The Uphill Slide

There is always something.



I like to leave the doors to our bedrooms and the bathroom open when I leave home. I would even open the cheap accordion door to the attic that hides steps leading to a window at the top of the house if openness would not bring the blast of cold in winter and waves of heat in summer escaping down those steps. But every time I return home, the doors are all closed again hiding the light. I hate walking up the stairs into that tunnel of closed doors without any shimmer of light escaping from those rooms.

The windows in the living room and dining room are curtainless. When we finished our remodel of those rooms in our 1916 farmhouse, I bought red silk relaxed Roman shades that added a lovely finishing touch to the living room, a room opened up by removing a wall and making the entry to the kitchen double-wide. My husband, quite the creative skilled carpenter, had done all the work in our house with help from his father and a couple of friends. Sometimes I helped with some small thing, but my perfectionist carpenter was never quite satisfied and even irritated by novice attempts.

After a few years with those handsome red blinds, they noticeably faded and began to split and rot from the sunlight slyly snaking its way under the porch roof to eat away at them. Eventually there came a time when they were taken down to be burned. I never replaced them leaving my windows unadorned and open. Actually, they were adorned by oak and cherry fluted moldings and rosettes framing each window. Openness now brought the outside in. We watched deer in the pasture field and in the woods between our house and barn or across the road on the hillside leading to the farm overlooking ours. I liked that openness of the rooms to the countryside, and only someone with binoculars on the distant road might spy on us. I was warmed at night driving in our long driveway seeing that glowing domed light from the living room to light my way home. I knew that more than likely I would find my husband sleeping to loud voices from the television, and he would ask if I needed help with bags after they were already in the house.

A couple of weeks ago when I came home, my husband was already sleeping. The bedroom door was locked. “Why do you have the door locked?” I asked. “Are you afraid of something?”

“You never know,” this 6’5″, 240 lb. man who owns a pistol said. The doors were never locked when I was at home. My children and I had worried about my husband, their father being alone while I was staying at the apartment with my daughter and grandson. The locked door bothered them too. If only he had not wanted to get rid of the dog, she might have kept him company. Her protection against intruders though is doubtful, and she might have ended up shot with that pistol instead.

I like the doors of my home open to show those rooms and bring in the light of day and even the dark of night. I like the openness of windows to look to the outside world. Even in the bedroom I sometimes opened the shutters to watch the stars of the night sky. The room would be suddenly lighted by the streaks of light hitting the ceiling as cars traveled up and down the road or my husband returned from a night of coon hunting with friends. I thought how odd he returned to that hunting after giving it up before our marriage. It was a passion he and another man shared during my husband’s first marriage, hunting that took him out at night. It seemed now as if the past was returning with coon hunting and a motorcycle, a vehicle he swore never to own again after an accident in Tucson with the Kawasaki he bought at the end of his first marriage.

I want those open doors and windows in my home and the transparency of glass because I like openness in my life.







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