I know that Tuesdays are usually reserved for The Less Desirables recap, but today is a very special anniversary for me, not once but twice.
June 21, 1986. I woke up in “Little White Oak Holler” on Welch-Pineville Rd. in WV, anxious and nervous. There was dread, to be sure, but there was also a sense of excitement and wonder. I heard a loud rumbling sound and knew it was a large truck. But, it wasn’t the normal tractor-trailers that Ma Père had drudging up and down the “holler” that I was used to. It was a dump truck. Um… what? Yeah, just hold on, it gets even better.
It was Pops pulling up in this dump truck and he pulled into the yard and backed up to the breezeway of our old house. The breezeway was a large “porch” between the main/side door of our house and the garage/shop of Pops’. He swung the tailgate out (I had never seen nor heard of this before) and they placed a few boards to create a ramp. And Mes ‘Rents, several of their friends, a couple of my friends, my sis and I started putting items in the back of the bed. Personal items. Memories. Life. Almost all of our stuff was systematically (because that’s the only way Pops knows how to do things) placed in the back of this dump truck bed. Tears, laughter, more anxiety, it was all present as we put our belongings in this delivery beast.
Later that afternoon, since we had already prepped everything to be packed, we closed the tailgate, loaded up what we could in a few personal vehicles, grabbed one of my best childhood friends and set out on the road. That road led to where I’m sitting right now (at least on the same amassed property): WSNC. We moved the stuff to the house that Ma ‘Rents still live in today. I live in a house about two football fields away from that same house. I haven’t moved away from this compound, officially, in 30 years. I did live in an apartment for about four months whilst waiting for my currently previous address (also on the compound) the “Cabin in the Woods” to be ready to move into (read: waiting for the squatters to move out). But, I’ve been here for 30 years.
The “Old Homestead” has changed a lot over that 30 years. Some ugly rooms were refurbished, some left alone because of the nostalgia. New rooms added. Some pools added, then removed, then added elsewhere. Some rooms were completely gutted and the main living area floor completely restructured. The roof was removed and an entire living “suite” was built in the new floor. The basement, where my room was went from being a reconditioned hair salon to an oddly placed bedroom to a mini-apt with a living room and bedroom to a full-blown apartment with storage, a kitchen two additional bedrooms and two bathrooms. We started with just about 1/2 an acre of land and we now live on just under 20 (including my property). Really, anyone who came to visit when we first moved and haven’t been back since, certainly wouldn’t recognize the place, at all.
I hated that I had to move and leave my friends and what life I had experienced behind. I was 15. I had just finished my freshman year of high school with people I’d gone to school with for 10 years. That’s a hard age to do that with. Especially coming from a town of about 1100 people (at the time… much less than that, now) to a town of about 220,000 (more than that, now). But, anyone who knows me knows I don’t take a lot of time to get to know people and make friends. One week in school, I had it all worked out. I thought I’d try to go back “home,” back to WV, to finish school, but after about six months of living here, understanding that I had instant access to just about anything I wanted, could shop and eat, all within 10 minutes from my house (in WV, we had to go about 45 minutes away to do just about anything), and that was enough to make me realize that I had no desire to go back. I went back to visit. I dated two girls up there whilst living here. That was hard.
Let’s switch gears for a second.
June 21, 1968. Ma Père went to pick up his “fiancee” (I don’t know if they even called each other that back then) and drove her from Pineville, WV to Lebanon, VA. where they got hitched. Been pretty cool as far as I can tell. I mean, they have a really awesome son. They have a daughter and another son, too, but one really awesome one (yes, that’s a dig and yes, they know I’m not at all kidding about kidding). So, if you’re putting that together, yes, we moved to WSNC on their 18th anniversary. It was (at the time) the longest day of the year (when did that change to June 20?) and a Saturday. This is still the marriage that I strive to make for The BCPF and me. I couldn’t have picked better parents and I wouldn’t want to. I am sure they’re far from perfect, but I wouldn’t know it. They’re perfect for me, my sis, my bro, our kids.
So, happy 48th anniversary Mom and Dad and happy 30th anniversary of living here to you both, my sis and me. We’ve been through a lot and, even with the bad, I’d not want to change much of anything. Thank you, Dear Reader, for letting me indulge in grandiose storytelling, but hey, you’re used to that, by now. And by the way, the picture isn’t of their wedding, it’s a prom. I couldn’t find a wedding picture in the brief time I had to look.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year.” – Paul Sweeney