The House Up the Hollow
It was more than a house. It was our home, our shelter, our refuge. A place of love and family so dear. A place to laugh, a place to live, and a place to love. So many memories live inside her old walls. We lived there from the time I was 9 months old. When Daddy passed away in 1999, my brother bought the house and remodeled it. We still have family get-togethers at the old home place. My brother remodeled it so it is now a two story instead of one and has cedar siding instead of white wood. But the memories are still there, trapped inside her walls for safe keeping. Every once in a while, I pull them out and remember….. I remember winter nights so cold that Mom would hang blankets over the doorways to keep the warmth of the old gas stove in the living room since there were no doors on the rooms yet. I can remember the day Jack came home from the hospital and me sitting in the old green vinyl chair holding him for the first time. I can remember when Andy was born and Mom had a cab bring us home the day he came home from the hospital. I remember when Rachel got married and I finally got our bedroom to myself. I remember the loneliness of not having her there at night. I remember Dad teaching us to play checkers. I remember drying the dishes and the special time with Mom to do it. I remember how slow I was because I didn’t want to do the work. I remember baby dolls at Christmas and Mom making our Barbie clothes. I remember homemade Easter dresses and summer pajamas. I remember sharing the big Hershey bar in Dad’s drawer. I remember Daddy having bread in coffee with cream and butter for a late night snack. I remember folding Andy’s diapers, fresh off the line. I remember crawling in bed with clean sheets, smelling like the summer sun. I remember stuffed animals lined down the middle of the bed between me and Rachel. I remember my green pajamas with a turtle on the front. I remember being outside taking pictures with Andy in his stroller and Jack being inside pulling the chest of drawers over on himself. I remember long walks to the store, the Corner Grill, the golf course and the cow pasture. I remember eating supper in cardboard boxes on Thursday nights in front of the TV. I remember learning to drive and taking Andy and Jack places. I remember walking to the library. I remember cheese sandwiches and lemonade under the shade of the oak tree. I remember Noxema on sunburns. I remember melting the snow from our gloves on the pipe of the old gas stove so we wouldn’t have to go back in. I remember homemade donuts and chocolate pudding. I remember Christmas candy being brought out a little at a time during the holiday. I remember Nehi Grape and Orange with ham sandwiches on Christmas afternoon. I remember grape Kool-Aid with lemons. I remember Lady, our beagle, having puppies on my birthday and we brought them in to keep warm in front of the old gas stove. I remember all the “Good Night, I love you’s”. I remember watching the well light so we didn’t run out of water. I remember Mom fussing about all the dust from the dirt road. I remember Easter egg hunts...over and over all week. I remember a lot of things about that old house. I remember the tile floor with all the assorted colors. I remember jumping from bed to bed in the middle room when we had the flu because Mom said not to get off the bed. I remember Daddy building me and Rachel a new room. I remember all the different paints on the walls and all the patterns of wallpapers. I remember Dad cutting holes in the wall so Mom could have shelves. I remember every tree, every hickory nut and every acorn. I remember every blade of grass and every spot of dirt in the driveway. I remember the laughter and the good times. It makes me smile as I remember those old days. It makes me sad that we can’t go back, but it makes me glad that I have my memories. The House Fresh coats of paint and a new porch or two, Rooms were added and changed as she grew. Wallpaper and carpet and furniture changed, But in our memory, she was always the same. But now we’re all grown and moved far away. Her old walls still stand, remembering the days. I wonder sometimes in the midnight so deep, Does she think of us and do her walls weep?