I’m in the garden state this week. Been here since Sunday and will be here all week. I came here to be a good daughter and deal with ongoing family problems (which you should be thankful never really make the blog).
It’s always so strange to be back in Jersey. I spent roughly 21 years here. And lived in the same house that whole time. Over the years, I would often come back for a specific occasion–birthdays, holidays, weddings, showers and funerals. The visits were always jam-packed and short.
But this year, I’ve spent more time just being here. I still try to see lots of friends and family, but overall, I have more time to reflect. So excuse me as I do so.
I stay in the basement bedroom, which my sister claimed as hers for many years until she got married. Then it was mine. But by that time, I was in college and only living in the house on and off again.
As long as you can get past the musty smell, the basement has its advantages … cooler (my rents like to keep the upstairs a sauna, thank goodness for separate thermostats), less smoky (my mom still smokes, and although not inside, the smell is pretty much stuck in the walls) and a twinge quieter.
I say a twinge because you can hear every step taken. My mom goes to bed at 3 and my dad gets up at 4, so that leaves about an hour of peaceful sleep?? But it used to be worse. When I was in college, my mom babysat 3 neighbor kids before they got on the bus for school. So from 6:30 to 7:30, there would be a lot of jumping. Or at least that’s what it sounded like. Probably kids just being kids. Also, we used to have this boiler or water heater that would whistle (loudly) every other day. Did I mention it would do this around the 3am hour? It would scare the bejesus out of our visitors.
Anyways, I’ll stop my reflecting. For now. This is going to be a long week . . .