Saturday, October 18, 2008

Gramma's house

Through the front gate up the cement walk and onto the cement covered porch. I can't remember chairs ever being there. Big round white columns and flowering vines.

A screen door and a front door that always made noise so sneaking in was impossible. The small entry way had a bench/box that I opened one day to discover a treasure trove of Saturday Evening Posts from the 50's.

Left into the living room where first you saw a black and white TV on a stand and then a sofa then the big chair where gramma always sat and beside it was another chair and then an upright piano that she won in a contest. That was how you saw the room as you entered and spun your gaze around.

Behind Gramma's chair was the dining area with a table and four chairs.

Now back into the entrance and you go right into a bedroom where I always slept. A big bed by the big window on the right then straight ahead a smaller window that had a paper window shade yopu could pull down. It was yellowed with age but never changed. To your left was the bed that my mother used growing up.

In the back left corner was a door that lead to Gramma's room. A big room with a big bed and lots of trunks. A dresser on the far wall. A door to the bathroom and an opening to the dining area.

You entered the bathroom and to your left was a wall of closet. Pale green doors. Everything else was to your right. A tub with a hose that hung from the ceiling with a shower head. A sink and a toilet to the left of that.

Back out through the opening between Gramma's room and the dining area. Turn right into the kitchen. On the right is a wall of glass doored cabinets and drawers below them. Plates and glasses. To the left was an tin decorative cabinet that held spices and dry food and forks and knives in a drawer. Across was the fridge. Next on the left was the stove and across was the double sink. If you emptied the kitchen you would have a space probably eight feed wide. With all the stuff you had maybe four feet to move around in. The kitchen was retangular and at the end was a table and chairs that we never used. There was also a door that was never opened.

Past the kitchen was a back enclosed patio that we never used as a patio. Half of it was storage. Big cardboard laundry soap drums filled with cloth rags. Rags that Gramma used to crochet big oval rugs. They were in a place seperated from the porch by a plywood wall and chicken wire. Opposite that was the laundry room.

There was a bare light bulb hanging from the roof of the patio. Gramma would turn that light on at night when we were coming home from Aunt Gladys' house across the dark alley and through Gramma's big back yard. That made it our safe zone.

I wanted to keep Gramma's house forever but after she passed in 1980 the house was sold by my mom for $8,000. Eight thousand dollars. That was a fair market price for the house as old as it was and the work that it needed. I paid $14,000 for the used car I drive around in now and will forget when I trade it in for another.

It's still stands and I drive by whenever I'm in Douglas. The vines are gone and it was painted and I always want to go inside but I know that I will not see the same house that I knew as a boy. The bedroom where I heard Jimi Hendrix for the first time. The kitchen where Gramma would fry sliced potatoes that we would quickly gobble down with butter. The back cloth storage where the next door neighbor girl and I played doctor when we were about ten. The safe zone in the dark with a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling. The bed by the big window where I loved the summer night thunderstorms.

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