Friday The Thirteenth Thoughts

Friday the thirteenth has never been a scary day for me.   The movie (I only saw the first and that was more than enough) is a different story.  Once was enough for me. My father knew that because around the time that the first film came out, when I used the outdoor shower at the summer house we were renting, he would stand outside and make those noises that you heard whenever Jason was around.  (You know what I mean:  the ch, ch, ch, ch, ha, ha, ha, ha.)  When an actual Friday the thirteenth rolls around, it usually puts me in a happy place.

I was married on a Friday the thirteenth back in 1996, so whenever the thirteenth lands on a Friday, I am whisked back.  I think of sun and rain (because there were both that day).  I think of family. (Especially my Great Uncle Harold who came all the way from California, along with my cousin and his wife, to make the day even more special.)  I think of the shore; the sun setting over the bay and a cigar boat setting its engine to full throttle during the ceremony.  I think of the house at the shore and the part it played during the day.

It's one of the reasons the shore house means so much to me.  (Perhaps even more than the house I grew up in, which I watched be gutted and changed with some distain, but very little emotion.)  It's where I met my cousin and his wife for the first time as an adult (I think our only other meeting was when I was under the age of 5) and got to know what funny AND fun people they were.  (And how I wish I had gotten to spend more time with them.)  It is where we prepared for the wedding.  (I think I had hot sticks in my hair for most of the day; even though they lost their heat after an hour or so.)  It is where we made directional signs (this was pre-GPS) and blew up balloons.  It is where I dressed, put on my make-up. (I only recently was able to hunt down a tube of Love My Lips creme champagne lipstick; which used to be inexpensive, but is now is going for nearly $20 on Amazon.)  It's where the photographer that my mother in law hired (I believe he worked at the school where she taught) took pre-wedding photos.  (How I have proof that it was bright and sunny by the late afternoon.)  It's where my husband and I came after the reception was over to get my bag (though I still can't remember HOW we got there), sneakers (I had taken off my heels immediately following the ceremony and kept them off for the rest of the night) and my car (so we could drive to our hotel for the evening.)  It's where we returned the next morning, gathering up "stuff" before we headed home.

In the past several months, I've tried to "restore" the house to what it (kind of) once was.  Over the past several years it moved from my mother's dream house to an old age repository; full of medical supplies which overflowed from every room.  Perhaps I moved too quickly, tossing out as much as I could as quickly as I could.  Literally, airing out the house every chance I could so that the ocean breezes could push out every bit of stale air.  My "restoration" has not brought it back to what it once was.  I could never do that.  What I have done is make it a home again.  While it is mine in name (I'm on the deed; I'm paying the taxes), it isn't quite mine and it probably never will be.  However, it IS a place that my family and I can go and relax/refresh.

I've had to jump through many hoops to get to this point.  (Flaming hoops, if you ask me.)  And just when I think I'm done...something else comes up.  Just last week I had to allow someone from the flood insurance company in to take photos and yesterday I got an email outlining items that I MUST take care of by the middle of next month in or my policy will be cancelled. (Never mind that I IMMEDIATELY paid the full premium when I transferred the policy to my name and that the premium was [expectedly] pricey.) Their three "demands" (that's what I'm calling them because that's what they are to me) are trivial (they seem to think there's a leak under the sink because there's a pot under there...which isn't a pot and I don't think there's a leak, but I'll look into it), silly (incorrectly assuming the age of the furnace and requiring a cleaning to prove that it's in good condition) and finally OUTRAGEOUS (roof shingles are stained with granular loss so the whole roof needs to be replaced).  Not stressful at all, right?

But on this Friday the thirteenth, I am STRONG.  I have already reached out to the insurance agent with questions.  I know when I will be back at the shore and am starting to plan.  I can jump through this hoop, just as I have before. (And will probably have to do again and again.)  Because on this Friday the thirteen, this matters to me.    I may not have a hockey mask and ax, but I can face this challenge, just as I have before.  Let's just hope there isn't any bloodshed!


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