Just for a lark (multiple larks, if you like), let's take a stroll down memory no-through-traffic-construction-cones lane and see what we were up to in the ol' Fall of 2008.
There were no biological children residing with us. We were still house-huntin' renters. And I still talked about bodily functions way too much. Enjoy!
Originally titled: Jefferson Park- That Sounds Far.
October 14th, 2008
On the way to work this morning (on Tealie Elizabasket, might I add) I passed a lot of construction sites, workers lounging and porta-potties. The best part? The "company name," as it were...is The Drop Zone. Okay. I can think of three really inappropriate things about naming your portolet company The Drop Zone. Anyone else? Go.
And speaking of poop (I really hope this doesn't turn into a post about poop, I honestly don't know how this happens) on our way along the Chicago Marathon race site we passed signs that read- Poop If Ya Gotta!
And on the topic of the marathon and no more poop...we got to see a bit of the marathon (and a teense of Greektown) when we went to cheer on the marvelous Annie Gloyn in her second marathon! 26.2 miles is impressive anyhow, but Annie one-upped the challenge by racing during an 83 degree day! She is so hardcore. (As are Tom and Emma, who, from what I'm told, won the Boston half marathon. Together. Awesome.)
On our way back home on the blue line (a.k.a the Pee Pee Line- see, folks? Excrement is everywhere) we decided to ride to the Jefferon Park stop to check out (stalk) the home we're jonesing for and the surrounding 'hood. We hopped off and saw pretty much what you'd expect; a dingy, busy Chicago terminal with tons of productive people chilling on benches. We passed a McDonalds and a few rib joints (one of which is actually supposed to be really good.) We crossed under the Metra track (throw in a helicopter and a cab and you've got every way of actually getting to this neighborhood) and...we rubbed our eyes. Suddenly we were in Mayberry. Tree-lined streets, folks waving hello and sitting on porch swings. I'm sure the colorful leaves and the sunny day helped but we were blissing out on the 'burbiest part of the city. We walked past the house we're eyeing (twice) and marvelled at it's hugeness. It must be floorless, we told ourselves. That's just how our house luck runs these days.
So the next night we had an appointment to see the home at 6:15. Well, 6:15 came and went, as did 6:30, 6:45 and so on. The house was dark and no one was answering their phones. P.J. and I took advantage of this time to run around the backyard, jump on the porch and troll the gardens. The longer we were there without the owners the bolder we became in how we'd fix it up.
"This porch needs to be shored up. Maybe we should redo it in stone?"
"This side yard needs to be dug up and re-sod. Is that a word?"
"That carport? Tear it up!"
Regardless, we were still eager to see what the owners HAD done inside the house. We finally got a series of calls in which "the owner" told us that he was "on his way." While we waited we saw a black cat who happened to cross our paths. Three times. In fact, it was more of a circling motion. P.J. reminded me later that the cat also lunged at me and rubbed himself against my boot. Somehow I blocked this out. I think I was frantically trying to pray to the saint of undoing a black cat's bad luck. Am I mixing religions again?
Finally, at 7:15pm the front door opened and an eldery man stood silhouetted in the darkness. And he was shirtless. (Did I forget to mention this part, people I spoke to last night? He was totally shirtless. And old. But sans fried chicken so we were hopeful.)
Turns out, this guy had been asleep in the attic the whole time, as evidenced by a rumpled bed and a blaring television set. (Sing it with me, folks...foreCLOOOOOSUUUUUUUREEEE. It's a song sung predominantly by white middle class folks who later feel terrible about themselves.)
HOWEVER. The house was beautiful. Truly. And not just 'cause I'm feeling guilty about the foreclosure comment. The woodwork was kinda stunning, the floors were gleaming, there was a staircase in the front and back of the house (we could play Benny Hill!) and there was tons of room. The kitchen was CLEAN and the bathrooms new. Sure, there was a double sink on the first floor bathroom but it was a NEW double sink! Upstairs were four really big bedrooms, closets and another full clean bathroom! Crazy. A foyer opened off the hallway to the attic staircase. Upstairs, aside from hosting a tired elderly person, the attic also featured two really big unfinished rooms without the scariness we've been used to. There was also a wide staircase down into the basement- no matter, as I will never never go down there (I hate basements) but it's a decent thing for P.J. to know about. Add to that a large yard and some cool neighbors we met during our HOUR wait...it may just work. If we can get money off for that leany porch. And, you know, ripping up the carport. And if they removed EVERYTHING currently in the house. (Seriously, there were like three entertainment units and four couches in the living room alone. And lots of children's things. As P.J. ominously whispered in his best Lifetime/horror movie/after school special voice, "Where are the children?")
And now that I think about it, why did they leave Grandpa in charge of showing the house? Sans shirt and sans English? Imagine who they removed...
So now I suppose the question remains (who am I kidding...there's a trillion questions) who's feelin' Jefferson Park? (And who's gonna bring me takeout from all the Roscoe restaurants I crave?)
And I hope you're all cool with handmade Christmas presents this year.