I write a lot about old houses and my persistent desire to one day own one. This is the house that built that desire.
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SHERI L. FERCHO
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(Inspired Home Magazine)
92 | March/April 2016
he first house I remember living in was drafty, two stories and nearly 100 years old. It had a staircase that turned a steep and narrow curve, so the stairs on that curve were angled—and unbelievably dangerous to a child who sometimes thought it might be a good idea to try jump roping down them. One of my favorite memories of that house was that the vent in my bedroom became a wireless communication device with my dad when he was in the scary basement finding a tool, gathering up the garbage or putting back whatever was stored down there. I recall my 5-year-old self running up the dangerous stairs to my bedroom as my dad made his way down to the damp, concrete basement by the back stairs. I can feel the scratchy pink carpet on my hands and cheeks as I laid my face down near the vent to wait to hear noises from my dad arriving two stories below me. Sometimes while I was lying there, my face pressed against the slats of the vent, the heat would come on with that abrupt, clonking sound before the warm forced air pushed my bangs off my forehead. Once my dad was in the basement, I would call down to him; his voice always sounded remote and underwater. I don’t have any memory of what we talked about.
The rosy hue of memory BY Dayna Del Val
It’s likely it was nothing of consequence; I was only 5 after all. What was fun was the way I could talk to him from what felt so far away. It was like we had our own radio program. I do recall him singing funny songs and playing silly characters; I also recall lying on that carpet, laughing and laughing at it all. I am sure my parents were acutely aware of all the downfalls of that old house; the heating bills must have been astronomical. I bet there were few outlets, and I remember beautiful, thick icicles the size of midsized tree branches—again, delightful to a 5-year-old but probably less so to those who understood what made them appear on the roofline of the house in the first place. I write a lot about old houses and my persistent desire to one day own one. This is the house that built that desire. The stairs, the vents, the scary basement, the dormered bedrooms, the bathroom underneath the stairs and so much more have a romantic, rosy-hued place of prominence in my mind. Like my dad’s faraway voice all those years ago, that house lives in a magical place in my memory. I hope to again feel forced air pushing my hair off my face, hear someone’s voice as if from underwater and delight in the little, simple things of my childhood. INSPIREDHOMEMAGAZINE.COM