Friday, August 4, 2017

story of a house

My Dad built our house, hammer, nails, and concrete, He was a pro though working full time and making a family with my Mom who , in this photo is pregnant with me. She always hated this photo because she though they looked like a couple of hillbillies., Porch in the process of curing before the steps could be added, Front yard a mud pit.

Later My Dad added a dining room and a garage, patio, garden, incinerator , finished the basement, had a son and a daughter, and tried like hell to keep trees in the yard though the Wyoming wind blew them all away.

It was a sweet little house, the blizzards. 50 degree below winters, and incessant howling wind did not impress it at all. Solid as a fortress.

My parents finally left to find some earth where the wind did not blow you sideways every bloody day. House sold to a person who had no interest in keeping it up. It fell into horrible disrepair, the hand made picket fence and gates used for fire wood, the garden and fruit tree leveled - replaced with stones , dust, weeds. She moved on selling it to someone else  three years ago who recognized promise in the little house- It is on a good corner lot , close to downtown, great little neighborhood...there was hope for this little house- great bones.
They have been bringing it back to life over the past three years.
This is it today!

While tearing out the basement which my Dad finished  as a laundry room, furnace room, lapidary work shop, Carpentry, and my brother's very large bedroom and hang out, They found this in the wall.

My brother had hollowed out the wall, constructed a pulley system , where he hid french cigarettes, porn, badges from the army surplus- WW2, other treasures- mostly naughty- and photos of girlfriends.
The new owner posted Harise's photo on our hometown page, Facebook,  asking if anyone knew Marvin, that she would like to send him this photo.
There'll be no sending it to Marvin, he is dead but I would love to have it- a sort of nod and wink from my brother, A memory so sweet, I loved this girl. I loved that I was the only one who knew about his pulley system , that I kept his secret from our parents forever.

My Dad would be sad to know that his lush gardens and attempts to keep trees in the yard, his picket fence , the house he built fell into near ruin.
So grateful for the new owner, Our little house is loved again, though the walls have betrayed my brother. Now everyone knows and his pulley system - removed.

You have no idea how difficult it was to garden where we lived, to cultivate a rich soil out of dust, a growing season of two and a half months. But my Dad had a green thumb, vegetable garden loads of flowers, raspberries, lilacs, an apple tree which eventually the wind sent as far as Medicine Bow-
 Our lawn was always the greenest though cars cut the corner and tore it up frequently, thus the new barrier the new owners installed.

A straight shot down Buffalo street into town, less than a mile's walk. My Dad's marigolds along the fence.
Sweet. Sweet memories and a happy ending.


  1. Oh, how I adore this post! What a beautiful picket fence setting off those marigolds. So much love on those perfect lengths of white painted wood, and in your keeping your brother's secrets, and in this lovely story of a house. I am glad the new owner appreciates your father's work. I think she would love to see this gentle recollection, too.

    1. Just have to love a happy ending, right? Last time I heard about our little house the word was that it would be demolished due to neglect. So YES...good new owners!! And don't you wonder, now, what secrets your kids are keeping?? Only they know!

  2. A house that was a home and now is again. Just beautiful.

    1. Yes, I had been thinking about our old house a lot and also my brother, feeling sad until they found and posted the lost girlfriend from Greece! Very joyful- she was such a sweet person, perhaps she died the day her photos was found, that would be a STORY wouldn't it!!

  3. I wish my house had had a happy ending. very old house with two artists and their two kids living hand to mouth. we just couldn't keep up with the repairs and finally the termites had their day. but it was loved until the day it was torn down. I still dream of going to my house to visit to stay for a few days in the in between time from the time we sold it to the time it was demolished.

    1. I guess it is true, "You can never go home again", in so many ways, yours more literal!

  4. This is a delightful story in all the ways, Linda Sue. The building of human structure and of family, the revealing of secrets in such an interesting round about way. It's the story of life and love and of death and of memory, and now you have made it last forever in its telling. And one other way, it connects us. We have childhood home memories that have been evoked. And what if, in its telling, a connection more solid is made into Harise and/or her family...

    1. It has made me think of people who moved around all their lives, never settling into a structure, I wonder how differently they think of "home".


whales in the yard

The photos of the Orca in the bay are from yesterday, nicked from Bellingham page. The top one is right outside my studio. It is ...