In Our Old House

Our Memories take us where and when they will!

Pale and weather worn are the yellow painted clapboards of an old farmhouse , the screen door banging in the wind . Somehow the old torn screens catch a breaze even now , pushing open the front door , the one that never did have a lock on it , I enter the old kitchen and there on the left are the old white cupboards with the glass doors . An echo from somewhere of creaking timbers as even the wind tries desperately to abandon this place . If I take in a deep breath I can probably still smell the bleach and water on the old wooden counter top where a women's gnarled and twisted hands cleaned away after her boy children left the house for the day .

And turning right into the dining room with the water stained floral wall paper I look over where the old oak round dining table once sat , the one with the knife marks and initials carved on the worn edges . I stop for long moments and listen for more echoes , give it time I think , they too will come . Looking out one of the cracked windowpanes there, I see the driveway where we watched the seasons turn inside out , where company parked so often and across the dirt driveway the remaining post of the clothesline , where a mother hung our laundry regardless of the weather , no matter the season . Other memories flash by in black and white images too .

My father always sat right here , by the door to the kitchen after dinner .. Our family was a perhaps more of a kitchen table family , TV ? Hardly ever did we spend our hours there . We were much more apt to be at the dining table , homework opened and questions flying around the table ..............

" Who wants more spaghetti "? my mother

"Does anyone know who invented the stanley steamer ?" Al asks .

" Roland , wake up and go up to bed !" mother , getting frustrated at my fathers drinking too much.

"I wish you boys would quiet down a little " Father as he stumbles slightly , rising slowly to his six foot five height and retreating towards the stairway and bed , where he will read his Louis L'amour and Zane grey westerns until he begins snoring above us .

" Gordy , quit throwing toast at your brother " my mother says and begins clearing away the dishes ' who's going to help me with washing the dishes ?"

It is said that in time " that we tend to forget the bad memories and for the most part , we will remember only the good" . Perhaps I need a little more time yet . As I move over the sagging floor to the stairway and turn to the side door , looking out across the knee high grass on the lawn under the old silver maple tree still standing , to the old one lane road in front of the house where my eight year old brother was killed by a speeding D.U.I. driver , and the little nearly hidden ditch there where we found his body on the unmown roadside . But , I turn away from the uncomfortable colored images there .

Straight ahead to the living room where over in the front corner would be a tree , decorated for the holidays . The popcorn strings , glass bulbs and big old colored lights , the ones that still worked even with the missing bulb or two . The glass bulbs that were painted and yet chipped to reveal the white light inside ,The garland of silver foil and a bent and broken "angel " at the crooked little branch on top . The tree that we boys usually " found" out in the softwood stands by the river .,,,,,ah Christmas and our memories .

I turn and look up the worn and creaky stairway , where I didn't even have to go , as I remember every detail of each of the four bedrooms there . I remember the cold winter frost on the window frames and the howling cold north winds that shook the house . I remember listening to the oil furnace to see if it was still running or if one of us would have to go and push the re-set button in the dark cold night . I know as well of being cold , really cold , hungry and afraid of the night . Now I know that anxieties , youth depression and trauma are often only a part of some families in day to day living . I turn and go out to the wood shed and the driveway turning once to look down across the field to the river beyond and beyond that to the tallest of the White Mountains mount Washington . Lafayette , the "prudentials".

At once , a hundred memories flash before me , the sub-zero mist over the low and wide river
at the edge of our property , the thick ice , cracking and groaning beneath a foot and a half of new snow . The smell of wood burning and the smoke rising from the chimney then moving quickly sideways towards the pine trees above the house . All of it just beyond bitter sweet memories now , and we all know how that works right , "forget the bad and remember only the good "

Continued ?






Comments 28 comments

Life Iz Beautiful profile image

Life Iz Beautiful 3 years ago from India

Reminiscing is often painful. It is a sad truth that when we try to remember the good things and forget the bad, the ones that stick out as a sore thumbs( or fingers here) are usually the painful memories.

