Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

April 30, 2015

This Old House

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

As old men do . . . I was reminiscing!  I was remembering the house where I grew up.  It may have been prompted by the song, This Old House.  A couple of lines from it triggered so many thoughts.  “This old house was home and shelter as we fought the storms of life.  This old house once rang with laughter; This old house heard many shouts.”  And did it ever!

It was a big house!  It was at the top of the hill on Main Street, one block from the village of Stone Mountain.  It had been built before 1900 by my grandfather.  It was still occupied by my grandmother, and my parents had moved in with her when they married.  It was the only house I knew until we moved when I was in the seventh grade.

I have such memories . . . and all good.  It had ten rooms with a wide hall running the full length of the house with a swinging glass door to provide privacy to the back section of the house.  There was also a large wrap-around front porch.  There were columns that rested on large pieces of granite taken from nearby Stone Mountain.  In fact you could sit on the front porch and see the mountain.

There were fire places in four of the rooms, with stoves in the other rooms. The back door opened onto a large porch that accommodated a well.  Although there was a well in the back yard, water used in the house was drawn from the porch well.  The well was used very little in my day because ‘running’ water was now available.  When the house was constructed plans were made for ‘running’ water when it would be available.  In the central part of the house was a room built to become the bath when ‘running’ water was available.  When that day came a tub, commode, and sink were installed.  There was no hot water, however.  The only time there was hot water was on Saturday. There was a water heater with pipes connected to a wood stove where the water would circulate and be stored in the water heater.

The back porch floor slanted toward the outside screen so that any water from the well that might spill, or the overflow from the pan under the ice box that caught the melted ice would simply run on the floor to the outside.  The iceman came every day to deliver ice.  There was another floor that was slanted.  It was what had been the sun room.  It had windows across and with the slanted floor a person could better catch the rays of the sun.  Of course, by the time I came along, this room had become a second kitchen.

There was a second entrance to the house from the side porch.  It was the area of the house where we lived.  There was a large room that served as a living and dining room.  Then it opened to the sun room with the slanted floor.  This was our kitchen and eating area.  I remember well that the table slanted.  I always wanted to be on the “up-side” of the table for fear someone would spill something and it would land in my lap!

There was access from our area to the large hallway where we could access the bath, plus reach the stairwell that would lead to the second floor where the bedrooms were located.

The house had a basement, accessible from the outside.  In previous blogs I have related how my grandfather furnished this area to house families of prisoners that had no home or income while the husband and father was in prison.  There was also a garage, without a door, under the house.

The backyard was terraced down to a smaller house, built in style and color to the larger house.  Family members lived there through the graciousness of my grandmother.  There was also a large barn on the property, and a pasture for cows.  Chicken pens were located in two areas, as well as a place for hogs, two large gardens, all varieties of fruit trees — pomegranates, fig, peach, pear, mulberry, crabapple, walnuts, and pecans. There were several rose gardens. Also we had a large goldfish pond in the shape of a four-leaf clover.  There was a flower pit on the side of the house.  It had a glass front to provide sunlight to the flowers that were stored here during the winter. It was a remarkable place when you consider it was only one block to downtown.  It was total country . . . but considered being in-town!

For any visitors to Stone Mountain, GA, one can see the property which is now occupied by a local funeral home.

Yes, I have so enjoyed remembering this wonderful house . . . the neighborhood . . . and those boyhood days! What I must remember and am thankful for is more that the house.  I recall well a home . . . a home with stability . . . and a loving family.

I imagine you are now beginning to reminisce also.  Do so . . . and enjoy!

Lawson

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