Monday, April 18, 2011


This photo was taken 2 weeks ago & I havn't stopped.  Oh, just wrap me in bubble wrap & call it a day!! 

The paintings on the wall have since been taken down & I believe that I feel that the house is so much less mine now & that's a good thing.  I'm feeling excited about leaving; I'm ready.  Also, since the paintings are down, I can see all the cracks in the walls - all the work that would be necessary to bring this house up to snuff & I'm so glad I don't have to do it.

Monday, March 28, 2011


So - I'm not even sure where I found these letters - they were sort of.....just there, in a plastic bag, in my hand.  I guess I was digging away at something in the attic - it's really bizarre that I truly can't remember where they were when I "discovered" them.  NO!  I did not remember that I had any letters from Andre - and surely not so many of them.

The previous blog entries I wrote were about a stack of  letters I found in my attic that were from a guy I hardly remembered.  This is waaay different:

I found 48 letters (a few were post cards & birthday cards) from Andre Trepanier.  The letters were dated from Feb, 1958 to June, 1962. (we're talking 7cent air mail stamps) There were also about 5 letters from me to him...looks like rough drafts of letters that I sent. 

Andre was my 1st love.  Big Time.  I was 13 & he was 19 when we met.  Yes indeed, my father would eventually want to lock me up in the basement.  I met him in the "Old Village".  I believe he truly swept me off my feet the first time I laid eyes on him. "Breathtaking" is a fitting expression.  Even though I believe he had a girlfriend then, there was no turning back from that point on.

Andre was French Canadian, had been living in Waterbury, Ct.  He was in Great Neck with his twin brother, Bobby & their friend, Dizzy.  (Boy, was he ever dizzy - one scary, ugly dude).  They came to GN in March of 1956 to look for work, hearing there was good Summer money to be made in landscaping here.

(I have to write this slowly, as it is truly boggling my mind)....more to come

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I call this photo "the baseball game".  Funny, I was recently talking to someone about this scene - & here it is.  Good memories.

Looking at the photo, my father, Phil is on the left in front, next to him is cousin Jack Ratchick, married to My mother's cousin, Ida. Across from him, on the right, in back is uncle Irving (Goldstein) My mothers younger brother- next to him is uncle Al (Hantman), married to my mother's sister, Lilly. 

I think this photo is so funny.  This was the men having a great time???  They were sitting around the kitchen table at Lilly & Al's house, smoking, drinking something - perhaps a little schnops, & listening to the baseball game.  We - the kids & women were prob sitting around the dining room table, which was just a few steps away.  We could have been in the living room, but I don't remember being in there very often. 

We always had great food.  We ate before the meal - God forbid you should be too hungry to wait, then of course an abundant meal.  I'm thinking pot roast & all the trimmings, then coffee & dessert - perhaps aunt Lilly's mondel bread, her outrageous sour cream cake, some danish, coffee cake, fruit, etc.  I remember her making her own egg noodles.  I can see her cutting the dough into tiny slices - I was in awe at how she moved the huge knife so quickly & never cut herself. 

Their apt was on the 2nd floor of a brownstone (prob valued over a million dollars these days) and a few blocks away there was actually a dairy farm.  When the wind was in the right direction, one could smell the cows, which I liked because it reminded me of being in the country.

We used to visit relatives almost every weekend - that's just what the family did. I loved being at my aunt Lilly's - she used to let me go through the drawers of her dining room furniture where she had miniature tea sets & tiny dishes that I loved to play with.  I still have a tiny set with a brass tray, candlesticks, etc that she gave me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Another memory-packed item out the door.  I sold my old porcelain kitchen sink on Craigs List for $50.  I listed it for $65.  I must have posted it at least 4 or 5 times.  Keep showing what you've got, & someone is bound to want it.

The sink has been sitting in the side yard, visible from the kitchen window for years.  It's been there since the old pipes gave out & the plumber I hired was too lazy, or just didn't care to restore it.  He preferred to replace it with new, stainless steel.  I've been using it as a funky planter.

I was sad when the buyers took it away yesterday.  I didn't want to let it go......I hardly want to let anything go.  The guy buying it explained that he was building a country house upstate in the woods & thought this sink would be perfect.  Why wouldn't it?

I have memories (of course) of this sink.  It was here when my parents bought the house.  It was placed upon home built cabinets. It had two front graceful porcelain legs that were left visible on the sides of the cabinet.  I washed the dishes while my brother, Mike would dry, we would argue. This is the sink I bathed my kids in.  Barrett used to stand on a chair & play with her toys in a sinkful of bubbles - splashing, spilling & having a great time.  Lucy got her baths in this sink.  Bazillions of meals were prepared around this my mother, me, my kids.
Today I'm really sad.  The actual move - leaving this house & my life as I know it is inevitably close & "a never to return reality".  If not for money - I would keep this house & move to Asheville.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Today I had the urge to investigate/clean out the shed.  Well, I barely scratched the surface.  Three trips to the curb with discards & much, too much left to toss?  Time & Ben's valued opinion will help to make that decision.

