There are many people that I owe apologies to, too many to count probably.
The last few months I have been a little out of touch.
My family likes to joke and fuss simultaneously at me when they say that they don’t know why I have a phone.
I have never liked to be held captive by anything and that includes a phone, but honestly I have been time travelling.
My Dad’s house went on the auction block this past September.
I won the bid by $500.
When all of the paperwork was over and I was handed the keys, I went to inspect my purchase.
You would think that your mind would go to the previous year when my Daddy was still here, but that was not the case.
I guess it was because it was empty, but all of a sudden it was 1986.
I was 14.
Daddy was a single parent and he asked what I thought about the place.
I wanted the house around the corner with the pink bedroom and high ceilings.
Daddy didn’t listen thankfully and he chose this one.
I am so glad.
35 years later and the old girl has cleaned up nice.
I was shocked to see a large magnolia in the backyard that I didn’t even remember.
That tree never interfered with backyard games.
We look back at old pictures to laugh and see that it wasn’t much more than a stick. The fact that it happened to survive our heathen sports is incredible.
Jeff scraped ceilings with glow in the dark paint while I cleaned floors that looked like a dartboard.
Somehow in the exhaustion and fussing, the ghost of Johnny Acker seemed to arrive and laugh at me one more time.
My baby brother has been gone over 13 years and it makes me cry because I don’t feel him around as much.
I forgot the secret to bring him around. Elbow grease reminded me.
As I am scrubbing the floor, I just say to myself, “Johnny, why in the world would you…” All of a sudden, he is standing over me laughing. He always seemed to laugh when I was mad. He would say something crazy like “you needed something to do” and all of a sudden, your anger is gone and you laugh with him.
It used to amaze me what he could get away with saying. My parents would be furious and I would be cringing waiting for World War III and the next thing I knew, I was shocked because he could say something that would make everyone laugh.
I could never get away with this.
But this old place reminds me that I have gotten away with plenty.
Just a few years ago, I remember fussing at our teenage girls about fingernail polish- of all things.
Only to enter my teenage room and be reminded of my own carelessness.
It was hard to open my old closet and paint over that old pink. Nowadays we would call it vintage.
I cleaned out this house a year ago when Daddy passed away, but somehow I missed the tag to my old sequined leotard from high school.
Makes me laugh.
My first reaction was what size is it? My second was I needed these little reminders.
I found a pocketknife on Daddy’s closet shelf.
A fishing rod behind the water heater.
A dime from my senior year of 1990.
Little clues to the history of the place.
If anyone else raked leaves and came up with a pile of metal, they would be mad. I am thrilled.
Jeff picks up a heavy piece and shows it to me. “Do you know what this is?”
I smile confidently and tell him that it is a trotline weight.
He says, “You would say that.” But he says it in one of those married, only your family, kind of ways…
I am a little shocked to find out that these objects had another purpose.
Window weights? Who knew?
If you dug up this old place years from now, some expert might say this was the former site of an old window weight factory.
No sir Mr. Expert.
This was the home of Mr. John L. Acker himself. Some people called him Luke.
Grandbabies walk around the place today and comment that they have memories around every corner.
And great-grandbabies, well…
They eat dirt, just like their ancestors…
Here’s to the old year, the new year, and as Daddy would say, the good, the bad, and the ugly…
Wishing you lots of love my friends, lots of love…