Learned a bit about yourself through this reflection of yours.

Waiting for part 2.

voted beautiful and up.

Have a beautiful day.


shiningirisheyes profile image

shiningirisheyes 3 years ago from Upstate, New York

I am a fan of your writing talent and imagination. You understand the little details that truly draw the reader in like the chipped Christmas lights revealing their stagnant white light beneath. Rather fitting of the story being told here. The face of the memories are warm and wonderful and yet the writer realizes the white light beneath will certainly makes its presence known as the writer chips away at the layers of memories.

I look forward to your next chapter and while I wait I will vote and share this one.


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 3 years ago from USA

Another beautiful and touching tale. I can't wait to read the second part. It is so hard to push back the bad memories to let you mind be filled with the good. Often it is filled with regret and bitterness, making the task difficult to let go, forgive, and be replaced with happiness. Wonderful job here! Well done!


Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

Pavlo Badovskyy 3 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

"Remember only the good" is a good suggestion. It is better than remember worth things in our life.. Great hub Shared


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

I loved your journey back in time. I could envision the old house and each room. It is impossible to just remember the good memories, but hopefully the good outweighs the bad, The death of your little brother made me sad. I am so sorry that happened. When you are ready, i'll be taking another journey as you write the next chapter..Cheers


moonfairy profile image

moonfairy 3 years ago

I feel as though I was right there with you.....beautifully descriptive....and yes, please continue!! I would love to read more!


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 3 years ago from United States

Going back to the past could be painful if memories are not fond.

Waiting up for part 2


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. With you words you paint a wonderful picture and I followed along. In the summers in the Catskill Mountains of N.Y. we rented a small bungalow but it did have a front verandah and a screen door. You brought back nice memories. Looking forward to more and passing this on.


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 3 years ago

You touch my heart, Cowboy - you always have! From the first time i 'read' you - i felt your writing to be special...unique...deep..i do believe you are an old soul, and i do believe you know it..

This was quite a tale, and quite an insight into what and who made you what and who you are..

Patiently waiting for more...

Happy Holidays, Ed..


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

Interesting article and yes, you should continue.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

Thank you for sharing a bit about your past with us. A tender memory that has the elements of an open wound...so, stay with it, my friend, and allow it to come forth in all of its emotional substance. Because, when it has all revealed itself in this moment with this one memory, peace will follow, I promise. It has to run its course...first the pain and then the healing balm that comes from within our own selves. Stay with it, be tender and nurture the vulnerability of that wound, and allow the spacious movement towards healing. Take care...


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Life iz az beautiful as YOU!.....Thank you , Its coming !......:-}


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Shining Beckie , You are so nice , Merry Christmas !............:-}


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Tipoague ! Hi , Thank you for that , Merry Christmas sweet lady !


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Pavlo , man I gotta catch up with your hubs ! Thank you sir !


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

thank you always ! That means alot !


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

moonfairy , Hi , thank you for that !


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Ruchira , Hi thank you and I will Merry Chistmas .....:-}


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Gypsy , ahh thats a good thing ! Have you gone back there ! Bless you !


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

IMKarn To touch that big heart of yours is my pleasure ! Thanks sweety !


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Teaches , thank you Yes memories can be interesting Merry Christmas.....:-}


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Dinese , leave it to you to have such insight !merry Christmas dear !


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

You know Ed. I would love to see it all again someday. However first I don't know if I can still find the place and second I don't know who owns the property now. Perhaps if we really believe everything is possible. Hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

Merry Christmas to you and your family, Ed. Enjoy the holidays. :)


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Gypsy Rose , You need to come and find it perhaps ? Are just our memories enough or don't we have to chase them down some ? Here's a big hub hug for you !O.......:-}


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Denise ......and to you as well my friend !........:-}


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Your descriptions are incredible and draw me in. Is this part of your memories? It's amazing. Is there a continuation? Wow. Such good writing.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

victoria , I love that name! , Yes there are more beyond this one , writing one now ! Thank you !

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