Account for Yourself

So what would I say I did this week if somebody asked?

Well it looks like I started the week with this picture of my family, which was NOT the picture that made it to the holiday card.

Now I seem to be finishing it with a second photo from that same day, the five-year-old still in violence-mode but everyone else looking pretty ‘prettied up’ and ready for the shot.

In between week’s beginning and week’s end, I had my highs and my lows, as we all do:

I spilled a water bottle inside my bag, again, and was consequently taught how to do CPR on my device by plunging it in a big bowl of raw rice.

I skipped my Weight Watchers meeting, but caught that Zumba class.

I came out of the Post Office Friday to discover  that someone had managed to take out my left  tail light without dealing even so much as a scratch to the rest of the car.

“Maybe they stole it!” said David, as puzzled as I was when he saw it, but how would you do that, and WHY? Still, it does look pretty popped out, like poor King Lear’s eyes after the bad guy went at him with a grapefruit spoon.

 I had some island food from Singh’s Roti and that was awesome.

And while I was there, in the sweet old burg that is Dorchester, I drove past my first childhood home that, in my baby days was my universe entire with its oak wainscoting going up the front hall  stairs and that big stained-glass window at the landing.

Back in the 90s, it was a halfway house for women getting out of the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Framingham. I used to visit the women there and once I wrote about it for the Boston Globe.

Most of the houses on the street look great. Like Mrs. Kaposky’s old place:

No so much mine.

It’s no longer used by the state  but the fire escapes remain.  And the steps are sort of rotting. And somebody started to paint but only did as much as they could reach without a ladder and then gave up.

I got out of my car and looked at this house for a pretty good spell, remembering and remembering: my life there and my mom’s life before me and the life of my grandfather before her who bought the place with such a sense of hope and joy in the spring before the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand ushered in the bloodiest war the world had ever seen – until that next war broke out just two and a half decades later.

So I guess in short it was a week like any week, lived partly in anticipation and partly in memory. It’s our curse and our blessing, this ability to live however briefly in moments that are not the present moment.

11 thoughts on “Account for Yourself

  1. Timely entry for me, Terry, as I go back today to my high school for my reunion…to West Hartford. I will take some time to see the old neighborhood places…with their old memories. Love your photos …guess I better try to take some, too!

  2. Did your dad ever meet your lovely family? Did he know how accomplished and caring you became? He could have been so proud of you. I think he suffered a tremendous loss if he failed to connect with you.

  3. Ah Joan you are nice to say this. Word is he came to the hospital when my grandfather wired him that I had arrived. A bottle of whiskey fell from his pocket and he only stayed 5 minutes. He didn’t ask to see me. There is more to tell of course – isn’t there always?

    1. Where will I get the energy for that tangled tale? And yet I have an outline, with funny chapter headings. That was always my strong suit: titles. Even the idea of extended narrative defeats me!

  4. Zumba class, what a workout. I never had so much fun or danced like that in 40 years. Age in the class went from 65 to 20 something. We all looked like rejects from “So you think you can dance”. But too loud for me so I never went back. Terry ,keep going and dancing.

    1. Thanks for this, I will Mike! Mondays I do Nia, Tuesdays Zumba, Wednesdays Totally Fit, Free weights and hopping about after, Thursdays Hip Hop Cardio and Fridays Aerobics. Except with that pesky writing JOB and that addictive writing HABIT (this blog) I miss two of the five each week. Still I’m grateful to be able to still move and not turn too soon into a gmomish lawn ornament. 🙂

  5. Memeories–my father didn’t see me until I was 3 1/2 months old and left when I was not quite 2. Saw him once again when I was 30, a week’s visit and he was gone again. Didn’t even know he’d died until 8 months after when I wrote to a sister I’ve never met to ask why she didn’t notify me. Without knowing me, she assumed I was only interested in any possible inheritance. I’m trying to remember the name of the square in Dorchester where I worked for Singer Sewing Machine for a few months. They placed me in the big front window making dresses for myself to demonstrate their newest model. When the boss decided one afternoon to lock up and take me downstairs to take inventory (!), one of the salesman was yelling upstairs, Hey! why’s the door locked? Bless him! I quit that day, wouldn’t even go back for my paycheck. My mother grew up in Savin Hill.

    1. Andrea this is a fascinating story. Write it as a story why not? It could be from 100 years ago, and you one of the young women in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory only you escaped. There were plenty of men like that back in the day. How I wish I had learned to answer them strongly instead of scurrying frightened away… If I had a nickel….

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