There are many tools, some, I'm sure that date back  to my parents ownership of this house.  There are many flowerpots....always handy to have about.  I've got many old aluminum pots that were my motheres - I drilled holes in the bottoms & used them as funky flower pots.  I used to line the walk with them.... doubled handled soup pots of varied sizes, tea kettles, collenders..... all planted prettily with colorful flowers.  Very often people stopped me to tell me that walking past my house caused them to smile.  That's a good thing. 

I can envision some of the pots on my High Vista decks.  I've seen beautiful, huge, glazed, colorful & expensive ceremic flower pots in the stores & garden centers.  I would love to have some of them & prob will get some.  To start, my mom's soup pots will add some funky flavor to my decks just as her soups added healthy flavor to all who were fortunate enough to eat at her table.

I'v got a white wrought iron bicycle basket in the shed.  I've been holding on to it for years.  I had an idea (prob saw a photo in some magazine) to use it on an old bike that I wished to paint white.  It's the kind of baskets that would have been attached to the back fender of the old-fashioned, fat tired Schwinns. One basket on either side of the wheel. I wanted to fill the baskets with flowing flowers & use all as a big flower display.  I am now hoping that it can be attached to the deck railing.  Well, with me it will go. 

I wish I were in my new house in NC (who said that?)  to start my garden.  A neighbor emailed to invite me to a High Vista Edible Garden Club.  Yes!  I am getting emotionally closer each day.  I definitely have felt a shift from the time I signed that contract.  I look at the house & the rooms differently.  I feel they are already less mine.  I am feeling a bit more detached little by little.  It is clear that the time it is taking is the time I need it to take.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Signed the Contract

I  signed the contract for the sale of my house yesterday!!!!!!  I actually doubted that it would ever happen.
I thought I was fine.  I was acutely aware of how I was feeling during the process.  It was surreal.  I didn't actually feel very much - even went out for a bite to eat with Randy afterwards.
HOWEVER - I awoke at 3:30 am from the worst NIGHTMARES.  They were so vivid.  I don't often remember my dreams & I was wishing I could forget these.  They were like nightmares right out of "Where the Wild Things Are" -  with actual growling, drooling MONSTERS with gnashing teeth.....lots of running, chasing, FEARS, DANGER, etc.  UGH, I can still visualize them.  I finally went back to sleep about 5:30.  If I could draw, I would include a picture....would like to get it out of my head & onto paper.
So, my dear Dr. Freuds, what does all that mean?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I signed the contract to sell my house

This evening at approx 5 pm, I signed the contract to sell my house.  Amazingly, I feel ok.  Perhaps I'm in shock that I actually did it.  What tension - about 8 years of indicision leading up to that moment. 

Speaking with Ben yesterday helped a lot.  I was telling him that my friend, Carla saw photos of the house & thought it was absolutely fabulous.  Thought I had a professional stage it.  I was feeling it was hard to leave it when someone else saw it as so desirable.

Ben reminded me that the house was indeed a very special, loving space.....but just walk outside & you're in a toxic mine field - & that is a major reason that I'm leaving.  Ok, I guess I'll go.  On to the next steps.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A house offer

Last Sunday I was in Asheville - & when I'm there, I love attending Science of Mind services. The service was uplifting and hope inducing - I always find it so. 

I was walking out the door to leave & felt I needed to go back inside & ask for a "treatment".  There were a few people I had received  treatments from to finally make the decision to ultimately move to Asheville & then at another time, to find the right house in High Vista.  And so it came to pass.  She was in conversation with a woman standing next to her.   I chose to speak the other woman this time.

She asked my name & request.  The very  next thing she asked was if I was REALLY ready to release my house.  Wow! Powerful question.  She hit the nail on the head for sure.  A question that came up for me constantly. 

When I said I hoped so, but still wasn't really sure, I had the gnawing feeling that I was still holding on.  I told her I WANTED to release my house.  She treated for the release of my house, the sale of the house (for a price I liked) to people who will love & respect the house, people I would feel good about selling my house to, and the entire experience to be a win-win process for all involved.  Her prayers were powerful.  When we were finished, I was moved to ask for her card.  She was involved somehow in real estate.  When it was time to leave, I noticed that it was 12:30.

Randy & I were starving & went to Earth Fare where we sat with Jayson & Rena & were busily talking & eating.  My phone rang.  It was my realtor, Edna who announced that we got a very strong offer.  A couple that was crazy about my house.   They were pre-approved, had $200,000 as a down payment.  (I glanced at my was about 1:30).  I countered the offer, they re-countered.  We agreed. I cried. They arranged for an inspection the very next morning.

