The House, Part 2

Sorry about the short vacation.  Life just kicked into high gear, and the brakes went out.  It’s all better now, so back to the stories.

The kitchen is probably the one room in the house that’s fairly close to the same as it was when we moved in.  The high,  high ceiling is the same height as all of the rooms on the main floor.

My dad put the suspended ceiling in the living room when I was about 10 years old.  The old ceilings were as high as the kitchen, and there were these old creepy chandeliers hanging from the ceiling from chains.  They were painted to kind of look like brass, but they were pretty grim looking.  There was a door right where the couch is now that went into my mom and dad’s bedroom.  The walls were plaster and it was kind of dark and shadowy.  Nothing like it is now.  When I was a teenager, you could sit on the couch, peek out the window and maybe catch a glimpse of the neighbor lady getting out of the tub.  Funny how if you sat in the spot that my dad used to sit in, you’d get a pretty good show.  I wonder if he ever noticed.

I remember that at one time, the room with the computer was a bedroom.  I remember sleeping in there when I was really little, before all of us kids moved upstairs.  Now that was an adventure.  It was 2 big rooms, and eventually my dad put up a wall to split up the bigger room, making 3 bedrooms.  At one time, I was in the bedroom at the right of the top of the stairs.  I really liked that room.  I would sit there and read and play for hours.  One of my favorite games was taking all of my clean socks and shooting them into the trashcan like a mini-basketball game.  If there was ever an event for sock throwing in the Olympics, I’m in.  From that room, you could see out to the gas station, out to Santa Fe, and all in all, it was a pretty nice room.  Until I got older and moved into the room on the south side of the upstairs.  That was a palace.  I spent my teenage years until the time I moved out in that room.  A lot of things happened to me in that room.  Most of them pretty good.  I had an awesome stereo, a bed, a dresser, and most importantly, a door that I could shut.  There were a few times that I wished that the door had a lock on it, but those are other stories.  By the way, I had roughly the same view from the window as I had from my dad’s spot on the couch.  A bit higher, at a different angle, but just as interesting in the pre-Cinemax soft porn days.

There was another room there that frankly scared me senseless when I was a kid.  We just called it ‘The Attic’.  It was a room that was about 14′ x 14′ with a brick chimney running up from the floor to the ceiling.   When we were little, there was no floor, just some wood planks set up on top of the floor joists.  There was no light, and it was just plain creepy.  My sister Julie and I would dare each other to see who could go in, shut the door, walk around the chimney, and walk back out.  I think I may have made it once without pissing my pants.  Julie was a lot braver.  Eventually, my dad finished it into a walk-in closet.  The chimney is still there, and I swear that there are times that I’ve walked into that room and there is a small area, about 5 square feet, that the temperature will be 10 degrees colder than the rest of the room.  It has a haunted feel to it.  To this day, if someone told me to sleep one night in there alone, I wouldn’t do it.

The yard was awesome.  There were these huge, tall cedar trees.  I seem to remember at least 6 of them.  They were ball magnets.  When my dad finally cut them down, we probably found 15 baseballs and wiffleballs in the branches.  There was also a really cool old spruce tree.  It was hollowed out inside, and the branches came right down to the ground.  We’d climb inside and you wouldn’t know anyone was in there.  It was kind of a playhouse/clubhouse for us.  We could climb up about halfway to the top and there was like a window that you could see out of.  I’d sit there and watch people go buy and pull little pranks.  One day I kind of reached out a little too far and slid out of the window.  It was like going down a sliding board for about 10 feet, and then there was suddenly no tree and a lot of air between me and the ground.  I probably fell about 10 feet and landed flat on my ass.  I remember seeing stars and not being able to walk for a few minutes, and I know that’s one of the things that I feel now that I’m 55.  My mom always told me that the things that we did to hurt ourselves when we were young would come back to haunt us when we got older.  Thanks for being right again, mom.  I wonder now if a lot of my back problems weren’t caused by a little dumbass falling out of a tree.

The House.  There’s far more to it than I wrote.  Christmas.  Easter.  Birthdays.  Sundays.  There was always something going on there.  It’s not just a house.  It’s Home.  It always will be.  Thanks for giving that to me, Mom and Dad.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Susan on January 12, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    I never knew dad finished the walk-in closet from an old attic! I don’t remember that at all. I DO know about the cold spot though…and I wouldn’t spend a night in there either! Thanks for recalling memories for all of us Mike. Love you. Susan 🙂


  2. You wouldn’t believe how creepy it was. Ask Julie. There was this old door with this weird lock from the 1920’s. I swear, to this day when I go in that room, I’m waiting for something to happen. I don’t know what, but I get the feeling that something happened in there.


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