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Afternoons with Puppy by Dr. Aubrey Fine and Cynthia J. Eisen
HeavyGlow Flash Fiction Anthology Edited by Stacy Taylor
Blue by J.D. Riso. Also available at lulu
2007-12-08 7:10 PM
part deux (or is it duex)
here is part two...
When we found our way into the complex of our new home, we parked the new “hoopty” and trailer behind the office. The manager insisted we see the town home before signing the lease.
Z and I drove around to look at it. At first, we were not really impressed. And admittedly, both of us were spoiled by where we used to live in Charlotte. There, even the “lesser” complexes went out of their way to accommodate you, and we had been living with “modern” conveniences such as central heat and air, garbage disposal, dishwasher and washer/dryer hook-ups. This had none. But we had nowhere else to go. We decided instead of driving both car and trailer back around, we’d leave it there and walk back to the office.
In talking to the manager, she told me she’d been at this property for 32 years. In Charlotte, we’d gone through 4 managers in 9 years. She said the woman who worked with her had been there for 27 years. Quite frankly, again, I was awestruck.
We hadn’t lived liked this since Arkansas, right before we moved to Charlotte. That place had been through two managers in our six years there.
Just in seeing the complex I could see that it was very diverse. Hispanic, blacks, whites, old, young, one and all…I kind of liked that.
We signed the lease and began our walk back to our new home. On the way back, we came upon a small fenced area, one side open, with two stones inside. Z says “they’re grave stones.” And, curious, as I usually am…I walked up to look at them. We couldn’t make out anything on one, but on the other, was a name (kind of illegible) but the date was 1875 the time of death. I realized, this is the place for me. This place has been here for years and years (at the least 32) and yet someone said, “Don’t disturb those graves” and now, they are surrounded by a protective fence, and treated as part of the landscape. It is the perfect melding of the old with the new. I knew then, I’d found my home.
I so remember the fights in Charlotte. There was a place that was an old slave graveyard. There were fights over whether it should remain or be “moved.” There are many historic type graveyards in Charlotte, many historic neighborhoods that “progress” is seeking to take over. Whole historic Charlotte neighborhoods have been literally obliterated in the name of “progress”. The local fox station terms it the “gentrification” of Charlotte. It seems there, only certain history is important, and others, concerning the “lesser” population are not valued at all.
I can’t tell you the feeling I had. As some one who was practically breast fed on history, to have some place like this, an apartment type community, a place that in any other state would have pulled those stones, and pretended like everything was business as usual…to value those graves…to preserve them and leave them there purposely…that meant so much to me. Really!
I knew I was home. Oklahoma and Arkansas value their history, they really do (and dammit, I will always contend that they contain history that the rest of the U.S. does NOT value), but let’s face it, this is the oldest place in the U.S…. the beginning, besides Jamestown, of this country and that is nothing short of thrilling for me.
Folks, I am excited! I think I have finally found what maybe I am supposed to do. I am the perfect combination of my mother’s love of art and ancestry and my father’s love of history. Like a baker or world renowned chef, I hope in me the three will mix together to produce the finest, yet most unexpected, of creations.
However, the z-man and I unloaded the truck in less than an hour and thirty minutes. I met my neighbor, a young man, twentyish (I’m thinking no more than 23) and his girlfriend, Bethany (no more than 18-20), and he kindly offered to help us. I don’t think he expected I would take him up on his offer (mamma didn’t raise no fool) but I only asked him to help z take in my floppy queen sized mattress. That’s all he had to help with…I offered him a beer (tho I expect he can help me find some other “things”) but he begged off until the weekend because he works nights at the ups terminal. He scared the z-man, talking about mold forming in the shower the first time you take one…telling us the first electric bill would be cheap but then after that, twice as much (still less than what we paid in charlotte) funny, I was spoiled in my last place, but I just can’t be too upset with this one. It’s over 30 years old for god’s sake.
The natural beauty, the fact that I can go across the street to the grocery store, look back across the street and see the river???? Wow. Amazing. And I hope to bring you all some amazing photos as well (and soon)
(very soon, i took a few pics today...as soon as the boy gets them off my camera and send them to me...and i resize...i will post)
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