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The Fletcher House is the 2015 Garcia Family Project. We will be designing, building, and decorating a Second Empire style dollhouse in 1/12th scale. This blog will chronicle our successes, our failures, and general chaos and pandemonium.....

24 January 2013

Jerry's Kids

When I was eight years old, my parents divorced. I remember a year later I was pawing through my mom's jewelry box, trying on all of her sparkling baubles, when I came across a lapel pin (remember those? who wears those anymore?) that said "Help Jerry's Kids" on it. Well, my dad's name happens to be Jerrie, and my world came crashing down. You see, when my parents divorced, a lot of people from my mom's church helped us out. They babysat for me and my younger brother Jason, took the two of us on shopping trips to buy Christmas gifts for our mom, and generally fawned and clucked over us like mother hens at church every Sunday. When I saw that pin, (because when you are nine you think that surely the world revolves around you) I automatically thought that those pins had something to do with me and Jason. I honestly thought that people in the church were passing them out and that Jason and I were a charitable case now. That there was some sort of secret society behind the scenes that pitied us. Remember, this was 1981, when divorce wasn't nearly as common as it is today. At church the following Sunday, I remember studying every adult I came across, searching for someone, anyone, who dared wear that pin around me and my brother. I had some sort of half baked plan to kick some ass if I saw it. I was enraged, embarrassed, confused, hurt, and ashamed, that there were pity pins floating around encouraging the world to help me and my brother. Thankfully, I never saw anyone wearing that pin. I harbored this anger, this resentment, this embarrassment for a good four years before I found out the truth. My mom was getting rid of some of the junk in her jewelry box (another crushing disappointment learning that most of her "baubles" were fake), and she came across that pin. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Mom, why did people pass those pins out about us?
Mom: What are you talking about?
Me: "Help Jerry's Kids" why did people pass those out for me and Jason when you got divorced?
Mom: (starts to laugh)
Me: It's not funny.
Mom: (starts to laugh harder)
Me: (getting really pissed at this point)
Mom: Jennifer. Those pins had nothing to do with you. They were from Jerry Lewis's telethon- the one that raises money for kids with Muscular Dystrophy. I don't even remember getting it, I must have made a donation or something.
Me: (sudden realization that the earth does not revolve around me) Oh.
Mom: (laughing so hard she is about to cry)
Me: Nevermind.

I carried that shame for four years. For nothing. I'm an idiot.

07 January 2013

Those Pearls...

Dear Wal Mart check out girl:
I applaud you. You are young, efficient, and a (abnormal for Wal Mart) polite check out girl. Our transaction was smooth and quick. But I saw in your eyes, that beaten down look that has haunted me all weekend. I wonder how many times a day you must ask, "Would you like your milk in a bag?" and shudder. In my mind, you are a college girl, just working at Wal Mart temporarily (I hope). Because I usually don't pay much attention to who checks me out. But you, dear Wal Mart girl, you are different, because of those pearls. While standing in line, I couldn't take my mind off those (obviously real) pearls around your neck. Unlike most employees at Wal Mart, your navy blue shirt fits perfectly, and you are wearing the obligatory khaki pants, but they are NICE pants, not the too skinny butt crack or fat roll showing pants, but pants that are appropriate for work. But it's those pearls around your neck that caught my eye. Those pearls tell a story. They tell me that you care. They tell me that you want to make some attempt at being chic, stylish, and posh. They tell me that even though you work for a company that treats it's employees like dirt under a worn out shoe, you want to make an effort. A difference. That you are going places. I like to think that those pearls are a family heirloom, passed down to you from an old grandmother who used to bake you cookies and teach you how to sew when you were a little girl. I like to think, that because you wear pearls around your neck while making minimum wage and probably don't get health insurance, that you will rise up, that you will eventually have a career that doesn't involve retail or conveyor belts or weighing produce. Keep wearing those pearls, Wal Mart girl. Let them take you places. Let them remind you that there are better jobs out there, that there is a lot to be said for a strong work ethic and pride in appearance. I applaud you, Wal Mart check out girl. And don't take those pearls off. Ever.

27 December 2012

Just Finished

I just finished reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King, and as a fan of all his books, I was not disappointed. It's a whale of a book, but I was engrossed in it and read it in three days. It's a fantastic story about a guy named Jake who finds a portal back in time and goes on a quest to change history. Specifically, he intends to kill Lee Harvey Oswald, thereby preventing the death of John F. Kennedy. He first starts out with a few "test" cases, changing the lives of a few people, then porting back to present day to see how history changed. Once he figures out what to do and what not to do, he then takes the trip back and proceeds to kill Oswald. However, the death and subsequent sparing of JFK's life turns out to have disastrous consequences. The book is exciting, riveting, and I highly recommend this book!

Bootprints in the Snow

On Saturday, Mario and I took a drive down to Chillicothe, and on the way back, we stopped at this old abandoned farmhouse on Rt. 23. We trudged through the unkempt yard and cautiously made our way inside. The windows were all smashed, there was debris on the sagging floors, and it was dirty and cold inside. We could tell the place used to be grand. Sweeping staircases, six fireplaces, and old rusty chandeliers caught our eyes. The place hadn't been lived in in years, and I was just aching to buy this place and restore it. Outside it was a beautiful winter afternoon, but inside, it was cool, dark, and spooky. Every step caused a floorboard to creak and sag. I peeked in a few rooms, and in one room at the back, there was a pile of snow that had blown in through this house with no doors during the storm on Friday night. Mario and I were oohing and ahhing over all of the old historic details in the house, and decided it was time to go when the rotting floorboards were getting a little iffy to walk on. Something caught Mario's eye and he pointed - in that little pile of snow, there was now a bootprint. A bootprint that hadn't been there 5 minutes before. We both had on tennis shoes. That print was not ours. We both stiffened and strained out ears for any sounds or signs of life. Spooked, we quietly and quickly made our way out of the house and back to the car. Was someone in the house? Was someone standing on the other side of that wall, listening, waiting? We will never know for sure. But it's still creepy to think about.....
(after returning home, I googled the old house, turns out it's on the National Historic Register and known as the Renick Family Farmhouse).