Monday, August 10, 2009

Home Sweet Home

My home is my own little mansion. No, it's not as palatial as some of the homes in Aurora, but it's my quiet refuge after a long day of teaching or the place I can work on my dissertation in peace. My favorite room in my house is the sun room where I am writing my dissertation in the accompanying photo. I like to spread out here rather than in my office which is down the stairs into the lower half of our split-level home. The sun room is where everyone wants to hang out. My husband, Jerry, is the plant keeper, not me. They would all die if I had to water them. I love being surrounded by all that green. It's calming and keeps me focused. And I love the daylight! The sun room is also just off the kitchen, my second favorite room in the house because it is where I love to cook, especially in the summer with all of the wonderful garden vegetables my green-thumb husband likes to grow. Lately, I have 'put up' ten quarts of green beans and fourteen quarts of corn. 'Put up' were the words my mother and grandmother used for canning vegetables, but I have chosen to freeze them, which is much easier and less steamy during the humid dog days of August. This evening I made homemade marinara sauce from our Roma tomates, garlic, kosher salt, sugar, pepper and fresh herbs: rosemary, basil and oregano. Truly lovely with angel hair pasta!
Our home is two blocks west of the Aurora School complex, so I try to ride my bike the two blocks until the weather gets unbearable or if I have a lot of things to take to school. We are surrounded by several people named Carl. Carl Moore lives across the street caddy corner. Carl Arendt and Karl Larson live across the street to the north, and beyond those two lives Carl Johnson. Carl M. is retired, Carl A. is a retiree who still does handy-man work, Karl L. is the pastor at the Covenant Church down the street, and Carl J. is retired from Bonnavilla homes, but he helped his wife Margaret in her daycare business for a few years. They both helped raise our daughter, Anna. We are also surrounded by English teachers in our neighborhood. You had better speak correctly if you are walking around our neighborhood--four of us live within a block of each other.
We have looked all over Aurora for just the right home for years. Finally, four years ago, the house that we wanted was up for sale. The main thing was that it was in the neighborhood we had been in since we moved here. We really couldn't bear the thought of leaving our friends and neighbors. Anna was especially concerned about that because most of her friends were from our little corner of the Aurora.

Oh, and by the way, the link to "Sweet Home Alabama" at the top is a tribute to my husband, Jerry, and his green thumb, who has loved Lynyrd Skynyrd for a lifetime.

1 comment:

  1. Cathie,

    I just got done laughing at the idea of being surrounded by Carls. That's pretty damn funny.

    I also feel like I got to know YOU a lot better by reading about your hyperpersonal place--your home. I feel like I know a good deal about Aurora from our book meetings, so it was good to round out that information by learning about you.

    And that brings me to a small question: are there microplaces, places within places, that are just as important/influential as the larger places people are from?

    I look forward to learning from you!