"Before" picture

"Before" picture

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Memories and more progress

Finally, after much delay we are on the move again toward starting this both dreaded and highly anticipated project (which one depends on what day and time you ask me). Yesterday Ken brought the final plans (in triplicate) and metric ton of paperwork over to the township offices--plumbing, electrical, mechanical, construction, grading--and after they tallied up the permit and escrow fees, I ran the big check over to them. Which means that now we wait...again.

It should take 3-4 weeks until we get permit approval (and/or questions in the meantime) from the township, but they did give us the go-ahead to tear down the existing deck so we can clear the spot where the new addition will go. We'll do that at the last minute since removing it will make it harder to get the dogs outside for potty breaks.

There's still plenty of work to do in the meantime. Today we worked on clearing out the lower attic since it will no longer exist when the new story is added on to that side of the house. Turns out most of the stuff was mine from childhood through college. I recall my parents renting a van the day we moved into this house in 2002 and bringing out all my possessions that had been left behind with them throughout the college and grad-school years. Who can blame them? It all went into the attic since it wasn't stuff we were actively using (and we had plenty of the latter to fill this place up that first day), and this is the first time in 8 years I've dug it out to take a look.

What a path of memories. Field band music still in its holder--likely sweat-stained and sun-bleached if you were to look closely enough. Yearbooks that I couldn't help but page through, one of them from 4th grade, my first year in Greencastle. Another from my junior year of high school. The changes in all of my classmates and me in the intervening years was amazing to relive.

Photos from Malinda's college graduation, my senior prom, my high school and college graduations, fun times with my college friends at various activities or just hanging out in someone's room or apartment. Even baby pictures of me at my first Christmas at my grandparents' house. How much Henry looks like me as a baby is startling. Then the programs from years' worth of college choir tours, bringing back memories of traveling in a charter bus across the states to sing with some really great people, though also the sad memory of the sudden loss of our choir director to brain cancer the year after our graduation.

Letters from college friends during the summers when we were separated and couldn't sit up late every night, chatting about all the things that worried or excited us. Hard to imagine anymore those years before we all had email and Facebook and could keep in touch nearly daily via those means instead.

Even with all of the above, most of the stuff that had been abandoned in boxes for so long had not retained much sentimental value and has been whittled down from 4 or 5 boxes to just one. That new box will be kept somewhere a little safer than a non-climate controlled attic that's been known to be visited by field mice. I'm lucky the artifacts survived this long in those conditions.

I wonder what I'll find tomorrow.

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