Old Houses Have Their Wisdom


My childhood home was 19th century old,

bricks with ivy growing up the side and,

a wooden porch in the front.  There 

was a walk-in attic off my bedroom where

I played with my doll’s house and my Sparkle

Plenty and Shirley Temple dolls.


Gram sewed outfits for the dolls and I got

doll-house furniture like sofas, bags of flour,

and little beds with covers of embroidered flowers

on the pillow cases and spread. Of course, Sparkle

and Shirley were too big to live in the doll house, so

I had to have little painted people who would lie in bed

and stand in the kitchen. 


I also had a Hedy Lamarr doll when I was a little older

and began to collect movie star autographs. I was 

precocious and gave Hedy her period by painting

mercurochrome on gauze mimicking my mother’s 

hygienics. I also began waiting for my own period

so I could achieve “grown-up status.” Some of 

my friends were “grown-up” now and I envied them.


I always felt like the house was a breathing thing. 

With the attic and dirt-floor basement it was different

than my friend’s houses and they would always want

to discover in my house. We also had an old barn

in the back yard that had tack for animals hanging

on hooks from the walls. The hay mow was on the

second floor and we were always warned against

the thin floor and falling through.


There was a Philips radio in the living room and we

would gather around it for Amos and Andy, and 

Gram and I would listen to her soaps in the kitchen

while she cooked. I had a victrola and played my

childhood records of Rudolph, Spike Jones,

and Bing and Bob Crosby. My favorite was

Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers 

singing Water, Cool, Clear, Water. We also

had a piano and our boarder played songs

and we sang with the tunes. I remember she

was playing when Daddy came come from

the war. 


He’d been expected hours earlier

but they let me stay up and wait and the songs

made the time go by. Finally, he came in the 

door and I was sent to see who it was! I shouted,

“Daddy, Daddy is here,” and everyone else

greeted him. Daddy was very tired and soon

went to bed, I later found out he was staggering

drunk and they rushed him upstairs before

he passed out. 







Published in: Uncategorized on May 19, 2014 at 7:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

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