Posts filed under ‘Charleston Village’
I, purposely, have not taken drugs to get me through your death – mainly because I don’t think losing my son is something I can “get through” there is no “other side” to the place I now find myself. I could become numb , anesthetized if you will, to the grief should I take medication, but it doesn’t change a damn thing.
Once the drug wears off everything is still there after all these months and now years. Nothing will be changed. You still will have received that crushing phone call. I will still see your face as you walked in the door that day after receiving the news “Cancer”. I will still see you hooked up to poisonous drips , the pain, the hope going, the fear , trying to be brave for my sake , those days in that horrible, factory -like Cleveland Clinic, the tears running down your cheeks silently squeezed out of the corner of your eyes as they prepared to put you in the vent and those terrifying days of death.
Those memories are with me day in and day out, they play as if on some vicious cycle , cutting across thoughts , memories and day to day life.
Somehow, in this state of grief, I have seemingly managed to split myself into sections inside my mind. The loop of your dying days plays continually and the rest of my brain seemingly functions carrying on doing what needs to be done to deal with everyday life . Night and exhaustion will eventually bring sleep but even then the loop continues playing.
My “other” brain tries so hard to put my thoughts and events of the day in some sort of order to file away and make some sense . I have some very, very strange dreams as this aging mind tries to put together a story in which to add to the “memory card”. I can’t explain the process but it seems somehow being fragmented of mind I can actually now watch from another place ( inwardly) as my brain function tries to sort out the sound bites of the day
I seem to have acquired an ability when supposedly asleep to “watch my mind” trying to function as though looking at a computer monitor with more than one browser open and active. I know , sounds like the men in white coats should be called, but I assure you this happens , maybe the neurons are running amuck between my
Reptilian Brain, Cognitive Brain and Mammalian Brain
T.Harv Eker said it this way, “When the subconscious mind must choose between deeply rooted emotions and logic, emotions will almost always win.”
I know on the one level I am asleep and dreaming and I “am” involved in the dreams, but I am also the outside of that part of my mind watching and remembering the dreams as they play out trying to make sense of my day, a multi-tasking mind.
For instance recently in one my many nightly dreams ” I” was a submarine commander ( must have been the Run Silent Run Deep movie I watched ) dealing with transporting turkeys ( guess what that was) to a place where my mother was waiting to board a plane dressed as Catherine the Great. More worrying being Lucille Ball having an affair with Fred Metz….. . Yes! I remember all of the day’s sound bites being lumped story-like for filing in some part of my “storage memory” when I am supposed to be at rest and healing.
And yet, the loop of you, the cancer, the dying days still continues to play over and over at the same time – running always in the background of thoughts.
I believe I know why this is happening – it is because for so many months and months I tried to “fix ” the Cancer, I tried to find a way to keep my promise to you that I would always be there to protect you – a promise I made the first time I held you in my arms. I never gave up trying even that last day- December 3rd- I thought somehow they would take you off that vent and you would wake………. .
I promised you – I would never give up and would move heaven and earth to save your life. I told you that before the SGN 35 and trips to Houston. I was still trying to find a way, somebody, some cure, some solution – even on the day you died.
I gave my mind/ brain a task that February day when you learned of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma invading your body and our lives. The task it was given was to find a successful outcome – there wasn’t one , but it was the most important task given to my brain and I believe somehow my brain, like some computer on overload, is still searching for the solution and will keep searching playing out the problems the issues until it either explodes in the futility of finding that solution or when it is switched off for good…..
I love you and all my yesterdays are today……
Part One- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-one/
Part Two- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-the-process-part-two/
Part Three- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-3/
Part Four- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-4/
Part Five –https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-5/
In Defence of the Fence
Clean up along the front half of the new lot (1125)aka “Lower Deeping Gate” was done and we began to see a problem. We always knew our house at 1127 sat higher than the lot next door, it being on the edge of the old ravine, but once the brush and trees were removed we found the drop off to be not a couple of feet but at one point -6 feet.
Instead of coming all the way to the front of our house with the fence and across we decided to fence and meet the original fence( ( as we already had a gate to access the property at 1125) about 80 feet. And there the trials began. First – a decision on the type of fence, then the problem of getting the fence delivery truck down the 16 foot alley was no easy feat.
