Sunday, February 24, 2008

D Day

So a 2000 sq. ft. house that takes months and months to build can be demolished in 20 minutes with the right equipment and operator.

Wow. Noisy, but fun to watch the big machine chomp away at the house that was the location for so many fun times and happy memories. David's mom and dad bought and added onto this house for their still large family while David was away at college and in the service. We bought the home from them when Kyle was 5 and lived there until Kyle was living in Kolkata (post college) and Sam was finishing college, so almost all their growing up memories are grounded in the 102nd ave home.

David's friend, Rodney, who runs a demolition and excavation business stayed close to Isaac, explaining the process (over and over again, I'm sure :-) while Michelle and I worked the cameras. The claw operator took one giant bite through the garage door and just kept chomping. The house came apart so quickly.

As the various rooms were spit out of the giant jaw, the memories of the every day life with our two boys in the house flooded past, and I couldn't help but give thanks:
  • the bedroom where Sam (first grade) "set out his school clothes" for the next day, the shirt, pants, shoes and socks each unfolded and stretched out on the floor as if a phantom child was wearing them while lying on the floor

  • the back room that hosted ping pong tournaments and suffered numerous broken windows from backyard baseball

  • the compact kitchen which I had avoided when the "Cullum women" crowded in to help when Mom worked her Sunday dinner magic, but grew to love and appreciate when it became my domain for baking cookies and serving hungry boys

  • "the brown room" - home to so many fun meals, fun games, and lively discussions

  • the bathroom to which I would banish the boys (1st-3rd grade) to tell their "bathroom jokes" to one another

  • the oversize tub that David and I routinely squeezed into together to share the events of our day with one another

  • "the red room" - scene of more indoor wrestling matches and ball games of all sorts than probably any home in the city - the trim board that went around the room at 8 ft height was "the fence" for home run derby. I don't regret the broken lamps from all the "boy activity" one bit.

  • "the orange room" which sticks in my mind as the scene of two particularly memorable rages - one by David, one by me

  • the overhead fluorescent lights in the master bedroom which I continually complained about until my 41st year brought dimming eyesight and I finally understood why my father-in-law had installed four foot fluorescent fixtures above the bed

  • the entryway windows which invited me every time I passed, to look outside, drink in the strong lines of the thick oak trunk and give thanks for the beauty that surrounded me and a mother and father-in-law who had seen, helped create, and pass along the joy to our family.

I watched the walls crash down and thought of the scene in "Forrest Gump" in which an adult Jenny throws rocks at the house where her father abused her, and the subsequent demoliton of that house by Forrest, and how this house was so very different - full of so many GOOD memories, and that this day was the happy beginning of a third chapter for this home.