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My Eastwood roots run deep. Both sets of my grandparents lived, and worked, in Eastwood. I can walk to the house where my father was born. My parents married and had two children while living in Eastwood. Although they moved just before I was born, I spend a lot of growing up time in and around Eastwood. My grandparents still lived in Eastwood then. My Dad worked on Canal. I went to Jackson Junior High and Austin High School and always had lots of friends in Eastwood.
When James and I were ready to move from Montrose to somewhere that we could afford to buy an old house, I thought of my old stomping grounds. The day I brought James over to look at houses in Eastwood, he said, “How did you know about this place?” I’ve had that question a lot of times since. We looked at five houses that day, but when we saw 4447 Rusk, I knew it owned me before I even got out of the car. James said, “Don’t you want to see the inside?” “Sure,” I replied, “but, no matter what, this is our house.” And by the end of the month, it was.
What makes Eastwood the best neighborhood, though, is the people here. It’s a real community. We know each other. We are there for each other. We watch out for each other. We party a lot. We talk. We play games. We drink wine. We eat. We argue. We hug. We are, to put it in one word — family.
From the moment we found 4447
As we were driving and looking at homes,
Our fifth on this day,
I was in love with a house.
And a neighborhood.
My grandparents walked these streets.
They worked here. Raised children here.
My parents did, too.
Moved just before my birth to a house
Not 10 minutes away.
Thought to be the edge of town.
Edge of the world.
Now I am back to roots much older than me.
This house is as old as my mother.
Everything that could remain as old is here.
Everything that needed to be made new is here.
Wrap-around porch. My dream.
Many windows to bring the outside in. The inside out.
The train noises are comfort. Just behind us, a track.
The inexplicable peace-giving sound of passing trains to keep us company.
Can it be ours?
My mother’s life found this place.
James’s mother’s death gifted us this place.
I own part of it. I have papers that tell me so.
I have marked this territory
Just as surely as the birds in the trees have marked their spaces
And the insects in the ground.
The simple truth is, though,
I do not own this house so much as
This house owns me.
This house is my comfort.
This house is my home.
This is at last the house that
Wipes its hands on its white apron as you walk inside,
Immediately inquiring as to your spiritual well-being, your balance, your center.
I look out the windows of my eyes through the windows of this house
I am filled with gratitude that from beneath my toes all the way to the sky I see above
This house owns me.