Then it was just a matter of putting the fence up up BUT this was not going to be as easy as we thought. Starting at the back of the lot ( after getting the required city permit) all was well. Although the neighbors ( gun on his hip and “f” king of construction) were daily measuring and having conversations as to the size of the lot etc. ( more on that later)
The back of the lot was pretty flat and even so 32 feet of fence being flush to the ground was not an issue, apart from digging the post holes and hitting rocks galore. The long section of fencing running down the lot we soon found out, when trying to stay even at the top, was dropping at an alarming rate.
The men from Tactical Home Services Unit” http://www.thsunit.com/ knocked on the door to tell me there would be a “gap” as we came across the front of the lot as the land was dropping.
Thinking to myself ”
Oh well we will just fill in with some dirt or a couple of little boards”
I told them to go ahead. I wondered why he looked a little perplexed and with a
“well- OK! if you are sure?
My answer as to their skepticism came as the front of the fence went up , what I thought would be a few inches became 4 feet. Our lovely fence looked like the great wall or a billboard, the 6 ft fence became 10 and up in the air. In fact, the land rapidly dropped 4 foot in the last 40 foot of fence and closer to six foot as it met our old fence at the corner of the house and continued to drop the further down the lot you went.
Obviously we couldn’t leave a fence up in the air 4 feet or more but what to do? We had to get three dump truck loads of “in fill” dirt for the property behind the “great wall” ( more expense)so that the 6 ft fence sat evenly on the ground ( Upper Deeping Gate). Since the in -fill dirt was dumped in piles we had to get help, other than Gavin and Braedyn, to move it.
It was during this day when, as I was watching the two earth-movers, the “little guy with the gun on his hip” started cutting down the tree on the edge of our property and the hurling of insults and rhetoric began screaming at me the Building Dept had given him permission.
( Photo Source : http://www.rcosf.com/anger-management-do-you-need-a-psychologist/ )
It was then I knew there was going to be an issue with the neighbors and where one’s property ended. I knew the fence was thirty two feet and since it came off of our garage, which obviously was on our original lot, we were well within the lot line ( the newly purchased lot was 34.5 ft. by 157 ft. ) The trouble is (and was) the two neighbors had decided where their lots began and ended and were feeding each other erroneous information.
I stopped the neighbor from cutting down the tree just in time. It isn’t a great tree but in summer blocks the view of another less than desirable property from our balcony. The tree is probably irrevocably damaged and if it falls it will be down to the “little guy with the gun on his hip”
Another expense, because we then had our original lot and the lot next door surveyed and yes! the tree is on our property.
Back to the fence, as the contractors kept digging they met all sorts of rubble and huge tree roots, not entirely unexpected . I had always known there was a water source ( stream) running under the lot so hitting water was also not unexpected. What we hadn’t banked on was the ravine ( seen on the map below) had been filled with the debris of the 1924 tornado , the people back then must have just bulldozed everything into that ravine and covered it with dirt.
The decision to build a retaining wall/planter box across the front of the fence to hold back the newly filled dirt and to stop further erosion even added more angst and expense. This lot was becoming a money pit but we couldn’t have a fence in the air!
A change of design a change of plan . engineering , more building , more top soil to fill and planting
Definition of Deeping -Extending far downward below a surface- underground water source.
To be continued………..
The Clean Up:
The tree was down and now the clean up –
I didn’t realize the amount of chippings that would be left, also my husband had decided he wanted some of the wood for the fireplace. Now, I would have a fire every night and did so when we could acquire coal but I know the arguments all to well from the “master of the house” _
too late to light a fire (5:pm)- real meaning- I can’t be bothered to go out to the garage to get the wood.
That is the last of the stack real meaning- there is more but I don’t want to chop wood today.
The wood isn’t dry enough. real meaning -it is cold and snowy out there – I don’t want to go and get it
Never had that argument when I could put on a couple of pieces of coal but I certainly wasn’t going to look at that pile of wood all summer, I have had enough of eyesores!
Anyway, knowing how good intentions and ‘I am going to get to that” become irritants in my life, I offered up the left over wood to those that would move , chop and benefit. The great pile of sawdust was moved by two little boys
I, obviously, could not use grandchild enforced labor for the whole clean up. A trip to the internet turned up some handymen/ women . I have to say the quotes from 40 to 85 dollars an hour were surprising.
Finally I found a company “Tactical Home Services Unit” http://www.thsunit.com/. I was so pleased I did .
They were amiable to not only clearing the shrubs and brush , digging holes for my “planting idea” for the front of the lot( wrought iron arch and gate providing a frame work for climbing roses , similar shrubs to tie in ( eventually ) with the front evergreen hedges in front of our original lot)
building a fence and to take on whatever else we required as time went on and then the history of Charleston Village came back to haunt.
