Welcome to a series of stories that basically make up my autobiography. It’s not entirely thorough, but I’ll do the best I can with the memories locked away inside my head. Could be therapeutic for me. Could be humorous for you. Either way, enjoy…
Previously on Life Story… In fifth grade I had a teacher that encouraged me to become a writer. I also went to Colonial Williamsburg. Following the pattern, I enjoyed the odd numbered grades much more than the evens.
During the fifth grade, my family moved into the first and only house we ever owned. Okay, the bank owned most of it, but before that, my parents had only ever rented the homes we lived in.
They bought an ancient house on Denniston Avenue. I remember going to look at the house and thinking it was pretty cool. Under the back porch there was a family of kittens living there temporarily. April and I made our parents promise that we could keep them if they were still there when we moved in. They weren’t.
The inside of the house looked pretty decent as well. I’m not sure what all my parents knew about the house before we moved in, but some of the facts came as a shock to me after we began living there. The entire upstairs had but one vent for the furnace. It was in the bathroom. Therefore, the bedrooms stayed pretty darn cold in the winter.
There was no central air conditioning. We actually got by pretty well on window units though. For the most part.
But I want to talk about my room for a few paragraphs. The second floor of the Denniston house consisted of a hallway, a bathroom, two true bedrooms, and a room on the front of the house that the previous owners had used as a walk-in closet. So, where’s the first place you’d think a boy of 11 years of age would be most comfortable spending his nights? If you said the walk-in closet, you’d probably be wrong, but that’s where I was placed anyway.
I believe the dimensions of my bedroom were 7 feet by 14 feet. Now, I will admit that I did appreciate the furniture that I was given a year or so after moving in. That furniture included a loft bed. Since my bed was up on stilts, that gave me a little more room to move around in my walk-in closet.
Remember how I said that the window A/C units we used worked pretty well? Yeah, that didn’t apply to my bedroom. My room had a western exposure. This meant that for the second half of the day, also the hottest half of the day, my room was a freakin’ pizza oven. Now, why wouldn’t I have an air conditioner in my sweat box? For that we turn to my mother.
Mom felt that, since my room was not only facing west, but facing the front yard, we shouldn’t have a clunky, ugly looking window unit hanging from one of my windows. Good idea, especially since anyone we invited over to the house came in from the back door! But it’s okay to have a window unit hanging out of the window right next to the swing on the back porch. That makes a lot of sense, too.
We did live there for several years, so I’m sure I’ll be able to come up with some more stories from the old neighborhood.