I was afraid of so much being wrong with the house.  Many told me to buy a new furnace & "abandon" the oil tank, which would have cost approx $8,000.  I was told I should convert to gas heat, etc - which would have cost even more.  Randy wanted to replace the system so we could spend a few months in Asheville.  I resisted.  I just felt that it wasn't the right thing for me to do.  All the above, plus more that I worried about passed the inspection. I met their request to pay only $1,000 towards repairs.  I feel so good about myself for not giving in.  It actually feels GREAT.  I never would have re-couped that money. I also did not have major roof work done as suggested. 

I'm really moving to Asheville.  More to come on the emotional part of this journey.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No Sale - but a good head start

Downstairs Bathroom


 The tease of the house sale fell through.  Strange, I was excited.  It was good to look forward to an actual time-line when I would move & be there.  The other side of it was still the bit of reluctance & holding back.  It happens when the house looks so nice - when all is set up for the open house.  Also happens when someone else starts raving about it.  They make it sound so good that I don't want to give it to them.

The positive side of the experience is that it kicked me into high gear.  I had a garage sale (in my basement) & sold a lot of stuff.  Before, during & after the sale we put piles & piles of stuff to the curb, donated 2 car loads to the thrift store, organized & re-arranged my attic, basement & garage, got re-involved in selling stuff on Craigs List & EBay which has become fun & rewarding.

God Bless Ben.  I would never, never, ever have been able to get anywhere near this point without his help.  Barrett & Randy helped with the garage sale, as did my friend, Kay.  Bless you all.

I feel more ready now.  I guess everything just has to take the time that it needs to take.  I feel like there is order.  I feel that what lies ahead is not insurrmountable.  I know what I have, know what I want to take, and know more or less how to prepare to do the actually sorting & packing. 

Photos were the most pressing.  For whatever reasons, I needed to do them first.  There were/are mountains of them - from 4 generations.  I feel more peaceful now that they are (almost) in order. 

I will stack & store my journals, etc next.  I've already bought the plastic carton thingy that I think will be the right size for them.  I have so many personal journals from so many years ago.  I have a diary or two from when I was 13 years old.  (I just tried to find them so I could photgraph them for this blog - not in the attic, not in the much for order).

Our Family Home
I've also started moving ahead with my business connection in Asheville.  I have a consult set up for a wedding there.  That feels like a giant step towards my life there. 
1 of 12

Upstairs Hallway

Master Bedroom

Living Room

Dining Room (The Parlor)

 Allenwood Road, Great Neck NY
My Bedroom


The Den (My Office)

Barrett's Bedroom (used to me mine)



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I believe I sold my house

Well, I've been wearing a Hebrew prayer bracelet that Edna gave me for Chanukah, I buried a statue of St Joseph head down in the earth in the front of my house before Thanksgiving, my friend Carla offered prayers in church last Sunday and I've been visualizing, meditating, dowsing, etc. since the beginning of June.  Perhaps one, more or all of the above have joined forces - I'm not sure - but I do believe I've sold my house.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A treasure at the bottom of the box

Hi Family: Joshua, Ben, Barrett, Stacey,
I found this treasure at the very bottom of the carton that Aunt Paul stored all those pictures & letters that I've been excavating.
From left to right:  Aunt Paul, My Mom, Bella, Ruth & Irving, Aunt Lilly, Aunt Esther.
So, this is obviously Ruth & Irving's wedding day.  Irving was the youngest of all the siblings.  He was so sweet & loving, as I feel all our family were.  Ruthie was known to be a bit...giggle-y.  She giggled at just about everything anyone said.
I believe I have memories of going shopping with my mother for the dress she was wearing in this photo.  Somehow, I thought it was for Phyllis' wedding?  Perhaps she wore it for both.  Ahhh, a fashion  no-no. I also remember that I was a flower-girl - again, prob for Phyllis'.  (I'm sure I'm not spelling Phyllis right).
Anyway, back to my mothers dress.  It was black & had beautiful multi-colored beadwork in the shape of a  fabulous bird across the front.  I can still see it in my minds eye.  I remember occasionally going to her closet to touch and admire it.  I thought it was the grandest - the fanciest, schmanciest of dresses. 
Weren't they all so very elegant?  I'm loving those long gloves.  I believe I have the very ones Aunt Paul was wearing among her belongings stored in my basement.  (I've just decided not to toss them.)
So, one memory of that shopping  day was of me running a bit wild & scooting in & out of the clothing racks, hiding under & behind the clothes.  I think Renee Chiswick was the other flower girl & she was my misbehaving cohort.  My mother was embarrassed & the sales women quite chagrinned.
So, my dears .... thanks for travelling down memory lane with me.  I am so glad to have you all in my life to share these beautiful Souls.  How blessed we are to have had them, their love & each other.
I deem this photo as frame-worthy.  copies, anyone?
I love you, Mom/Cousin Susan