Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Not My House

It matters not which font I select, when my post moves from Pages to the blog, Other seizes control, the font nazi.

Seems like Other is in control of my life at the moment anyway. We are working on and at our house doing little thises and thats to help it show appealingly. 

Of course, it appeals to me anyway and has since I first knew it. In my car mindset I can figure out when that was. The War was over and my father was home from the sea service, which puts it after 1945. The house was on the market and Mama and I went to look. W. Beach Drive was two car ruts through the lower part of the front yard, and we parked our 1942 Chevrolet down front under the cedar trees. We bought the 1948 Dodge in May 1948, so this makes the time 1946 or 1947 and me eleven or twelve. I wasn’t driving yet, my father took me for my first driving lesson the Sunday after my 12th birthday, so I must have been eleven when I fell in love with this old house. Mama told me that Mom and Pop had built the house and it was where my father grew up until the family moved away after Alfred died. 

My house is for sale. Can I bear to let this house go? It would be a lot easier if another family member loved it as I do and wanted to move into it, but that’s not going to happen. And it’s too big a house and grounds for just Linda and me, as anyone who has climbed life’s mountain and looked over the other side at eighty years old will understand. So, we’re “tweaking.” Washing windows. Touching up here and there. Make sure all the old 1912 windows open, though because of a/c and the storm windows we’ve not had a window open in years, but pretty much all of them do open. Some of the window panes are old and ripply or have bumps in the glass. Every time I see that I think, “Mom looked through this very window. And Alfred.” 

Mom, my paternal grandmother, was the only woman in my life for whose love I felt I had absolutely no competition whatsoever. As a boy growing up I sometimes agonized that I loved her most of all.

This was her house when the twentieth century was new and her life was young.

My bedroom. Alfred’s. The upstairs front porch too. The room on the other side of the house that now is two bedrooms and a bathroom, or a sitting room, bedroom and bath, originally was one huge, long room: Alfred’s rumpus room when he was a teenager; he had a pool table there, and lots of friends.

“Mom!” I would say, climbing into her lap. “Tell me about Alfred.” And she would, quietly, softly. About when this was her house.

And that's My Laughing Place.


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