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Monday, February 26, 2007

Time Has Told Me

I've been here in Grand Haven for over a year now. A lot has happened since.

I was at a friend's house tonight. He just moved in a few weeks ago. He mentioned how much he thought the place felt like home, like no place he'd ever lived in. I can relate with what he meant. It's funny how places take on a sort of personality. No matter how you change them, paint the walls, tile the floors, put drapes on the windows, they still maintain their essence. Each place has a certain smell to it as well, which is usually an amalgamation of all of the people who lived there. Now, my place has yet to develop it's essence, as I'm the only one who's ever lived here. Hopefully the smell the place has isn't too bad 'cause there's no one else to blame but me for that one.

My old place had a personality, too, although I don't think I lived there long enough to effect it. I had sort of a love/hate relationship with that old shack. I loved the front window at night, especially when it was snowing. I hated it in the afternoon when the sun shined so bright & it made it so hot in there it was almost unbearable. I loved the side yard in the summer evenings, especially when it was just mowed. I wanted nothing to do with it in the winter months, however, when the trees lost so many branches & the slope & the snow or rain made it too slippery to walk across. I never liked the basement, the way the tiles were coming up & the way the hot water heater would sometimes leak, but I loved the little landing when you just walked up the stairs & their was a warm summer smell that wasn't new or fresh, but homely. You could go into the kitchen, or the back room with all of the windows that only got used if you were having fun. That back room was used for one of only four or five activities. You could throw darts, watch movies, listen to music, read or play old video games. It wasn't meant for anything else. The incense & the hazelnut & pumpkin pie candles I used to burn were probably my only contributions to the smell of the place that was born, like my parents, in 1950. I drive by the "Valley Below", as it was known every chance I get, like visiting an old friend. Now, I never did as much as I could've to fix up the old place, the roof still needs replacing, but the people who bought it from me have let it fall farther into disrepair.

The new place has more amenities. I actually like the kitchen, & whenever I have people over it's the place where everybody gravitates to. The "Schroeder Bar" (as it's come to be known) is usually covered with cd's from the past few days of work or driving. Other than that it's usually relatively clean. For a while, I didn't put any pictures on the fridge thinking that I would draw attention to the stainless steel. But a fridge just isn't a fridge without some pictures. Currently, there still remains the picture of Ella, Emily & myself having a tea party that Christie found, with me wearing a woman's hat & scarf, a picture of Ryan & me at Tiger's stadium, Quinn & Avery's artwork, & the Christmas pictures of my nieces & nephew. The living room is the biggest room in the place, & strangely enough, the least used other than the spare bedroom. The spare bedroom is referred to as "Ryan's Room", a holdover from "The Valley Below". The spare bedroom consists of a bunch of mismatched furniture, my old computer, my green workout ball & my old bed without a frame that lies in the corner. My bedroom is like none I've ever had. If I open the shades & look in only one direction, it looks as though I have nothing but woods behind me. Since my bed faces that direction, it's good enough for me. My upstairs bathroom is the biggest improvement over my previous environs. What I'm about to say will only enforce Christie's view of me as a "germophobe", but I'm going to say it anyway. There's something very comforting knowing that nobody's ever used my toilet or shower other than me (& my guests, of course).

Slowly, my place is gaining some personality. So far, it's seen about six or so parties. I would say a total of 30-40 different people have walked through the door. I've had two girlfriends since I've lived here. Barring any unforeseen tragedies, there will be no new ones. I've had about six or seven plants, including a Christmas tree, new coats of paint on everything except the stairway & the upstairs hallway. I've had friends move away & friends come to town & all sorts of other things. All in all, it's been a good time. It amazes me that when fall rolls around again, I will have lived in West Michigan for ten years. My how the time flies. How does that song go? When I was 27, it was a very good year?

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Poison Cup-M. Ward, Post War
Sadie-Joanna Newsom, Milk-Eyed Mendor
Mama, Won't You Keep Them Castles in the Air & Burning?-Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Some Loud Thunder
Time Has Told Me-Nick Drake, Five Leaves Left
Pissed Off 2 AM-Alejandro Escovedo

Happy Monday, friends.



Heidi said...

Seriously? 10 years? That is crazy! I'm glad you've got the fridge broken in!

Pam said...

My favorite thing about both places--the greatest accessory--you! "Bless this house, O Lord, we pray. Make it safe by night and day."

Dan Van said...

I loved both places. I shot a film at the Valley Below and saved the place from going up in flames from a burning bag of popcorn before we ever meet. It was a great place to sit and smoke a cigar. But the Townhouse is great. I am glad that you have such a fine place to call home. I regret not spending more time there. Also, I though the picture of you drinking tea was simply you dressing up like Dylan during the “Rolling Thunder Review.”

Joyce said...

What a nice picture. Who took that? Oh, I did. You failed to mention that your placed passed inspection from Thelma and Louise.

andrew! said...

I forgot to mention the photographer of the only known singular picture of the front of my place. Thanks, Joyce.

and thanks Dan for saving my house from going up in popcorn flames. Someday I hope I can provide you with a similar gesture.

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Grand Haven, Michigan
the sun shines on a dog's ass every now & then...