The old homeplace

All the snow we’ve had here in Tennessee takes me back to the winters of my childhood. In 1980, school was out for Christmas vacation and we didn’t see the inside of a classroom till February.

To say our house was cold and drafty was an understatement. When we moved there in 1976, it was quite a sight. A drunk and his seven kids had been living there, bootlegging electricity. Before leaving, the angry teens had spray-painted peace signs on the grayed, wooden siding on the back porch next to the broken appliances. It took us a couple weeks to rake all the beer cans out from under the house. 

The main house was two stories made of logs from the 1880’s. The 1910 “parlor” addition became our kitchen. A log addition on the back was badly eaten by termites and had to be razed. For several months we carried water from a new well, used a “two-seater” outhouse dad built, and the five of us lived in three rooms.

I vividly remember watching the news when a person suggested taking a lit match and using it to check for drafts along walls and windows. It should flicker at the point of air entering the house. Dad glanced around the room, taking in the cracks stuffed with rags, plastic over the windows and said, “What if it’s blown out of your hand?”


2 thoughts on “The old homeplace

  1. I like the stories too…. Funny thing is that I need to crack windows at night if a house isn’t drafty enough, hee hee. You get used to some things. But I didn’t live in a house like yours.

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