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This Old House

July 6, 2008

Last of the Oregon posts… more summer flashbacks.

This is the house my parents lived in when they were first married. Now it’s a rental for college kids, since it’s near OSU campus. I have always loved this house and have always wondered what it would be like if it were to be completely remodeled and refurbished. Don’t you love the front porch? I want a porch like this someday.

The inside… could use some work. But since it’s usually rented by a group of four or five college kids who inevitably party all year long and are pretty hard on the house, Dad just keeps it clean and basic. This is the living room.

It’s got a main floor, an attic bedroom or two, and a big basement. It’s actually a pretty great house. When I was little I used to fantasize about having the attic space as my room. I made my mom promise that if we ever moved into this house I could have this as my room. What little girl would not want this space?

Except for the fact that its’ beastly hot in the summer and freezing in the winter…

Next, down into the basement. As I stood at the top of the stairs, I realized that every time I read a book that describes a dark and scary staircase down into the basement, this is the staircase I picture.

Except it usually looks something more like this, with the monster or ghost or whatever instead of my dad, coming up the stairs.
In the basement, there’s a surprise addition next to the small basement bedroom (the room my dad calls ‘the best room in the house’ because it’s the best-insulated… never mind that it’s small and mildew-y and dark…)

What could this be?
Of course! A throne. Um, surrounded by shower curtains. On top of a scrap-wood platform. My dad, King Of Practicality. “Hey, at least this way you can see if there’s anyone in there!” he says.

I can see the rationale: a house full of five people and one bathroom and lots of beer drinking… you could use an extra toilet. And really, a college-age guy does not care for such niceties as walls. The floor of the platform is lined with linoleum, what more could you want? At least it’s not plywood, right?

Anyway. We spent lots of time fixing up this house during the summer. This is where I learned to paint, roof, deep-clean and fix. Dad was doing the last bits of fixing up for the next round of kids, so we came by to drop off some fans and to check on the paint job. I had fun seeing the old place. It looked pretty much the same as it has for the past 30 years. I do love that front porch, though.

I had a great time in Oregon, even though I was suffering from allergies and/or a terrible head cold most of the time. Now I feel like I got my summer Oregon fix and was glad to come back home to Alameda — a different kind of summer, but still wonderful and full of everything that I love now: Terri, kitties, our apartment, the beach, the park, our kooky neighbors, my great job, my terrific friends. Life’s pretty good, you know?

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