Today, tell us about the home you lived in when you were twelve. For your twist, pay attention to — and vary — your sentence lengths.
The house I lived in at twelve is the same house I’m in today. Back then there were six of us. Today there are only two.
It is a generic, cookie-cutter variety, suburban jungle ranch. Three bedrooms, a bath and a half. There is a full basement, though. None of that Michigan Basement stuff I didn’t even know existed until I got married and started looking for a place of my own.
Who doesn’t vary their sentence lengths? Or, is this another push toward avoiding anything over eight or ten words per line?
Anyway, when I was twelve, this house was too small. I preferred the cool quads and tri-levels in the neighborhood closest to the elementary school I attended at that age. To this day, I can’t stand a ranch house. I avoided them when I was hunting for a house to live in with my family.
While I did say the houses are cookie-cutter variety, that isn’t entirely true. We live in a horseshoe shaped sub off a main road and overlooking a beautiful park. The builder put up four sample houses for potential buyers to choose from, and a majority of the folks who ended up moving in chose the rectangular ranch.
The choices were an L-shaped ranch, a perfectly square ranch, and two interior layout choices for the rectangular style.
I prefer the perfectly square ranch to the rectangular variety, and because of the floor plan. The house I lived in at twelve had the entrance at the very end of the left-hand side, and you immediately enter the kitchen. Well, there’s this minuscule standing space, but to close the door or let anyone else in, you’d have to enter the kitchen to get out of their way.
It’s a galley kitchen, too. Runs the entire width of the house, stopping where the half-bath is. That’s right, I said half-bath. Pretty gross, huh? To have a bathroom next to the kitchen. This galley kitchen is long but entirely too narrow. My parents were short and eventually became fat. It’s impossible for more than one person to enter that room unless you don’t mind being shoved inside the refrigerator or sandwiched between the stove and the counter.
There is just enough room for a decent-size dining table, but everyone else on the block had the clever notion of creating a breakfast nook in their galley kitchen and then setting up a formal dining area in a slightly larger nook off the main room of the house.
Not us, though. Ma decorated that dining room spot with a Grundig, a metal rack filled with her Opera and Classical albums, two tall bookcases, a round area rug, and the coziest rocking chair known to man. Overhead, where a dining-style chandelier should hang, was the ugliest, 70’s era black plastic slat thing with a huge, round bulb that blinded you if you looked up.
Our Christmas tree went into the corner of that nook. Every year, too. The rest of the neighborhood always had a beautiful, sparkling tree in their picture window. To see ours, you had to stop and peer through the sheers, and only at the right end of our property if you wanted to glimpse the Bal* tree.
The wall between the livingroom and the kitchen, between the front entrance and the open entryway to the kitchen, is where our televisions always rested. Again, every friend’s house I ever entered on that street had their television on the opposite wall. The wall with the full bath on the other side. It made sense, too, because our house faces due south, which means from sunup to nearly sundown, there is an annoying glare on the television screen, making it next to impossible to see anything.
I never noticed this at my friend’s houses. With the television on the bathroom wall, it took until sundown for anything in the way of glare to reach that part of the house.
We were the last house to build a garage, and I’m pretty sure I was around twelve at the time, but I’m thinking a little older, actually. Anyway, it took us forever to finally build a garage, getting in step with all of the others on the block. Today, this garage is ready to collapse. It is the first to fall to ruin with time, age, elements, but certainly not neglect. Regardless of what we tried to do to save it, too.
(it was Pop’s work space, not for cars, so we all have this affinity and reluctance to hand it over to the wrecking ball).
Anyway, that’s the house I lived in and still do. Sorry if my sentences were too long, confusing from big words, or whatever else is wrong with my writing.