1928 Fletcher Avenue

Sometimes really cool things happen . . . for what appears to be no reason. Maybe someday you discover there was a reason for this really cool thing happening . . . or maybe you don’t . . . it doesn’t matter. It is as though G-d smiles down and you one day and says, “Here . . . this is for you . . . just because, just for fun.”

Last week G-d smiled down at my mom and gave her a “just because” gift. I got to be there and it was pretty neat. Here is what happened . . .

Mom spent the majority of her youth in Southern California – South Pasadena to be exact – which just happens to be in the same half of California where Husband and kids and I are spending the next few years. Needless to say, when Mom was visiting last week she wanted to explore the area she remembers so vividly from her childhood . . . so we took a drive and did just that.

We found the street she lived on in elementary school. We found the location of the first house she and Aunt J and Nana lived in which is now a church parking lot. We also found the second house they lived in . . .

This house . . .

at 1928 Fletcher Avenue. It is a gorgeous Craftsman style home built in 1905.

When we pulled up in front of the house the front door was open . . . which allowed Mom to see the pillars inside and confirm that it was indeed the house she remembered.

It also allowed us to see that the house was clearly empty. We also noticed a For Sale sign in the yard and a maintenance company vehicle parked in the driveway . . . and being one of those people who isn’t afraid to ask . . . I asked the handyman if we could peek in the windows. He told us we could go past the windows. We did and Mom got to spend half an hour wandering through the house she lived in when she was in 5th and 6th grade.

It was pretty awesome.

This is the stair landing Nana stood on when she lectured Mom . . . because by the time Mom was in 6th grade she had a good five inches on her mother and because if a mama is going to scold her children it is much more effective if the mama has the height advantage . . . real or artificial.

Clearly a bit of updating has been done.

This pool wasn’t there.

The garage was where this tree house is now.

The door to the backyard was here. Now it is an office area.

I covet this ceiling.

So beautiful . . .

I love touring these old Craftsman homes . . . the fact that Mom and Aunt J used to sit in the dining room in this one and play Canasta when it was too hot to play outside made this walk through extra special. The house at 1928 Fletcher Avenue is gorgeous . . . sale pending . . . asking price $1,099,999. I am pretty sure the rent Nana paid in 1949 wouldn’t cover those mortgage payments.

So grateful for the “just because” gifts we get from G-d,

P.S. No picture of the upstairs bedrooms! Ugh! Too busy running the video camera to catch Mom’s commentary . . .

P.S.S. For really great pictures of the house that were not taken with a device intended to be a phone . . . check out the MLS link.

Happy Things – Jewelry Tree

Once upon a time during my teenage years my mother had a HappyThings party.

HappyThings was a company that sold fun stuff for your house using the same multi-level direct marketing format as our favorite plastic storage container company. I don’t know if  HappyThings still exists – at least not in that form.

It does still exist, however, in my little world – much the same way it exists for many others. The term “happy things” stuck with me and now Happy Things are things that make me smile – really smile, over and over again.

I have a new Happy Thing in my life and I thought I’d share it with you.

This . . .

 makes me very, very happy.

I picked up the jewelry tree at our local giant buy everything in huge quantities store earlier this month. It has been sitting fully loaded on my dresser for several days now and when I walk into my room I’m still surprised that it is there. I still pause and I still smile.

It makes me happy on a number of levels. First, it is pretty and colorful and sparkly and shiny and looks like little rays of sunshine. Sunshine in Alaska is precious this time of year.

Second, and perhaps most importantly, I can actually see my baubles. (And I do love my baubles.) This means they may all get worn sometime this year . . .  no more groping around to find whatever is sitting on top of the pile of who knows what inside my dresser drawer.

This is huge for me.


You see, I am one of those people for whom “out of sight, out of mind” describes my entire mode of functioning. It’s true . . . once when R & G were toddlers and tucked in for afternoon nap I decided I needed to run to the store to grab something for dinner. I had my purse in hand and was headed out the door when it suddenly occurred to me that I had two children who really weren’t quite old enough to be left unattended.

I’m kidding.

Or maybe not.

Third, picking out my, ahem,  jewels for the day . . . (Hmmmm, how shall we accessorize the shredded garage sale jeans and paint stained t-shirt today?) . . . use to be one of the highlights of my day . . . (Little things, people! Little things!) . . . and with this it is becoming a highlight again.

And honestly, how can one not be happy gazing at a giant wad of pretty beads?

Here’s to my happy little jewelry tree.

I hope you have a Happy Thing in your life today.