Off-Topic Tuesdays, or, Real Estating at 12

Watkins,Best Front

This is a new feature ( this is about my 6th post in my less then 1 month old blog—and yes, we are ready for a “new feature”—think big my Dear Readers, and remember, Oprah.com started with 1 view!).  I am calling it Off-Topic Tuesdays.  Why Off-Topic Tuesdays?  For the alliteration.  The name  Wacky Wednesdays is just that, whack.  And Finally Friday will not work because my Fridays are so busy, I might not have time to post; Finally Friday will lead to Stressful Saturday.  So Off-Topic Tuesdays it is.  Anywhooo……

I have plenty of interests and follies.   Reading,  Writing and Real Estating are my go to favorites.  Yes, Real Estating.  A new concept.  Remember, you’ve heard it here first on The Recovering Attorney.  The definition of Real Estating: ” the swooning, fainting, stalking, ogling and the Googling of land, homes and their interior designs, stylings and furnishings (for all of my Attorney Dear Readers—I know that the interior designs are not actually fixtures and thus are not real estate– please allow me my writer’s liberty, thanks). ”

 Now that I think about it, I have been Real Estating  and stalking(without the Googling of course) since I was 12 years old.  I remember it well.  My seventh grade teacher, Mrs. Reynolds ( a dear family friend), at the start of the new school year, challenged the entire class.  The challenge—the two students with the highest GPAs would be rewarded with a Saturday outing to her new home, with  lunch and a movie to follow.  Oh how my best friend and I loved an academic challenge.  Needless to say, Olivia and I were the top two performing students.  So there we were driving up to her new home some 50 miles north of  Manhattan.   The plantings surrounding the home were still immature; the driveway was still concrete white, awaiting the future oil stains from the delivery trucks and from the cars of family and friends who failed to properly maintain their vehicles.  From the curb, the home was impressive.  Had to be at least 2000 square feet of living space under that roof (back in the day 2000 feet was considered sizeable)!  Mrs. Reynolds did not drive into the garage.  She parked on the driveway, we walked up the suspended stairs and we entered through the front door.  The door opened and I smelled the fresh paint and the new wood.  I was excited.  I did not know why I was excited.  I just was.  I guess that was the latent Real Estater/Stalker in me. 

We stood.  In no man’s land.  We were  not in the foyer, nor were we on the terrace level.  We were standing in limbo, neither up nor down— I was standing in a split- level!  At the tender age of 12, I did not know a split-level from a center hall colonial from a New England salt-box, from a Greek revival (I lived on the 31st floor of a balconied co-op fronting the East River and FDR Drive— heck, I was a big city girl).  Do we walk up the short flight of stairs to enter the formal livingroom and kitchen, or do we retreat down the stairs to the family room?  I did not know!   It was just weird to me.  I did not pass judgement then and I do not pass judgement today.  For me, the split-level offers the visitor a hurried, harried decision.  Do you go up or down? Or do you wait patiently for the homeowner to lead the way.  I guess the latter (good manners would so dictate).   The way my mind functioned way back then and the way it functions today, a split-level is way too much for me to process.  But what I find interesting is that I noticed this at 12!  

But my split-level dilemma did not ruin the day.  In fact, it was Mrs. Reynold’s split-level that opened my eyes to architecture and design.  It was in Mrs. Reynold’s warm, welcoming split-level that I fully grasped the concept of hard work and reward.  Finally, it was in Mrs. Reynold’s light filled split-level where I learned how to appreciate and respect the dedication of a teacher and a family friend.  It was a great day.

 Mrs. Reynold’s took us upstairs to the kitchen where we made the most delicious ice cream sundaes.  After the sundaes we went to this new pizza restaurant that was shaped like a hut and we followed up lunch with a movie that starred this pretty blonde newcomer from Down Under and a very handsome Brooklyn-bred Italian actor who later went on to rock my young  world yet again with a movie called Saturday Night Fever.

As for me, I went on to fall in love with and marry a man who designs and builds out real estate every. single. day!  Thank you Mrs. Reynolds.

COPYRIGHT 2011, The Recovering Attorney

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2 Responses to “Off-Topic Tuesdays, or, Real Estating at 12”

  1. I got to spend the weekend w/my 8th grade English teacher. I can’t recall the reason but I think it had something to do with her being the only Black teacher in the middle school and my love for writing. I met her daughters and husband and she too, took me to a movie. Judgment Night with Cuba Gooding, Jr. I found her on FB just to say hi and to let her know how much I appreciated her.

  2. Jurista, aren’t great teachers the best. When I think of Mrs. Reynolds I smile. She’s a family friend, so I kind of keep up with her through the family. Precious Child I loves the movie Grease and needless to say, I can’t watch the movie without thinking about Mrs. Reynolds.

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