My daughter in law, Melissa, posted this picture a couple of days ago. Cute little Eli is painting the house, with nice clean water. This brought a smile to my face and childhood memories to mind.
The first formative years of my life were played out in a long, old army building that had been turned into two apartments. I loved that place.
At night, as we drifted off to sleep, my sister and I could hear Uncle Tom and Auntie Laura next door, talking and laughing. Their muffled voices were soothing accompaniment as the waves of slumber washed over us. Unless it was one of those nights my sister would request that we fall asleep to that horror show LP – Hansel and Gretel!
There certainly was nothing fancy about the “house”, but it was home to me. Many of my current dreams still take place in that fine dwelling, although in those fantasies my mind has created an elaborate second floor, complete with regal staircase.
I loved the layout of the house, but felt the exterior was somewhat lacking in curb appeal. It had a distressed look. A weary minimalistic gray that partially covered the aging shingled walls.
I wasn’t ashamed of it. All my friends lived in similar accommodations. One of the great features of our house was that it butted up against the general store parking lot, which we totally claimed as our own huge bike turf, once the store closed at 5:00 p.m. And we didn’t have to waste gas driving to the grocery store. Oh wait, we didn’t have a car.
One day while Mom joined a car pool of ladies going to the city (15 miles away), my sister and I were left in the care of neighbours. The usual gang was outside playing together; Bettie, Blair, Gary, Marlie, Kathy and me. I can’t remember if Lynn and Larry had journeyed across town to join us that day. In our minds we felt it was quite a jaunt for them. Must have been at least a two block trek from the hangar where they lived.
Our play eventually drifted over to the lawn and ditch in front of my house. We were having a great time making mud pies, when suddenly it dawned on me that this marvelous muck was a close match to the colour of my Uncle Dave’s house in Surrey, BC. I knew my Dad loved the chocolate brown my Aunt and Uncle had chosen to paint their house, and so a plan was hatched.
You can imagine our shocked disappointment to witness Mom’s less-than-deliriously-happy emotions when she returned to find several enthusiastic little elves “painting” her house with sticks and mud.