a girl and her boy

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Daily Writing: Grampa's House

I’ve always wanted to write a novel. As a young child, I’d fill notebooks full of stories and journal entries. I have a whole box full of notebooks and journals. Unfortunately, due to moving around a lot, I’ve lost everything earlier than sixth grade. It would be so interesting to go back and read that stuff.

But, in an attempt to get back in the groove of creative writing, I’ve made a goal to write 1 page/10 minutes every day in a notebook. I figure, once I establish the habit of daily writing and generate some material to later mine and edit, the novel won’t be too far away.

A lot of what I’ve been writing has been based in memory and I’m realizing a lot of the details are lost. I hope that they resurface through daily exercise and perhaps by family and friends filling in what they remember in the comments to the individual posts. To that end, I’m going to post my daily writings, unedited.

Daily Writing for August 27, 2010:

Grampa’s house was a melding of pre-fab and home construction. According to my father, it began as a two bedroom trailer that Grampa eventually completely replaced with wooden beams and dry wall. By the time I had memory of the place, it had a large open space downstairs with only two rooms set apart by walls:  the living room with the built-in tomato planter and wood storage and the bathroom. Everything else flowed through the same uninterrupted space. There were two twin beds at the opposite end of the kitchen in this space where grandkids and guests slept. The windows overlooked the cemetery that abutted the house. This space was demarcated by a table that held a single crystal two-level candy dish. Sometimes it held nuts or M&Ms, but mostly it was empty. Not even junk collected in that dish, for everything had a home, according to Grampa. Beyond this table was the kitchen. My fondest and most frightening memories at this house were in the kitchen. From where I slept on the first floor, I could smell the bacon cooking before I woke to the sounds of the sizzling and popping. On the table would be three to five boxes of cereal. Places always set for six. Grampa would be at the stove turning and pressing the bacon with a fork. As soon as the bacon was done, he’d start on the buckwheat flapjacks in the same pan. This was every morning. No wonder I have such a love of breakfast foods. Grampa began making breakfast as soon as he was back from delivering newspapers. He’d leave at three or four in the morning and return around six or seven. Then breakfast would roust everyone in the house. It wasn’t until I was in upper grade school before I realized that the golden liquid in the juice glass he always had with him wasn’t apple juice.


5 responses to “Daily Writing: Grampa's House

  1. Kelly Sirois August 27, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Wow you make it sound so good!! It brought back a lot of old memories(good/bad). I remember breakfast in the house. We would put out the cereal, toaster, bowls, poptarts etc. It was amazing we were poor but didn’t know it or feel it cause your grandparents always had food on the table, clothes on our backs, and a few bucks always sitting on top of the fridge! Dad always put his excess change at the end of the day ontop of the fridge along with the car keys!! The one thing that I was amazed that you left out was all the cats and dogs!! To find them all you had to do was run the can opener and boy they all came out of the woodwork!!

    • Black Sheep August 27, 2010 at 1:22 pm

      This is a warm up. I have lots of memories there. Good. Bad. Cats. Dogs. Stuff. If you don’t want to post some particular thoughts here, you can always email me. There is so much that we as a family don’t know because of the silence our experiences require for survival.

  2. Ryan Sirois August 28, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Don’t forget the hospital bed at the back of the living room. And the heat vant that went through the floor/ceiling. Or the enclosed porch looking out over Coos Canyon. And when he would take me along on the paper route he would bring a twelve pack, to keep up the buzz from the six he drank while getting ready.

  3. Ryan Sirois August 28, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Oh yeah I also remember when his dog Brandy died (the long haired copper looking dog) he was on a war path from hell. And I will never forget the chicken coupe. It was like a bank of windows in the living room overlooking the canyon.

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