Part Two-So long, it’s been good to know you …

What scares us to death does not make us stronger …

I once read a survey that said more Americans are afraid of spiders than they are of death.

Since I have an amazingly ridiculous and incurable phobia to arachnoids, and I equate moving with death, “ergo” (don’t you love any excuse to use that word?) … I think of moving as uncovering a nest of hairy things … then like the witch … being crushed under the weight of it.

moving chaos

Blog credit

Not much fun.

I did, however, think it was funny enough to write an entire rolling monologue that translated into one of my journals … The Mad Mother From Brooklyn.

We lived in a cramped one-bedroom apartment, the two kids in the bedroom and mom on the sofa in the living room. Have I ever told you the number of sofas, floor mats and other strange beddings I’ve slept on? No?

Good.

This apartment had a long front hall I quickly converted into a playroom for the kids and the dog. Soon after moving we also acquired a cat.

The living room was my bedroom and office, it was where we ate all our meals, where I played loud music, studied, and where I played games with dozens of urchins from the building. Emotionally, I am torn. I consider the five years we lived in this Bensonhurst, Brooklyn apartment to be the best years of my life.

However, the landlord, who lived on the fifth floor of the building, was not very generous with the steam heat. The radiators were cold most of the winter. The last and fifth winter, we were trapped during over 20 major snow storms and one record-breaking blizzard that paralyzed the entire north east of the country.

To give the landlord his due, I left in the middle of the night owing five months rent. To immortalize her, the night I escaped the deep freeze, I wrote on the ceiling: The Mad Mother from Brooklyn Lived Here in bright red crayon.

devil woman

Devil woman

 

The last traumatic move for me was the year I left Northern Manhattan and moved to South Florida.

I have learned to live with the culture shock since this area is better known as New York South. I have adjusted to the climate change, the lack of alternate side of the street parking, no busses on every street corner, and no subway rides downtown. In time I even began to enjoy the quiet. But I have never stopped missing Brooklyn.

Speaking of Brooklyn, I’d like to introduce you once again to Antoinette.

Antoinette is my alter-ego, soul mate, my legal middle name, and the main character in my Third Eye Mystery Trilogy. Before she grew up to be a photojournalist for The Associate Press, Antoinette “Toni” Gallucci was the central character is a young adult book I have played with for  six years. Her story, Sunset Park, spans fourteen years of her life from seven through her twenty-first birthday.

Another character from those stories is Michael Russo. Michael might be that kid I talk about occasionally. The only boy I didn’t hate and my trusted side-kick, Petie.

For the next two weeks it will be my pleasure to tell you the tale of Antoinette’s separation from her childhood friend, Michael Russo.

 ##########

Introduction to Moving Day …

School was dismissed and the kids scattered. Some of them walked up the long hills adjacent to Sunset Park and were never heard from again. Many married young, birthing and raising a new generation.

It was a fresh start as the kids and their parents threw off the remnants of the yesterdays that defined them and embraced a vision of tomorrow they waited to realize.

For the kids who grew up in the areas surrounding Bay Ridge, the incredible vistas from bike path along Shore Parkway, adjacent to the Brooklyn Narrows, spanned these changing times.

It was in the ebb and flow of the waters, in the endless stream of people and traffic, the change began to define itself.

Dancing to another beat, both parents and children had yet to learn, eventually everything old is new again.

##########

What change of scenery has caused

the most trauma or joy in your life?

fOIS In The City

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14 Comments

Filed under Ramblings

14 responses to “Part Two-So long, it’s been good to know you …

  1. The change of scenery that caused the most trauma in my life was when I moved to Madrid for my junior year of college but planned to stay there and never return to the U.S. Well, about half-way through the first year I realized I’d make a mistake as far as thinking it would be a “forever” stay, but I sure as heck learned a LOT about different people and cultures. It was a great experience!

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  2. vicki

    I’ve not had big moves. I went to college in a far-off part of the state and loved it. Moved back to my home and into an apartment with my girlfriend where we were crazy single girls for four years until Handsome. We bought a house a week before we married. It was idyllic leaving in that neighborhood. We all cared for each other. Now, the elderly ones have passed. Thirteen years ago, we moved to the house we’re in now. It’s big and I have my own space for writing. I love where I live.

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  3. annerallen

    Pleased to meet Antoinette!

    I spent my young life moving. Went to three high schools: one in rural Maine, one in Rome, Italy, and one in the blue-collar town of Middletown CT. In my 20s, I traveled around the world and ended up in California, I’ve moved around CA some, but mostly I keep landing back here on the central coast, near San Luis Obispo, the town Oprah called “the happiest town in the USA.”. Now nobody can pry me away.

    But the most traumatic move happened when I was 9 yrs old: from New Haven to central Maine. I never got over leaving my best friend and my school and home to live in a cold, unfriendly environment, where everything about me was considered “weird.” (They said I had a “southern accent”–that is, south of Kennebunkport.) I think that defined me as always feeling like an outsider, looking in. Which is what all writers are, I suppose..

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    • Anne, your travels sound so fabulous … New England, Europe and Calif. What a great mix. I had a very upsetting move at 9 when I went to an all Irish neighborhood and Catholic School. I try to block out those two horrible years, so I completely understand. Some of the time, the most upsetting experiences do indeed mark us as writers 🙂

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  4. christicorbett

    I would say moving from the mild, though rainy, Seattle area climate to the midwest (Wisconsin, Minnesota, and then Montana). I had no clue it could get so COLD, or how no one really changed their lives when it got frigid. I learned quick, and eventually learned to enjoy winters. Though, now that I’m back in the Pacific Northwest it’s nice not to own a snow shovel anymore 🙂

    Christi Corbett

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  5. Transitions are difficult . . . great post!

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  6. Don’t laugh. I moved when I got married. And that was was few miles down the road. I’m always amazed by people who moved to different locations. Sorry I haven’t been around lately. If my connection and computer get any slower I’ll maybe have to move to a location where high speed is available. 😉

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  7. Hello Florence, I won’t bore you with the travels and the moves. I’ll simply add that Tom and I moved several times after I retired from government as we couldn’t decide where we actually wanted to live.

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