The House up the Holler
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 those old walls.
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. It was a room that was always cozy and warm.
I can picture Mom in the living room with her ironing board. She would sprinkle the clothes with the old plastic water bottle, tie them up in a tablecloth and place them in the fridge. She would get the bundle out, set up the ironing board and settle us around the TV to watch Pete & Gladys or Hazel while she ironed. We’d pile on the furniture or floor and watch that old black and white TV.
When Andy came along, we would sometimes sit and fold his diapers while Mom did the ironing. After the chill of the cold winter was gone, we’d open the windows for the cool spring breeze to drift in while we listened to birds singing in the old maple tree outside the kitchen window.
In summer time, Daddy would sit on the patio in the sun listening to the Reds ballgame on the radio. Rachel and I were usually on blankets in the yard or sitting under the shade of the old oak tree playing dolls. Jack and Andy would be playing ball in the yard or cars and trucks in the dirt.
As fall rolled around, Dad would light the pilot light. I remember many nights coming home from chilly fall football games, that old house feeling so warm and cozy after the long walk home. Mom would have glazed donuts and homemade hot chocolate with marshmallows waiting.
We each grew up and moved away from that old house up the hollow, but our love for it never dimmed. We got married, had kids, and one by one, went back to enjoy cool fall evenings and sunny summer days as we visited with our families and let our children share in the great love found in that old house.