day we met Mr. Gregory who knew some of my uncles. He was visiting Charlotte Park with his granddaughter Shyanne; she and Ellie played very well together. I often think about the family picnics we used to have there when Brandon and I were small. Mama and Aunt Jackie would take us there along with Greg and Kevin (Andrew wasn't born yet) and our Big Wheels! Brandon got stung by a wasp in that park. That's when we discovered his unfortunate allergy. As a teenager, when daddy lived on Ivy Street (one entry to the park), I used to sneak out in the middle of the night to meet Danny Sonn, Kelly Walker and whoever else would drink or smoke with me and my best friend Jamie. I'm glad to have this in common with Ellie now, though I hope it won't one day become her refuge for rebellion as it did me.

I don't think about daddy near as much; I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it's nice to run into older people from time to time who remember him or my other family members. I do take spontaneous "alternate routes" to or from the grocery store sometimes though ... just so I can pass our old house or granny's old house on Deal Avenue. Brandon used to push his toy lawn mower all the way up Deal hill to cut granny's grass. That old duplex has been flipped to a single family residence now, and granny's house burned down. It's been rebuilt, but it just ain't the same. Or sometimes I will ride by my daddy's old house on Ethel. Now that's the one that's real hard for me. I did a lot of growing up there. I definitely didn't move out the same person that moved in. I really got to know my dad there, spent many Christmases there, broke up and got back together with Alan there. I lived there when Daddy gave me Scat (the cat), when I was struggling in my addictions, when daddy was diagnosed, and most importantly, I gave my life to Christ in that front bedroom. There's a willow tree he planted that stands tall and majestic in the front yard; it lords over the house! I doubt my daddy ever thought that thing would ever get that big. The little yellow house sits on some rocky ground, but daddy must have somehow found the only thriving soil in the yard. I wonder if he knows how big it has gotten? While I'm there I usually swing the truck down Mackey Alley where he and grandma lived in the little rock house. And then to get home, I of course have to pass by the gray house on Robertson Road that we rented from the Hulans. We lived there many years. It's hard to look down that driveway and not see my daddy tinkering on a car. Even when I go downtown for whatever reason (farmer's market or the bank), I drive by the old TDOT station where daddy used to work. The station itself isn't there anymore but the old warehouses are. I remember daddy would take us along on his "rounds" sometimes, and even would let us turn the key. Only my brother would know what I mean by that. We used to play for hours on the state construction trucks that were parked in the yard behind the gas station. It's amazing the memories that come flooding back when I see those old buildings!

I love being back here. Most days it feels like I never left. Columbia is such a distant memory -- like I was never there. I love being at home with Ellie, even though most days are a challenge for us both. I admit that stay-at-home-momness is harder than I could have ever imagined. It's still very much a full time job, and I often wonder how I didn't manage to work myself to death when I was at The Daily Herald. I worked 40-plus hours a week and somehow managed to be mom and wife. I just don't know how I ever did it! I mean, I still don't have time to blog like I had hoped I would. That's why it's been nearly 2 months since I last wrote. But I'm learning time management, and things are getting easier.

I miss my mama! I wished I could see her and talk to her more often. I miss the true friends that I made in Columbia, and I fear that unless I can dedicate some time to focus on those relationships, they will wither as life has a way of doing to all of us -- it just grows us apart. I do pray that in the meantime I make new friends. Maybe I can find some at Cornerstone. That's where we finally settled down for church. We visited other churches, but Cornerstone just felt like home. For a large church they are welcoming and warm, and you don't get that little-fish-big-pond feeling as you might think. The messages are always on time and relevant, and the worship is awesome, which is the main thing I needed!

Anyway ... that's the up to date on things as of now. I hope to continue to manage my time better so that I can write more often.

In the meantime, enjoy a listen to this song that's been playing in my head as I take these nostalgic tours through my childhood.