Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ode to a 1970s bungalow, on the occasion of the commencement of a fourth week of renovations to the writer's current prehistoric money pit


The house I grew up in in Canada was built in 1979, a year after I was born. It was a sweet little bungalow with three bedrooms and a bathroom and a green sloping lawn with a big tree that shaded one side of the house in summer. It had storm doors and tightly-fitting double-glazed windows and a functioning central heating system that kept us warm all winter.

The house I grew up in did not have a coal cellar with an on-street hatch.

The house I grew up in did not lean: when you placed a glass on its side on the floor, it didn’t roll clear through to the other side of the house.

In the house I grew up in, all the pipes were tucked away neatly inside the walls.

In the house I grew up in, when someone had a bath and splashed a little water by accident, it did not end up on the dinner table one level below.

In the house I grew up in, the flush box was not made of cast iron or controlled with a pull chain.

In the house I grew up in, all the furniture could come in or out of the house through the door.

In the house I grew up in, mice never ate all our chocolate chips before we had a chance to make cookies.

In the house I grew up in, each tread on the stairs was at least as big as an average adult human’s foot.

In the house I grew up in, we had a back door.

In the house I grew up in, our neighbour’s kitchen did not extend into my bedroom.

In the house I grew up in, you never had to stop to wonder if an electricity outlet was grounded before plugging something in.

In the house I grew up in, you could not see the feet of people standing outside through the gaps under the door.

In the house I grew up in, paint did not flake off the walls for no reason at all.

In the house I grew up in, the space under the oven was completely covered by floor.

In the house I grew up in, the attic was not accessed by a pull-down ladder in the ceiling of the family bathroom.

In the house I grew up in, we did not have to stick coasters between the windows to stop them rattling.

In the house I grew up in, all the doors closed without anyone having to plane anything.

In the house I grew up in I never worried about not having a bag big enough for all the asbestos.

In the house I grew up in, if the dog barfed on the floor we did not have to scrape it out of the gaps in the boards.

In the house I grew up in, you could not get second-degree burns from touching the tap in the shower.

In the house I grew up in, there were no mirrors glued anywhere at groin-level.

In the house I grew up in, nothing was two hundred and fifty years old.

Here’s to the house I grew up in, and to all houses built any time after the invention of the telephone. And here's to the lucky buggers who get to live in them. May your pipes never leak, your floors never creak, and muddy-footed builders never darken your door.

4 comments:

The WSD's Top Ten Signs You are Becoming Dutch
  1. Andrea Burke-SaulnierMay 23, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Hahaha, Ernestine! I laughed out loud when I read your blog. Going on year 10 of renovations, I can appreciate where you are coming from. This is not to say that it will take you ten years to finish. We have gotten to the point where we are starting renos of the first rooms done ten years ago. I second your toast to the houses post-1876!

    Love ya!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can live with 10 years of constant renovation but I do hope this one project doesn't take 10 years; I'm beginning to feel it might! xo Ernestine

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just to let you know I have nominated you for a little Liebster over on http://somebodyislovingyou.blogspot.de/

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is fab, Wiffy! Thanks a bunch. See my most recent above where I continue to thank you, with links and bad lint-related jokes included.

    ReplyDelete