Archive for April, 2019


Not the emotional kind — the kind where you move yourself and your belongings from one place to another. My son and his family have been looking for a larger house recently, and I’ve been remembering the time we moved into our new home with him as a baby. My mom once remarked: “Everything Eileen does seems to be the hard way.” Well, not everything, really.  But the following qualifies.

My husband and I had been living in an apartment in Queens County, New York for three years since our marriage, both 38 years old, both wanting children, with no time to waste. After tears, prayers and surgery I finally became pregnant, at the now “geriatric” age of 41. And several months later, my husband and  I signed a contract for a handyman special Cape Cod in Rockville Centre, Long Island.

Complications ensued with my pregnancy and the house sale.  At six months, another surgery and bed rest until the birth.  During which time the nasty couple who lived below continued their malicious practice of banging on their ceiling if we walked across the floor after 10 PM, following this up by blasting the rousing “Star Spangled Banner” from a radio under our bedroom at 5AM.  This continued each time we had well behaved company. We’d complained, of course, but nothing daunted them.

The day of our house closing arrived, and I waited happily for my husband to return, jangling our new keys.  Champagne in the refrigerator for him.  Ginger ale for me.  But he returned looking glum, without keys. The seller, who’d seemed unpleasant from the beginning,  had loudly refused to leave the premises, said he needed another two weeks to move.  My cousin Tom, our attorney, gave the extension, but the owner would have to pay big bucks after that.

In the meantime, on our third wedding anniversary, I was admitted to the hospital for Caesarean delivery the next morning.  Our son, Kieran Anthony, entered this challenging world on September 20, 1973, “a perfect baby boy,” the doctor announced. And instead of going to our new house, my husband drove us to Connecticut to my mother’s home.

My mom had been tense through my difficult pregnancy and now seemed more nervous  than usual. She’d put a crib in her twin bedded room where the baby and I were to sleep, though there were two other empty bedrooms.  One night when my son cried for his feeding, she drowsily said: “Don’t spoil him.  Let him cry.” I loved my mother dearly, but could hardly wait to get in my own house with my baby and husband.

Kieran J. had gone back to the apartment to handle the move with his parents’ help. By the way, the downstairs neighbors banged on their ceiling when his dad dropped a hammer about 9PM one evening — and they were all treated to a deafening rendition of “The Star Bangled Banner” the next morning at 5AM.

My cousin called to say the seller had asked for more time, but being reminded he’d have to pay a hefty amount per day after the extension, he got a U-Haul and departed by the deadline.  But left the house in awful condition.  Friends came to scrub sinks and tubs, vacuum dusty rugs, clean the oven and refrigerator, and collect garbage scattered from torn paper bags in the back yard.

Neighbors told me they were glad he’d left, that he’d been at least verbally abusive to his wife, children, and mother-in-law.  The house was meant to be ours —  on the market for over a year — he’d refused to come down a dollar in price.  We improved it and made it our own loving, warm, welcoming home. And many years later I left it shiny and clean for a newlywed couple and their future family.  During the housing bubble.  Need I say more? Yes, I do.  Two thoughts. “Living well is the best revenge.”   And misfortune may make good material for blogs when they’re invented someday.












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