Posted by: suek2001 | July 4, 2016

“It showed me the road that goes to home”…

This weekend is a holiday weekend of sorts….We here in the USA, love to celebrate our independence..although our dependence on politicians who promise the wind needs a bit of work…

Still, for me, this weekend has been a personal celebration….15 years ago this weekend, I moved to my wonderful glorious city of Duluth…

If you’ve never seen it, here’s a picture I took from my apartment window a few weeks ago:

 

I love this town and wanted to celebrate it with all my heart…

 

It’s a funny thing about plans…This weekend also happened to be the weekend my Mom moved to her new place….

Most of the people that read my blog know that Mom lives in Florida..a place we moved to and she fell in love with…I merely tolerated for 15 years….my soul longed to be elsewhere….

Still, Mom and I have been together in so many places that for her to move to someplace new felt strange to me….

I have only scattered memories of a couple of apartment complexes we lived in the 70’s…

Here’s the first one…Cedar Glen…off of Cedar Avenue in Bloomington, MN..right near the hallowed Mall of America…The Mall wasn’t there when we lived there…Met Stadium was nearby..and we felt kinda cool living near all the sports teams(although on Sundays our neighborhood was crowded)..

Cedar Glen - Photo #1

I find it amusing that aside from new siding, this place hasn’t changed…Bloomington’s advancements include a Caribou Coffee and a Cub Foods…All I recall of this place was that they had a great playground with a tall slide…

Back then, playgrounds were built on pavement with little to no thought to safety….This slide felt like it went to the sky..and the stairs went straight up…Mom had warned me not to climb that slide by myself…The steps were small and the slide was made out of aluminum that burned the body in the summer…One afternoon, while Mom was off somewhere, I climbed up the slide…and fell backwards….I have no sense of balance…didn’t as a kid…and still don’t…I landed on the ground but my head didn’t hit the pavement…If it did, I would have died…but as foolish as I was, God spared me..I walked away with some scratches..and that was it….A neighbor ran for help and got my Mom..She freaked out but was also angry at me…I think I got a spanking..which was never done as a spur of the moment thing but done with a deliberate slowness that was even worse….

(I swear God was just saving me for the great life I have now…Someone has to support banjo players, might as well be me!)

About a year or two later, we moved out as the landlord didn’t want to deal with people on Section 8 housing….so we moved to another complex in Bloomington…The Glacier-Yellowstone Complex..Two apartment buildings side by side…We lived in the Yellowstone side……

 

Now, this place is where my first solid memories of childhood start…the great swingset outside…a great swimming pool where I first heard “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys on the radio..and Westwood Elementary next door..where I met Leslie Jensen..my first best friend…we would soon part as Mom and I moved to Florida…(we would later reconnect on Facebook, where she is one of my cherished friends)..

When Mom and I moved to Florida , it was our own adventure..the spiritual and moral support would never waiver…We would be a bit aimless for awhile..moving from a roach motel..to relative’s houses…to an efficiency apartment….to finally a place we called home for 12 years…and to me this was where I grew up…Pine Manor, Florida….a rough neighborhood but for me, it worked..I had my own room..we had neighbors across the street that took us to church..worked on our car..and they had  a volleyball and badmitton court….

It was our little corner of life….and we lived…I couldn’t find any images of that exact address but this one comes close to it…only a few duplexes away:

 

We moved to another duplex in the same neighborhood for a couple of years but we don’t think about that..as it wasn’t much…

When I moved to Minneapolis, Mom found her slice of heaven in Cape Coral…a one bedroom with a large living room and a huge lanai…palm trees galore and shopping nearby…Here’s a pic of her awesome lanai:

 

She lived here for 20 years..and I would visit as much as I can..and although I can never claim anything in Florida as home..this came pretty close….

…..then the landlord sold the building and Mom had to move…It was three months of trying to find a place she could afford in a tight rental market….She put her name on a waiting list for a Senior Housing place….

Meanwhile, she moved here…a small, roach-infested..noisy apartment….She got to know some of the neighbors but it never felt like home….I think she detested it mostly because it wasn’t her choice to move…I was only there once but it felt very closed in to me…Here’s a pic of the area:

 

Mom never felt comfortable here…and I noticed her change in mood….She was always on edge…and depressed..rarely a happy day here….

Still, I ached for my mom….She really deserved a nice place to retire..She had worked long enough..helped others long enough…gave of herself long enough that she deserves happiness..and this weekend she got it in spades..She finally made it to the top of the waiting list for Senior Housing..and she “finally got a piece of the pie”…With tremendous help from her church, she is now settling into to the Renaissance..a low income Senior high rise in Fort Myers…She will be paying very little rent..and live in comfort and style….Mom has had to fight for everything in her life…and yet, she keeps faith in God…and yes, in herself…I love that she’s a fighter……and she never gave up….

So, this weekend…even though it was a big one for me…it’s an even bigger one for her..She’s happy..she loves her new place…and finally feels at home….and I found my home 15 years ago…she found hers this weekend..Once you connect to a place..and find home…you feel a bit more alive than you did before…and you feel like you’re a part of something bigger…

Here is Mom’s new home…she’s on the third floor…in her “deluxe apartment in the sky”..She is movin’ on up!

 

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