Monday, April 4, 2011

Ruthie Ropig, Rocks and Memories

The day before we moved into Poplar Road, Rick was painting Jack’s room.  Jack did not want to move and had said as much.  Rick said “What letter do you want me to make on the wall?” “A W!” cried Jack.  That was all it took, he loved his new room.  As soon as Jack could see that his same things were in the new house, he was okay with it. 

There were so many memories in this house we called home for 10 years.  Rick had planted a Blue Spruce tree on the side of the house.  It was as tall as Jack at two years old.  It had grown to about eight foot by the time Rick had died.  “We can always come see the trees, Jack,” they will still be here.  We had also planted a redbud, and a sycamore and many, many, many bushes.

Ruthie Ropig was a statue that stood in the middle of the triangle of garden by the front door.  I had been at a flea market in Leesburg and saw it.   I wanted her so badly.  I came all the way and told Rick about it; he told me to go back and get it if I really wanted it.  I drove like a wild woman back to Leesburg to get it before someone else snatched it up.  I loved it.

Jack and I would sit on the front bench in the evenings waiting for Rick to arrive home after his 14 minute commute.  I usually had supper waiting for us as soon as he walked in the door.  One day as we were waiting for Rick to arrive, Jack noticed the statue.   “What’s her name, Mama?”  “Her name is Ruthie Roszel,” I explained.  “No it’s not!” he said.  “It’s Ruthie Ropig!” “I don’t think I like that name,”  I said.  However from that day forward she was known as Ruthie Ropig. 

We also had crazy things like big rocks.  Big rocks to anyone else were big rocks; to us, they told a story.  There was a large on at the end of our path to the drive.  It had been there since we moved in.  It was rather round and flat, just right for sitting on while mom planted impatiens.   There was another that had come from the lake on a trip up to visit my parents.  I took it from the lake shore.  Another was from the rock wall at 192 Groton Avenue where we grew up.

To anyone else these were insignificant things but to us they told the stories of our lives.  These were what Jack did not want to leave behind as we were thinking about leaving.  To my son, seeing the familiar, the cherished and loved were what made him feel good.  It was going to take some convincing to get him to let go of some things in order to move.

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