The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

Lonely Houses


As I climbed the steps to our bedroom last night, I thought my home was dishonored and disrespected with neglect and with the faint odor of BO. Can this inanimate object have feelings? So I threw open the doors ready to give it R⋅E⋅S⋅P⋅E⋅C⋅T. She (In the tradition of fast ships and musical instruments and fancy cars that can take you for a ride and play beautiful music but get blamed when they break down, my house is a she.) needs a party. Yesterday was a perfect day with the warm breezes of March in the middle of January. But it will have to wait for the hot, drier days of summer.

I try to recapture the feelings I had for this house that I have lived in for over 25 years. We came to it in August of ’91. It was built in 1916 according to the cornerstone hidden now by our semi-wraparound porch. I learned from a visitor to a yard sale that his uncle built it for $800 with supplies shipped on the train from Altoona. It had no indoor plumbing or electric then. That came later with the man who bought the property and strip-mined it. Electric lighted its rooms decorated in the fashion of the times—drop ceilings, paneling, shag carpet, and linoleum. Little by little my carpenter husband transformed it into a house with the timelessness of hardwoods and wood paneling and granite countertops and upscale appliances. There were outlets every so many feet, whatever the code was at the time. So many outlets that my father-in-law asked, “Why do you need so many outlets?” Little did he know that with the exponential growth of technology, even those outlets would not be enough. I surrounded the house with my flower beds and a short barn stone wall holding back another flower bed and a frog pond with goldfish that multiplied like, well, fish. My poor little water puddle with beautiful water lilies began to leak, drowning my irises and trying to drown my day lilies that refused to go under.

She needs a party.  I’ll see what I can do for you come summer, honey.



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