Happy birthday, house!
How is it possible that I forgot to wish my house a happy birthday?
Well, it’s the anniversary of when I moved into my house (along with Husband #1 and Sons #1 and 2) and it became our home. Twenty-five years. I have been living in this Tudor for 25 years; that is longer than I lived in my parents’ home. When you walk into my house, there are two steps up and two steps down that go into the kitchen with a little landing in between. I still remember thinking that the boys and I would be sitting on this landing, all dressed up and smiling, waiting for Husband #1 to come home from work, greeting him with a cocktail, the N.Y. Times, and a pair of slippers. That, of course, never happened. Husband #1 doesn’t drink cocktails, we don’t get the N.Y. Times, and slippers — are you kidding me? In reality, most people walk around the dining room to avoid the two extra steps and the landing altogether, but in my mind, that was a selling point.
When I read the ad in the paper describing this house, it was advertised as having a music room. The music room is actually the front entrance; it had an upright piano in the space under the bookshelves. Since I knew I was going to be able to take my grandparents’ upright piano with me in the move to my new home, this space was perfect. I wouldn’t exactly call it a music room, but much music has come from this area of the house.
Home ownership is a big responsibility. It is even a bigger responsibility when you are married to someone who is, well, oblivious (and I mean that in the best way possible). Whenever anything goes awry in the house, it is I who am responsible for getting it taken care of. I know that I have shared with you some of our plumbing mishaps, but in this informative column, we will be discussing another subject. Ants, and crickets and mice, oh my.
A few days after we moved into our house, I noticed a buzzing sound coming from the wall. Husband #1 did not hear it, of course, and told me that it was nothing. But a wall should not buzz. Next, I noticed one or two yellowjackets that had found a permanent resting place on the window ledge, above where I was hearing the buzzing. And this is how I was introduced to Mike from Exit Pest Control. I had gotten his number from a neighbor. When he arrived at my house, he, too, heard the buzzing. And then he said, “You might want to leave the room, because sometimes the yellowjackets will come into the house instead of flying the other way.” Ahh, words every woman wants to hear. He applied some sort of powder and a few wayward bees did fly into the house, but fortunately all of their friends flew outside.
Mike and I have become well acquainted over the past 25 years. He has gotten rid of Mickey Mouse and some of his friends, carpenter bees that were eating my garage, and most recently, the springtime ant migration. I have referred him to several people, including my mom, and everyone loves Mike. Well, who wouldn’t love the man who kills things so you don’t have to?
The only thing he couldn’t help me with were the jumping crickets. If you have them, you know what I am referring to. If you don’t have them, I hope you never get them. They are big, they are ugly, and they jump really really high. If you have good reflexes, you can drop a book on them or vacuum them up. Mike recommended glue traps, but the thought of that is a tad nauseating. What’s interesting, well maybe not to you, is that I only have had them the past few years and they didn’t show up covid. I guess they were on lockdown as well.
In any event, if walls could talk, my home’s walls would have lots of stories to tell. Mini hockey tournaments in the basement, boys raiding the snack drawer and the chocolate drawer in the refrigerator, Game Cube tournaments on the television, laughter, tears, love and, unfortunately, loss.
But definitely more good things, and hopefully only good things moving forward. Happy birthday, house…
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is both happy and sad to be back home and thanks Danish for three and a half wonderful weeks.