Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dark House

Thomas Wolfe wrote a novel, "You Can't Go Home Again", and the title became part of our language.

You can go back to that place once called "home", but you can't go back home.

I've been back in that place lately--a lot, and every time I can't wait to flee. I grew up there; now I can't stand visiting.

The house is dark inside, dim and close. It was then, too, but I didn't seem to notice. It was even worse then, actually, because the walls were painted a dark green that absorbed what light they were exposed to. Since those years the walls have been painted a light neutral color. But yet it remains a dark house.

And it is too cluttered.

The top photo is my old bedroom. The bed I bought when I got my first real job after high school is still the centerpiece. A cherry wood single bed with a bookcase headboard. I took the other furniture I had bought when I moved out, but left behind this bed. I bought a new one when I left, because I married out of my parents home and needed a two person bed. It had a bookcase headboard as well because I was a veracious reader.

My old room looks like a scene from "Hoarders: Buried Alive" now. It is the "Cat's Room", but it is also the "catch-all" room from the looks of it.

The whole of the house is cluttered. Some rooms may be arranged and neater than my old bedroom, but they are still too stuffed with furniture. This is one side of the living room. The photograph is deceptive because it looks light and bright. In reality the room is dark and gloomy. I enhanced my picture so things were visible. The big brown chair is my dad's. It is where he spends most his waking hours now. It is a chair with a control panel. You push a button and the chair raises up to help you stand.

Dad doesn't walk well anymore. He uses a walker to shuffle from place to place, which is why it is bad this house is so overstuffed. The passage ways between furnishings are narrow alleys. It is awkward for me to pass through some of the pathways; which must be a virtual obstacle course for him.

To the right of his chair is another large chair and two tables with lamps, lamps almost never on. The narrow alcove behind is the passage to his bedroom to the rear and mother's room to the front.

To get to the bathroom, he must maneuver between a coffee table, that other large chair, a table, a display unit and the TV into another narrow hall. That passageway is barely wider than his walker. And he is a man prone to falling easily and when he falls he can't get up.

This is the view from the very cluttered dining room into the living room toward his chair. I would get rid of much of these obstacles as the path of good sense, but dad would have a cow if I moved something. "Mother wouldn't like it," he'd most likely say.

But mother isn't there right now and chances are high she won't be back to this place. If she should return, these will be obstacles to her as well.

(Again I mention the deception of the photos giving an appearance of light to these rooms that are not light at all.)

So why am I back here in these rooms after so many decades. That's is the tale I am beginning to tell.

1 comment:

Ron said...

Very interesting. First thing I would do is to clean out a lot of the clutter. You dad doesn't need it plus the clutter creates a hazard for him and his walker. You don't want him falling down and breaking his hip or worse. Now is the time to do it. Don't worry about what your Mother wills say, just od it. You need to open up that house and bring more light into it which I think you can do by removing a lot of the furniture. You're going to have to remove it someday anyway so you might as well start now. That's what my brother and I did when we moved our Mother out of her house. He got ahead of the game. She'll never use that furniture again and you dad doesn't need all that furniture. Good luck!