Saturday, January 26, 2008

The House on 3rd Street

When I was 3 years old we moved to the house on 3rd street. The picture below was taken fairly recently.where we could live in it

When we were preparing to move into the house we had a lot of work to do to clean it up. The outside was scaley and the inside was covered with a thick layer of dust and dirt. Windows were broken. There was a large teddybear hanging by a noose in the living room. The neighborhood kids used the place as a haunted house. Dirt was just a part of life. There were no sidewalks. The street out front was dirt surfaced. My mother spent her time keeping ahead of the dirt tracked in by the family.

My parents arranged to buy the house on time. Dad spent a considerable amount of effort in moving the restroom accommodations inside instead of out in the back yard. The outhouse was about 100 feet back of the house near the back property line. I don't remember much about it, other than it was made of wood planking and was very rustic, and it had a seat with a hole in it.

The pigpen was back that way too.

Just to the side of the house was the garden, which also included an apple tree. The apple tree was where the dog, Thunder, was kept when we moved in. The tree died after Thunder had been there for a while. The garden was kept mostly by mom. We never went hungry. I still like my vegetables. The old apple tree eventually rotted and left a stump with a cavity. The cavity is the source of why Donnie was nicknamed Stump. That is another story.

Dad worked hard to get the place to have better living accomodations. He put in a cesspool and lined it with shale. We all went in a truck up to the mountains and collected the rocks. Bonnie dropped a rock on her hand and broke a finger.

Dad added indoor plumbing with fixtures he bought from an auction. Nothing matched, but I fondly remember having water inside. The hot water heater was just a tank that had an oil stove next to it.

In the living room dad added an oil stove that was fed by two kerosene barrels that were outside the living room window. Dad added a bridge to allow the delivery truck, which he drove for CCG&O, to get to the yard to fill the barrels for the stove. Sometimes we would be required to bring kerosene home in 5 gallon cans and transfer it into the barrels. There was a big funnel with a 90 degree bend and a frame below that was used to get the kerosene into the barrel bung. We had to lift the cans overhead and pour the kerosene into the funnel. It was a task to keep from getting kerosen on oneself while the cans glugged and splashed. I HATE the smell of kerosene. Kerosene also makes your skin itch, especially when it gets on tender skin.

Dad also worked on fixing the foundation in the back of the house. More shale was used to fill in some of the gaps. Bags of perlite were used as insulation. The perlite was a white powder. Ask Bonnie what evidene perlite leaves when you walk in it.

The front and living rooms had hardwood floors. The floors were dried out and warped some. I remember sliding across the floor in my stocking feet after the floor was waxed. Mom sewed some and dropped an occasional pin on the floor. The pins would work into the cracks between the flooring. Sliding on the floor in stocking feet would sometimes cause those pins to create puncture wounds.

Uncle Earl came down once and helped paint. I don't remember much about it.

That house was home for many years. It was possible to get onto the roof through the attic. One day I was shooting my play bow and arrow (I was fairly young), and shot an arrow on the roof. I climbed up through the attic to the roof and retrieved my arrow. Before I was able to descend back down to terra firma I was reported to be on the roof by Elma.

Maybe more reminiscing later.

I love my family and the opportunities I had as a youth to learn and grow. Not all was silk and roses, but denim and ragweed was OK.


  1. I love the picture of the house!! Even more, I love the memories of the house, our home, and our family. Your description has been a real catalyst for me to remember things that happened in that house! I rember how the cielings drooped when we moved in because of the weight of the dust that accumulated on them. I remember my fear of the "haunted house" when we first moved in.

  2. I was ridiculed by the neighborhood kids for ruining the neighborhood haunted house.


Please feel free to comment. Be nice.