And after May was born, it was just a ridiculously small space to live in although it did have indoor plumbing and electricity and I had a washing machine of my own that lived in a little wooden shed off the trailer.
It did us while we lived there.
And one day, I was reading the classifieds in the paper and under "antiques" I found an ad that said, "Antique house to be moved." And it gave a Monticello address.
I called the number, just out of sheer curiosity. The woman who answered told me that she and her husband were building a new house and were living in the original house on the property, an "old cracker house" as she said, and the new house was about finished and they wanted to get the old one off the property.
To make a long story short, we bought that house and moved it. It needed rebuilding from the foundation sills up and my then-husband and our good friend Jeff did it.
It was my dream house.
And we lived there when Hank and May were little and then I reached a point where I couldn't live with my husband any more and we divorced and I moved to town to go to nursing school. It was the hardest move of my life.
I loved that house and every board and the front porch that Jerry and Jeff built on to it and the laundry room behind it and my garden and my apple trees and my clothes line and all of it.
It was a dream and I had to give it up.
The last night I spent there, I laid on the bare wood pine floors and I cried my eyes out.
And I still owned it when Glen and I met. His parents wanted to move to Florida and Glen wanted them here, near to him, where his daddy could fish with him and his mama could be relax and be happy and while they were building their own house here, they lived in that house and Paw-Paw brought it back to life and it was beautiful.
And when it came time to sell it, a woman named Phyllis Straus bought it. And she lived there until the day she died. She loved it and she filled the yard and the woods around it with her art, which was sculpture, and I have written about her more than once.
And now it is for sale and so I stopped by this afternoon to walk around it.
The gate was locked but I just drove on down a little ways and walked through the woods and spider webs to see it.
And this, jesus god, was what I saw.
And then this.
All life-sized. And more.
I passed all of them and then there was this.
My house. My first true house. Every board beloved by me. Every sheet of tin on the roof appreciated by me.
I walked up to the porch and noticed that where my garden had been was now a place where cut-up downed trees and branches were piled and here was what was on the porch.
More art and the original shutters.
I walked around the house. There was this. And all of these.
I was completely flat-out mind-blown. I was overcome.
And still, there was this.
The pump house shed that Jerry and Bill Wharton built from Smitty's barn wood and windows from the Lake Ella Motor Court. Still there. Smitty, for those of you who have no idea was...oh, fuck. I can't even begin to tell you. Here's a link.
I took all the pictures. I walked around the house. I saw Phyllis' ironing board hanging up in the laundry room that Jerry and my friend Tom built. I looked inside and it all looked pretty darn good. I remembered growing roses and cucumbers and making pickles and the exact moment I understood that my husband was cheating on me and the day John Lennon died.
I had to pee. I went around to the side of the house where there was nothing but Polk Berry and I undid my shorts and I squatted and I peed.
I walked back to my car and those horses led me out. I sent a picture of them to Mr. Moon.
He sent me a text back saying, "Are those real horses or art?"
What a day.