WHAT KIND OF HOUSE DID I LIVE IN AS A CHILD?
I was born in and grew up in a two bedroom white bungalow house. There was a full attic and basement, both unfinished.
I was the fourth child born, we were all two to two and a half years apart. The bedroom my sisters and I shared was the larger of the two and was furnished with two iron frame double beds,a chest of drawers, a dresser and two night stands. We each had our name on the side of which drawers were ours. It was six and a half years after I was born that my youngest sister came into our lives.
The bedrooms with a bathroom between them and a small linen closet was on one side of the house. The other side was kitchen and breakfast nook with a swinging door to formal dining room and an archway connecting the living room.
There was a one car garage behind our house but we didn’t have a car. That came many years later. My sister and I used to play house in the garage. We marked rooms with chalk and even pretended it was a two story flat with her upstairs and myself down. We even drew in stairs along one side. Curtains were hung in the window and door window and we used wagons, boxes and anything we could find to use as furniture.
Our basement had a large coal burning furnace with took up most of the floor space. In each corner opposite the furnace were two rooms, one the coal bin and the other a fruit cellar. On the other side of the furnace was my dad’s workshop outfitted with all hand tools. The stairs were in the middle and my mother’s washing machine was on the other side. During the winter months a clothes line was stretched from the wall by her washer to the wall between the coal bin and pantry. I always thought the basement to be a scarier place and would run up the stairs as if someone was chasing me.
The attic with windows on every side was my favorite place to be. Everything was stored there, such as my mother’s wedding gown, other old clothing in a cedar chest and the big black trunk from my father’s homeland. It was a place to escape to and dream. There were old books, pictures, always something to find and nooks to explore.
Many years later the basement was made into a rec room after the furnace was replaced with gas heat. Of course there was no need for the coal bin and that gave more space. Mom had an automatic washer and dryer and in place of old furnace area there was a ping pong table.
But the attic stayed the same. When it was time to move my mother out I revisited the attic and found myself back in time exploring nooks and crannies, rediscovering the past. My favorite place.