Friday, February 16, 2007

Each house has a smell

Every house I have been to has a distinct smell. While the people and their cooking may alter that smell, it still maintains it's own smell.

I am opening up bags of family heirloom linens... and trying to decide what to do with them. I have some with a "P" or Pitman on them... since I am now a Franklin... these might be good for my sister-in-law or my new sister-in-law to-be. The ones that were my Grandma Marcia's have been ziplocked with cedar since we lived in the condo... and even with the cedar... smell like that house. The linens of Gram Marge and her mother "Budder" smell like their house in Oak View.

When I opened the bag... yummy memories of that home come to my mind. I remember living in that house as a toddler. I remember the shag carpet, the piano and the tupperware drawer. I remember frying donuts with "Budder" and giving concerts to her on the piano while she slept. Then later I spent many weekends and vacations there. When my brother spent time in the hospital as a baby... I was there with my Grandmas. The day my horse fell and had to be put down, we went there. It was a safe place.

When the house was too much for Gram Marge to handle, I moved in with Maggie (2) and Abbie (10 days) The day we moved in, we also were given our cat, Jack. I spent almost 2 years in that house, cleaning it, replacing all the broken appliances, ripping out shag, hauling out 12.43 tons of things my Grandmas couldn't throw away (Working womans magazine 1980-1983 and more... you get the idea) I didn't plan on leaving. I wrote my kids measurements on the arch in the entry way. I had a huge garden and raised chickens from little chicks. I tried to grow grass in 100 degree weather and give the girls a place to play. It was a safe place for them.

We were called to Northern California by God. I had to leave a place that meant so much to me. We left it in the hands of some treasured friends. People we loved. A family who really needed a large home and some stability. They hadn't had a stable home due to the housing boom and wildly fluctuating costs in Ventura.

Less than a year after our friends moved in, my father asked them to leave. His mistress was in trouble (And living in my other grandmas home by the way) and he moved her in. He re-painted and re-carpeted the house for her. He permanently damaged the safe place. All my yummy memories with these smells are now ruined. I fall to my knees crying. I find my curtains from when I lived there as an infant and become hysterical.

I live in a parsonage which will never be mine. I can fix and paint all I want... but it will always be owned by the church.

With the separation and upcoming divorce, my parents home hurts me to visit. And now both of my grandparents houses are tainted. I will probably never enter them. Our of respect of my brother (Who lives in "other grandmas home") I will be cautious and go if he needs me. But I will never set foot in the home I loved so much, No matter what my father does.

I currently cannot talk to my father. I cannot handle what he has done to this family. I cannot maintain my sanity when he talks about his mistress and "their home", how pretty she thinks my kids are, or how happy he is.

He has ruined all of us permanently.

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