In response to The Daily Post writing prompt “Our House”
Our house, was a very, very, fine house, I thought. The center of my world….a small, white frame house surrounded by a picket fence sitting under a huge shade tree. For many years it was a three-room house till Daddy added two bedrooms and a screened-in back porch to accommodate his growing family. I played in the deep, soft sand with my brother and sister on hot summer days. Honey-colored pine floors warmed the rooms, walls covered in cedar paneling. Yellow and green tiles in an alternating pattern covered the kitchen floor. The stove, with a pan of left-over biscuits for snacks, its door propped up with a stick, stood at one end of the kitchen, the refrigerator at the other, while cabinets ran along the outside wall. We all crowded around a red dinette set with a high chair pulled alongside. Mother’s wringer washer and the big deep freeze were housed on the screened-in back porch that had been pressed into service as a makeshift utility room. She suffered terribly doing her wash in the cold till the screens were covered with heavy plastic coated hardware wire and a space heater was installed. Clothes hung on lines strung across that room on rainy days. Our house was noisy with the shrieks of children at play, my mother’s laughter, and the joy of rowdy children. It was unusually scattered and looked like a tornado had ripped through not ten minutes after Mother finished cleaning.
The house was cold in winter, hot in summer, though the big attic fan lulled us to sleep on hot summer nights. On sunny days, leafy shadows danced on my bedroom walls and floor. Sometimes on hot days, I napped stretched out on the cool pine floors. Other times, I slept on a pallet of quilts with my cousin when company stayed nights.
Mother got up before we did to light the space-heaters that inadequately heated the house. We’d back up to the heaters and roast our behinds while our fronts chilled till the house finally warmed up.
A wonderful two-story barn filled with hay stood in the barnyard behind the house. On rainy days, we raced out to play in the barn, never to be held captive indoors. It was heaven to play in the stalls and climb in the loft to build forts in the hay. On fine days, we were free to roam the pastures and woods. We climbed trees and dropped off on the backs of cows dozing in the shade, for short but exciting rides. Sometimes we were lucky enough to lure a horse close enough to a fence to get on his back and get a bareback ride till he tired of us. My brother still has a grudge in at me for jumping off as the horse headed into a stall, leaving him to be scraped off by the low roof. It was a perfect way to grow up.
It pains me that today that house is about to fall down.