My body was swollen with child when we moved into the house on Bridge Road. I was almost seven months pregnant and useless when it came to moving unless you call pointing to where a box was to be put. My ankles were swollen and if I laughed I potentially would pee in my pants. I cried easily and often before, during and after our move and wondered what kind of personality my unborn child would have with such an emotional mommy.
We had bought this wreck of a house that needed much work, just the type of house my Love and I could buy to fix up and eventually sell with a profit. I however, was wanting a home and was willing to settle for this sad house knowing that my Love would make it a place that would become a home. Because a house is just a place that you can see in any neighborhood but a home is where we can nest and fall in love all over again.
When we brought the families over to see our new home I saw the look on my mom's face that fell like a souffle. My father believed in my husband and his family always believed in him knowing his construction abilities. Of course my mom was already bothered with me for being pregnant with my third child. I had upset the "apple cart" by having one more child. How would three fit into her Mercedes Coupe, I projected of her thoughts.
The house was tri-leveled, old and neglected. I believe the previous owner had died and I hoped that he or she did not die in the house owing to my belief in the supernatural. Upstairs in the future nursery and our master bedroom were wide cracks starting from the middle corners of some of the walls reaching towards the ceiling. Our bedroom had french doors with a faux balcony and his and her walk in closets. The kitchen had no disposal let alone a dishwasher with dingy painted cabinets, but on the bright side it was large and had a breakfast nook. The living room had a charming fireplace that at last I could place Arleen and Clark's andirons they had given to us several years before. There was a bonus room on the lower part that would be perfect as a playroom for our daughters multitude of toys. The backyard was tiny but the swing set my Love had built would fit.
Prior to our moving in we painted, scoured and scrapped wallpaper, and did deep cleaning of the bathrooms and kitchen, leaving our two girls at their Grandma's home since it was close by. It was especially appreciated of her always having a hot meal for my Love and I when we were done working. My Love had rented a steamer for us to attempt to get the horrendous wallpaper off the walls. Yes, there I was on a step stool, holding the steamer plugged into the wall with an extension cord while it emited hot humid steam, with my huge belly having Braxton Hicks contractions and trying to be as careful as I could not to fall. I was mad at the former owner for putting this paper on only to find another layer underneath. Some days I would go alone and I would cry in this house while I went up and down, over and over to attempt to peel off the wall paper, wondering if this was the best we could have found for us to live in. I was overwhelmed by a move while this far into my pregnancy and feeling bereft of my mom and her attentions.
I don't know what the neighbors must have thought of our comings and goings. We took our time fixing and cleaning and the day of our move felt like a tornado had dropped our belongings there. Since I couldn't pack like I would have the organization of what were in boxes was not done. My brother by marriage and father by marriage assisted with the move and toys were throw into boxes like we were running out of town on a fast escape. Once again I sat on the floor crying in our new home, trying to find the doll that my little E. wanted and was afraid didn't get moved. Moving is hard on children who just want to see their belongings and feel secure. I prayed my dishes didn't get broken with every box that was dumped on the floor.
To welcome ourselves to the neighborhood my Love and I had a garage sale. What better way for the neighbors to get to know us than by seeing what we were getting rid of! My Love and I sat on our camping folding chairs while kids rode by on their bikes, back and forth, their curiosity finally driving them down our deep driveway to check us out. And really, that is how we all got to know each other. It was the kids who met us first, followed by my first new neighbor girlfriend- to- be Janice. She had three kids, one our oldest daughters age and two boys. And with that our house became a home.