Monday, October 28, 2013

Limping To Home Depot Had Me Thinking About My Old Home In Mount Vernon & Hortense

That is my neighborhood Home Depot you are looking at in the photo. The Home Depot is across the street from the Albertsons I think I've mentioned previously.

The last time I did some hill hiking on the Tandy Hills I had a little tripping action which did not vex me much at the time. Then the next morning my left foot was in pain mode when walked upon.

I may have had a sleep walking incident which acerbated whatever got twisted by the Tandy tripping. The evidence of a sleep walking incident are a bruise on the right side of both my knees and another bruise on my left arm. I have no conscious memory of anything happening that would be bruising to these 3 locations.

This morning when I walked to the pool I stepped on a rock, right on the spot on my left foot that is in pain. This seems to have made matters worse.

So, I think I may be toning down any strenuous walking til this foot thing goes away, hence the leisurely walk to my neighborhood Home Depot today.

I had not been in a Home Depot or any of that type store in years. I used to get stuff in Home Depot type places frequently. My only reason for going to Home Depot today was to check out BBQs. My sister who lived in Tacoma that last time I saw her, over 5 years ago, who is currently living in Chicago, last I heard, had the best propane BBQ I'd ever used. It had something special about its design which made for a real BBQ taste, unlike other propane BBQs I've used.

After looking at the Home Depot BBQs I limped around the store. This got me feeling like Rip Van Winkle. The last time I bought any new appliance type stuff was way back in 1985 for the new house I built in Mount Vernon. Back then almond was the popular color. So, everything in my kitchen was almond, including the countertop and the cabinets.

I saw nothing almond in Home Depot today. Most of the refrigerators were stainless steel, as were most of the ovens and dishwashers. I saw two white refrigerators.

Anyway, looking at stuff in Home Depot had me thinking back in time, which had me feeling nostalgic and then a little depressed and then a little homesick. I knew I had photos of my old home in Mount Vernon hidden somewhere on this computer. Eventually I found them.

Below I take you back in time, to Washington, in the last century.....

Above you are looking at the deck which was above the carport. This is where my BBQ was located. The BBQ is the round red thing in the center forefront. I had a nice garden on this roof deck. Three big blueberry bushes, a strawberry bed, big pots for tomatoes and an herb planter where I always grew way more basil than I could use.

Now we are looking the opposite direction, from under the awning that covered part of the roof top deck. I used to spend a lot of time at this location lollygagging on a hammock.

That is my nephew Christopher running on the rock path that surrounds the house. I was on the second level roof to take this picture. The house had flat roofs with easy access to the top roof via a door. The rocks were hauled, via pickup, from a spot further east in the Skagit Valley called Day Creek. Looking at all the rocks in the picture and realizing that this shows only one small area of them and further realizing it was me who arranged them, well, it seems like a long time ago and I don't remember it being tiring hauling all those rocks.

Above we are on the deck in the backyard, well, there actually was no backyard of the grass growing lawn sort. Above that red door you can see part of the aforementioned door which gave access to the roof. Entering that red door the kitchen is on the left, the living room on the right.

Two things I remember about those windows on the right. There was a period of time when a number of earthquakes took place, low on the Richter scale, but centered just a few miles to the east. I'd be sitting in the living room, watching TV, and an earthquake would hit with the windows flexing in a way I did not know could happen without breaking.

The other thing I remember about those windows was one Spring a demented robin flew into the window, hour after hour, day after day. The demented robin would sit on a bush and decide to attack its reflection in the window. It was very annoying. I don't recollect, for sure, how this problem was solved. A BB gun may have been involved. Or maybe my cat, Hortense, took care of it. She really hated that window bashing robin.

In the above view we are just outside that red door, on the backyard deck. That white stuff is snow. This picture was taken at the start of what became the deepest snowfall I ever experienced in the Skagit lowlands zone.

Above you are looking at the same view, after the snow finished piling up. This was fun for about 2 days. And then it got old. I cross country skied to get groceries. Driving was not possible from my location. My house was on a steep cul-de-sac, which became a sledding mecca when enough snow made that possible. That winter wonderland aspect was sort of fun. When the BIG THAW came it caused all sorts of problems. Drain pipes broke, a water pipe burst in the basement. It was a mess, a real big mess.

That is the aforementioned Hortense, sitting in her favorite chair. Hortense made the move to Texas. She was about 20 years old at the time. To get to Texas Hortense had to be sedated, placed in a carrying container and then in a plane to fly to D/FW. Hortense died about a year after the move to Texas and is buried in horse corral at a ranch in Haslet.

Whilst in Mount Vernon Hortense shared my laying on the floor, drinking coffee and reading the Seattle Post-Intelligencer habit.

Hortense was one smart cat. She loved Tender Vittles. I had a little car deal, pulled by a rope. I'd say to Hortense "car ride" to which she'd get in the car and I'd pull her around. After which she knew she'd get a handful of Tender Vittles. I remember Hortense doing this trick for my grandma to grandma's amazed amusement.

Hortense did not use a litter box. She would let you know when she needed to go outside. One time I did not get back home til way later than expected and Hortense, desperate to void, drug a newspaper on to the tiled section of the downstairs bathroom and proceeded to do her business.

When I was gone for an extended period, as in weeks, Hortense lived outside in her own little heated house on the roof deck. Whenever Hortense was outside, when I returned, from either a long trip or just gone for the day, she somehow knew I was heading up the cul-de-sac, which had her running to be right at the driveway entry where she did this log stretching ritual and then would walk slowly to the carport while I drove in behind her.

I was mountain biking in Tyler State Park when Hortense had a stroke and died. Hortense seldom went outside after the move to Texas. She had a litter box for the first time. The horses in the pasture made Hortense very nervous. The last time I saw Hortense I was surprised to look out the window to see Hortense standing by the fence, looking at one of the horses. Then I watched as she came to my door and made her let me in noise. She had never done this before. How did she know where that door went? And that I was on the other side?

Hortense walked in and sat on the floor for about an hour while I did computer stuff. Then she walked to the door that led to the rest of the house and meowed her demand that that door be opened. I shut the door as Hortense left, which was the last time I saw Hortense. The next day I returned to a pair of sobbers informing of the passing of Hortense.

Hortense lived a long, charmed life.

1 comment:

CatsPaw said...

Nice house. I even like the snow. And any man who loves a cat, is all right in my book.