Wednesday, January 25, 2012

For Sale

My name is Jackie Lee Ellis. I'm from Bastrop County, Texas. Life can be funny like a sharp stick in the eye. I started out in the middle of no where and wound up living in the suburbs. We're retired now and in the process of moving from the north east to the mid south.

For the past 12 years, I've been commuting back and forth between Basking Ridge, New Jersey, and Memphis, TN. I do not believe in packing light and have learned to be creative about it. The bag that holds the golf clubs also contains shoes and my quilting fabric. It's a good thing knitting projects don't have odometers. A couple of my sweaters would have gone over 100,000 miles before they were ever completed. My suitcases are always inspected. Knitting needles look dangerous to the surveillance camera.

The sign has been up in the yard for over a year in Basking Ridge. We've had three contracts that all failed for perfectly logical reasons. The selling process started with me peeling away at the house removing the layers of pictures and books and personal items that make the difference between a house and a home.

This past week a stager came to help re-arrange and organize the rooms to make them more appealing to the general public. Almost all the books must be removed from the shelves for the book case to look nicer. The goal is to make it look inviting and "homey" but not like my home.

I cleaned out a closet in the basement yesterday and found all the letters my husband and I wrote each other during our courtship. They surface every 15 or 20 years. We re-read them and smile at the clueless children we once were and then stick them away to be forgotten for another chunk of time.

It will be a relief when the house finally does sell and all our belongings are in one place. In the meantime, I suppose I should remove the piece of wood shaped like the state of Texas and painted with a blue bonnet scene that's hanging on my back door.

As always,
Jackie Lee

Sunday, January 1, 2012

What did you say?

My name is Jackie Lee Ellis. I'm from Bastrop County Texas. Health care there in the late 1940's and early 1950's was spotty at best. Granddaddy blew smoke from his hand-rolled cigarette in my ears to relieve my toddler ear aches.

I probably have not had perfect hearing since early childhood. In high school, I had a reputation for being "stuck up" when in reality I couldn't hear thunder. I unconsciously learned to read lips and interpret body language. I had no idea this behavior was unusual. I thought everyone could read lips across the band hall.

About ten years ago, I broke down and bought a pair of hearing aids. I wore them a couple of days and then set them on the night stand and looked at them for two or three years. There's way too much sound in our world. I don't need to hear the legs of my jeans swish together or the click of silverware echoing in a restaurant.

My deafness proved to be a challenge when I was raising children. I learned to holler "Turn that music down!" when the wall began to vibrate and to interpret guilty looks.

I have new hearing aids now that I've learned to tolerate. A low sexy male voice whispers "Battery." in my ear when the battery is about to die. We've made adjustments in our home and lifestyle to accommodate my inability to hear. The leaves on my ficus benjamina rustle when the phone rings at our house.

As always,
Jackie Lee