To be continued
The Tree Phase One of the Plan
It took a few weeks, after we were notified, we had been successful in our bid to purchase the lot at 1125 aka ( Highway 1125) for the property to transfer .
The first thing we did was to ask for bids to remove the gigantic tree close to our house. We had stated in our “plan” to the city this would be done. The tree almost 90 feet tall was failing, it was less than 10 feet away from our house and if it had fallen it certainly would’ve taken out at least two homes. Estimates came in from nearly $5,000 to the lowest at $2,500. We went with a local company Tree Pro.
the loss of this gentle, yet worrying, giant was also going to be missed. I knew we would no longer get the benefit of shade on our balcony and mum’s flowers would have to be changed out and air-conditioning would be cranked up come summer, the tree provided so much shade to our lot and home. I love trees, always have done, it breaks my heart to lose them.
What I hadn’t realized , this tree with its huge trunk and outstretched branches, some of which could be trees themselves, blocked from my view, through the den window, from all manner of issues in the neighborhood. How secure and serene my view whilst the maple had stood guard. The lifestyles of others hidden from me. I was lost in a world of bark, butterflies , leafy limbs, squirrels , birds and living things – my non human neighboring so much more pleasant than reality!
“What the eye doesn’t see and the mind doesn’t know, doesn’t exist.” D H Lawrence
All of a sudden – windows were opened to more than just sunlight and heat. Stark reality invaded my home, no longer could I sit at the desk in the den -protected from view and protected views- as fingers pounded the computer keyboard on a daily basis . The goldfish bowl of life opened me up to view, it was and is intrusive to my little world . The bamboo blinds helped but still there was a nakedness to the views which I hadn’t experienced in the 40 years of living here all because of the absence of the tree.
I knew the tree was a hazard, I knew it was dying slowly, I knew it had to go but I didn’t know how much that tree had added to my happiness and how desolate the outlook when it was gone. It softened and protected .
The wood hauled away the stump ground down leaving the “ashes” of what was once there.
But even in its death throes still it made its presence known, gigantic roots extending throughout the lot next door, reaching for the water source we knew was to be found beneath. The trunk and upper branches lost to the chipper and lumber yards but the roots would not give up so easily . The clearing of the lot and new landscaping would be compromised. My only hope to replicate the privacy , beauty and well-being that had been taken away by the chainsaw would be in some ” creative” plantings”. The tree was so large it will take many, many months if not years to retrieve the ambiance and peace of mind the old maple afforded us ……..
To be continued…………….
October the month of ghosts, witches, goblins and ghouls . The fun time for most, a religious celebrations for some Samhain
The interest in ghostly happenings is at an all time high. Witches and superstitions, black cats with arched backs are everywhere
The problem is black cats can be at risk at Halloween or at least a spike in cruelty has been known to happen
And now thanks to the Ghost Hunters extraordinaire television shows etc. we have a plethora of “ghost tours” all around the world, the darkness becomes a “beacon” for those with cameras and phones hoping to catch a glimpse of the world beyond the veil ( the unknown state of being after death)
There are tours of houses, buildings, cemeteries you name it, participants expectant of meeting someone or something and capturing a glimpse of the unknown. There are thousands of them.
Recently Charleston Village Society was contacted re yet another Ghost Tour of Lorain’s oldest cemetery. The cemetery is on city property but as readers know we have been the historical and figurative “keepers” of the cemetery. We declined to enable this event.
There are many reasons NOT to have one of these tours but mainly the headstones are in a very delicate state some are flat on the ground a misstep and another damaged headstone, the cost of replicating these headstones is around $700 to $800 dollars each. Money we don’t have. The ground is very uneven.
Who is responsible for damage done , who pays should someone fall in the dark , does the group have insurance? This cemetery is in the middle of a residential area do the neighbors want 30 or forty people under their windows all October late at night ? The concerns and lack of respect to those whose bones rest there does not sit well .
So unless someone wants a guided “historical” tour during daylight hours we are not in favor of “ghost hunters” traipsing over the graves of Lorain’s pioneers and founding families.
There was yet another “ghostly tour” last week – and we strongly objected before that tour took place and afterwards. The upshot is the cemetery will now be signed “closed at dusk” along with the no pooping dogs.
The tour company said we would donate! No this isn’t about money – hard to believe since we are desperately needing donations to keep the cemetery stable- it is about respect. Respect that is long overdue to those who lay beneath the green trees.
