Saturday, July 11, 2009

Former House #2

There is a place in Omaha, Nebraska frozen in the '70's. It has small windy roads that snake and stretch over hills, hills!, a rarity in Nebraska. Golden Hills is a suburb outside of Omaha and this is the second place my father took my family after I was born.

We lived in this house, sadly run down after our time there. I desperately wanted to go inside, but the man who lives there now barely allowed me to photograph the outside. My dad wanted to know if the rock he brought with him from Wyoming is still under the porch. A tornado came through once and blew the chimney over. The house is the last on a street of similar houses and our elementary school was at the top of the hill. After school, we would watch kids ride their bikes down the hill and since my mother was a nurse, she would patch them up when they fell.

We were lucky to be able to walk to school everyday, but it was really difficult in the snow, especially after the sidewalk was covered with ice. We used to have these cool gloves that would change colors when you stuck them in the snow.

To teach me how to ride a bike, my sister left me in the middle of this road, gathered all the neighborhood kids at the playground, and told me that I couldn't play with anyone until I rode the bike. The circle was massive and I thought I'd never be able to make it all the way around.

What I wanted to show you here, what the windows bright with sunshine prevented me from showing, was a pit in the floor of this room. Our teachers would bring us there and read to us. I love being read to. My sister used to read to me all the time, even when I was sixteen. The old man reads to me, most recently Joseph Bradshaw's chapbook while I was driving, and he also reads to me at home while I'm knitting.

I used to have a cubby like this. Cubby is such a neat word. I wonder what I stored in there.

The tether ball court, where I was constantly schooled, is some of the original playground equipment, besides the swings. The really fun old tractor tire jungle-gym had been taken down and replaced with some plastic crap that kids are too fat for these days. We were always careful to check the tires for tarantulas because they like to sit in warm places.

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