Saturday, March 15, 2014

"Property does need some work but could be a beauty"

So says the MLS listing for my mother's home. I think she'd like that. She loved that old ranch so much.

It's been empty for more than a year. It's taken that long for her reverse mortgage to wend its way through the courts. But now the house is up for sale, realtor owned and less than appraised value.

My mother's parents built this house and she moved in when my uncle was in 8th grade and she was a senior in high school. It's the house where she had her tiny wedding reception (20 people) and where she left for her honeymoon. When I was a toddler, my parents bought the house from my grandparents for just $1* and she was home.

Her pride in her yard was enormous. She was never happier than when she was tending that garden.

I was not happy in there. The village is too white-bread. Some damaging things happened to me while I was living in that town and in that house.

But it was her home. It's 3BR (the realtor is calling the big fourth bedroom a family room) and 1.5 BA and it's walking distance to two grammar schools and one junior high. I hope a young family sees the potential in it, buys it, and lives the happy life my mother liked to pretend we had.

Both she and the house deserve that.

*The story is that my grandparents didn't want that big yard anymore, but that doesn't explain why they gave it to my parents. Yes, my mom and dad took over the mortgage, but $1 is a very sweet down payment. I suspect my dad was in financial trouble and his in laws fished him out. But my family thrived on secrets, so I'll never know.

Saturday 9

"The Unicorn" was selected because Monday is St. Patrick's Day. Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.

1) This song was recorded by The Irish Rovers. While it's said that on St. Patrick's Day everyone is Irish, can you honestly claim Irish heritage? A wee bit. My grandma was 1/2 Irish, which makes me 1/8th.

2) According to the 2000 Census, Massachusetts is the state with the largest percentage of residents of Irish descent. Have you ever been to The Bay State? Yes, twice. I really enjoyed it. A charming, historic and very walkable city.  I would love to go back!

3) Other than St. Patrick, what is Ireland famous for? Belleek pottery and china, wool sweaters.

4) St. Patrick's Day is celebrated the world over. They even watch marching bands and wave Irish flags on St. Patrick's Day in Moscow. Does your town have a St. Patrick's Day parade? Puh-leez! I live in Chicago! The river is dyed green, there are Irish dance demonstrations and jig lessons under the Picasso at the Daley Center, and there's a parade through the city.

5) "The wearing o' the green" is one way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Will you wear something green in honor of the day? If I remember. So many celebrations are going on this weekend it may slip my mind that Monday is the actual day.

6) Have you ever had green beer? No, and I'm not interested.

7) Have you ever ordered a Shamrock Shake at McDonald's? Just had my first one at work on Friday! (McDonald's is a client and they sent shakes and apple pies over for Pi Day.)

8) A four-leaf clover is considered good luck. Do you have a lucky charm? Yes, and it's literally a charm. It's small and poorly made, but it depicts the Virgin Mary holding Baby Jesus. I found it on the carpet as I was waiting to board a recent flight. I fingered it during take off and landing and it really made me feel better.

BTW, I'm a white knuckle flier, and this Malaysia Flight 370 story is frightening and fascinating me. WHAT HAPPENED? Who would kill 239 people that way? Why?

9) Speaking of Lucky Charms, they are magically delicious.  What brand of cereal is in your kitchen right now? Rice Krispies.