The Jacket Stays

I am the polar opposite of a hoarder. Clutter gives me anxiety and I rarely have a hard time letting go of things – especially if I have not used them recently. Oh, sure – I will keep items that may come in handy or have a possible use in the near future. However, I just feel better when things have homes they belong in, and my house is not overgrown in trinkets or random useless items. If I love it, I keep it. If not, it gets donated, recycled, or chucked.

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Sherman, Lord Charles, and the Attack on Fortress Wolter

For almost a decade we were lucky enough to reside with my parents, renting their spacious, lovely basement apartment in Marengo. For a smart-alec kid who moved out at 18 because her parents said no to having a beer (who WAS that brat?!) and grew up way too quickly in many ways, the decision to move back in with them several years later was not an easy one. All in all, it ended up the best decision for all of us, and we enjoyed a long run abundant in experiences only enjoyed because we resided under the same roof. I consider it one of the best decisions we ever made.

Not only did I become closer with my parents and brother, but my brother’s girlfriend became my sister and best friend while living there. I was able to go to nursing school and not work full-time. I was able to bring my first baby home to his own room, one that his Papa decorated and built just for him. We were able to go through infertility treatment and (barely) afford to have our second kiddo, making our family complete. Eventually we had to move out, both due to increased space needs of a growing family and the fact that this portion of our town does not have underground cable internet, which was needed in order to continue working from home for my job. I KNOW RIGHT?! Who does not have cable internet these days?! My parents, that’s who. Ridiculousness.

Anyhow, the reason for my trip down memory lane tonight is not to reaffirm my love for my parents and this amazingly huge chunk of my life. It is to bring awareness to the wall-eating mice in rural Marengo. Monsters, I tell you.

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Mom’s Door

A door, kissed long and hard by the sun,

Splintered wood, peeling red paint,

Brass knob, hot fingerprints, weeded cement bellowing out below.

Pounded by storms and slammed by ghosts,

A lifetime of entrances, exits, and foot steps,

Oblivious to the world changing constantly just beyond its horizon.

This is still my home, my messy soul.

Chances are you will never meet,

The dusty crevices housing a million memories,

Lucky to stand for so long, sturdy and sure.

Bold speck of reassurance,

Splatter of color in a grey world,

Rooted deep, part of one girl’s beginning.

Replaced today with chalky beige; the new owners favor boredom?

A photograph, to remind of a gloriously palpable youth,

Not quite the same, but she will do well in her new glass case.

Hanging above me to whisper,

You are always with me, and I am with you, kid.

Bittersweet comfort. I go on, as she would insist.

Beautiful.

Yet,

Forever grief.