So by all means grab your cameras , follow the guides to beyond the veil somewhere else – UNLESS you want a tour of Lorain’s oldest cemetery and the stories of how a group of people loved, lived, sailed the inland seas, their contributions to this city and this land , then we would be most happy to oblige ( before dusk)
And then ,as I sat one day on the balcony trying to enjoy a summer morning, the vehicles were once again using the lot as their personal cut through, construction vehicles parked, dump truck full of debris, the noise and even more vehicles finding a place to park, peace shattered. I realized I did not want to spend my last remaining days looking at this situation? Since the city has very little accountability for those that do what ever they want – we had decided we at least needed some control over what was happening to “Highway 1125” . We started the paperwork……….
I could just imagine our life with vehicles and construction equipment parked under my windows – the continued “cut through” from the alley to 4th with other visitors too lazy to go to the alley entrance way. The situation would be untenable . The decision was made to try to purchase the lot next door as another vehicle used the lot as a cut through to 4th from the alley.
The City of Lorain can’t enforce any damned one of their ordinances IF the people cited just continue to break them. I don’t know why we bother with anything but new build inspections!!!!!!
The Broadway Building a case in point. 11 years of inspections on a building that sits and rots covered in tacky netting , a community angered by the deteriorating state of the place and the fine just $2,172 in 11 years just over 50 cents a day by my math. Not enough revenue to buy an inspector a cup of morning coffee!!!!!
According to Lorain Municipal Court records, Spitzer Great Lakes Ltd. has since paid the housing court fines totaling $2,172 for its building violations.
The lawn mowers on Jaeger still there and can be seen from space . Fines paid and the process starts all over again!!!!!!!
The tax payers KNOW piddly little ordinances such as vehicles on lawns, eyesores galore, a derelict house that takes 40 years before it is finally demolished are ignored through lack of accountability!
Lorain and her enforcement is a joke and the people laughing are the ones that pay the fines as a cost of doing business. It is the law- abiding that follow the rules or try to at least.
It was obvious if we didn’t want to put up with the nuisance factor on 1125 we were going to have to have control over what would happen with that land.
The first item to start the process was the application :
On July 13th 2015 the City of Lorain land reutilization policy parcels of city-owned land offered vacant lots for sale .In the program, potential purchasers would apply to the city’s Department of Building, Housing Planning indicating which lots they want to buy and how they would redevelop the property.
The city will not sell land to anyone delinquent in real estate taxes or city income taxes, or anyone violating city zoning, building, health or property maintenance codes of Lorain. Buyers also may not be delinquent in on city utility bills and must not be in arrears on any payments owed to the city.
The Application PDF found here vacant_parcel_purchase_application_and_instructions
There were of course time lines and rules to follow- applications starting October 1st 2015 and then through the 1st to the 15 of the month. Applications were time stamped , fees to be met.
And here is where thanks to the “Inspection of our property” by the Dye Tribe. Our donspout disconnect
and having to paint my garage by a certain date didn’t have the outcome Dye Inspections were looking for. The red door on the garage chosen to match the ever-present dump truck – a design by Lorain ….
Dye and her family did us a HUGE service. You see because of her “timely ” complaints this family had a lovely official abatement of letter from the Chief Building Inspector Klinar to add to our application package showing we were in fact in compliance with the codes . Thanks Mrs. Dye😉
That letter we included with our application along photos of nuisances associated with the property, the history of the lot from 1834 and the plan for bringing back 1125 fitting to the historic ambiance of this oldest neighborhood.
As soon as the 5th floor opened on that October 1st 2015 – our application containing all relevant paperwork was submitted and time stamped. There were only two other people in the waiting area and they were there for different parcels.
After a few weeks we were sent the letter our application had been accepted and so began the revitalization of “Highway 1125” to be continued …..
I am a transplant from a sea faring nation. I always wondered why Lorain did not hold her “inland seas” connection dearer to their historical hearts.
“One of the captains Dore shared information about was Capt. Thomas Wilford. She referred to him as the “steamboat master” and explained how he saved his family from a ship wreck on Lake Superior.
Dore said she learned about Wilford 10 years ago, and is in part how she became interested in the history of the Black River and those who helped establish Lorain, formerly known as Charleston Village.
As I read Rene’s remarks I remembered the night she introduced us to Captain Wilford
and his connection, how this led to a continuing journey through the seas of Lorain’s maritime history and her lights along the shore …
Words: Henry Burton, 1877.
by Loraine Ritchey
He has become “my” captain,from the moment Renee Dore came through my front door with his story, this man of the inland sea captivated my imagination and part of my heart.
It all started in frustration and anger -this romance. Charleston Village Executive Board were holding a meeting in my home- we were under threat of blight and had been told that the little park that had been a public green space for two centuries was to make way for “condos”. We were meeting to plan a course of action . What could we do , this small band of neighbors, to show the worthiness of Lorain’s history and this oldest neighborhood, from which Lorain eventually grew, to those that only saw limited revenue for the short term?
As we sat there, Renee mentioned that she had received some papers from a contact at Bowling Green University. Renee, who loves this old neighborhood, played as a child on her streets, and has given back to her three fold, including building a “new” home –
hoping to restart a community, had gone in search of a man- a ship’s captain. Her captain may have lived in the house where she lived as a “wee bairn” and in her search through the archives of the Black River Historical Society and the Lorain Public Library, in order to document the stories and the worth of Portside – before it went to the wrecking ball-
click to enlarge
had come across a story of a ship’s captain who had saved his wife, children and crew from a shipwreck.
I remember Renee coming in that evening, full of excitement, even though the meeting was going to be “dour”, as we started reading the old news paper accounts; I came to the overwhelming realization ,that inspite of what we were facing ,I had to chronicle this man’s tale. It is a tale of love, bravery, adventure and humanity, one that my grandfather would’ve described as a “cracking good yarn” .
I persuaded Renee to leave me the documents and started to piece the tale together, my theatrical background switched into overdrive, in my mind I saw the play , the movie that could be made from this…. my creative instincts saw so many possibilities.
I kept studying the old black and white photo copy of the man in question,
I was experiencing deja vu – I know this face, his eyes -why? I am not even from here originally; he was originally from England , but nowhere near where I had lived. Why was this face amongst the old newsprint so familiar? I asked my mother who came over the next day as I was typing “Her Book“
“Mum look at this picture what do you think?”
He certainly reminds me of someone but who? – well lets get on with “my memories” since you have nagged me to do this for decades”
and the Captain stayed on the desk.
The days went by and the Captain’s face haunted me, as I typed my mum’s memories of her childhood and young life. I would take a break and look at the photo on top of the printer
“you know me- you know – you know me “
it seemed to accuse but I just couldn’t make the connection.
I eventually got lost in the problems facing Lorain,
when a phone call took me back to The Captain. It was my very good friend, fellow actor Dave Cotton. Dave and I have gone through the good times and the bad, we laugh and moan together. It was one of those dreary days –
“tell me something good”
Dave, I have just been putting together a story about a sea captain , it would make a great play even a better movie- the visual , the romance , the tragedy, the bravery I just can’t get this guy out of my mind.
Dave hadn’t heard of such a significantly adventurous tale from Lorain’s past and he and his family had lived in the area for generations.
I then went rabbitting on about this Captain Wilford,
my great grandmother’s name was Wilford
THE FACE – of course that face -it was David- the moustache , the hair was a little different but the eyes – it WAS DAVID!!!!!
Dave IT IS YOU!!!
David who has known my penchant for the dramatic, laughed and said
” I have never heard of this guy in our family stories or documents” Dave.this is just too coincidental ! You have to look and see
after a couple of days research it was confirmed the heretofore unknown Captain Thomas Wilford was Dave’s great,great uncle.
Dave had passed his home on his way to meetings at the Black River Historical Society , never knowing that he had a connection.
From there the tale continued to grow, in order to raise funds for the Charleston Village Cemetery, Dave, his theatrical talent blessing us, started telling the tale of the shipwreck, and in order to make sure his facts were correct embarked on a journey of his own discovery .
Not only was a remarkable piece of Lorain’s history found, more was uncovered , his wife-Fanny who had had his arms protectvely wrapped around her as the large Canadian ship came out of the fog to slice into their schooner) her own connection to the Civil War
, her family and Lakeview Park , the worth of a rental,
the people who laid this towns foundations, once again living and breathing as we celebrated the two hundred years .
The fact that the State of Michigan deems the story of the shipwreck and the preservation of the wreck as important to the history of the Inland Seas and the archiver of the Titanic- Ken Marschall has also archived the Osborne but Lorain knew not the worth of her people to the maritime history………
Note to access the photos of the Osborne as she rests at the bottom of Lake Superior – near White Fish Point click here and scroll down
to be continued……….