Saturday – Children’s Bedrooms
I decided to start exploring the upstairs rooms.
I peeked into the sister’s room first.
The only lights in the room was a small gas bulb by the door, and several oil lamps, one of which was missing its chimney.
A small room with a large double bed.
So, the two sisters had shared a bed their whole lives, 80 some years!
I was feeling that it was rather an awkward insight, and strange!
But then the whole household had always appeared rather strange in most respects!
I went on exploring…
There was a large closet that held a collection of handmade dresses, most of which had been in style pre Words War 2, as also were the hats and shoes that neatly lined the floor and upper racks, waiting for owners that would never return.
Some of the clothes looked newer, but I knew the mother, and sister’s, sewed their clothes, hence the dress form in the nursery!
But they had been far too frugal to by newer sewing patterns!
The rest of the room consisted of a few old bureaus and chests that had been hand made by their father.
I opened a few but saw nothing but old clothes and some bits of costume jewellery.
In the reading racks was a bible, a book on Churchill, and several old newspapers, most of em from the war years.
The wallpaper was a yellowed old fashion print of flowers, daisies, whose centre looked like so many featureless faces trying to stare out.
There were only two items on the walls, one a wooden crucifix with the glaring dead eyes of Christ, the other one was a black and white rendition of “Song of the Lark” from the 1884 original. I had believed, when younger, that the peasant girl was screaming!
The room as a whole felt a little dampish, and old, seriously old... I could not imagine what it had been like to share and sleep in a room like that for one’s whole long life, even as adults!
That thought to this day continues to haunt me!
I left their bedroom, solemnly closing the door…
The room, across the hall from mine, I went into next…
Must have been the older 2 boys bedroom…
These would be the ones who perished in the First World War, or THE World War as it had been known to them.
This room was also felt old, a time capsule…
This one had two twin beds(no sharing), the same style of dressers and bureaus as their sister’s room.
From the ceiling hung an old, dusty Sopwith Camel biplane, which in the boys’ time would have been cutting edge.
On the walls were a couple of framed black and white photos; One of a droll young man with stern eyes in a turn of the century suit with an arm around a smiling, rather homely girl in a paisley dress.
Both sets of eyes just seemed to glare right through me.
The second was of a different man with similar features, obviously the older brother of the first, this must have been Jacob JR., and the other his brother Stephen.
This picture of Jacob was taken in the backyard, sitting on the same stone bench that still sat off the victory Garden, the one Joseph suffered his heart attack while sitting on.
As I said, they kept everything!
In this picture Jacob was smoking a pipe, his hand resting on a pointy-nosed ragged haired old Collie. He was not smiling either, and I remember wondering if anyone in that family ever had managed a smile!
The room contained nothing more of interest, except for an old violin inside a battered case that sat in a corner of the closet.
A few old suits and shirts were hanging above it, and I thought rather morbidly that they had been saved, saved to lay the brothers out in the Morning parlor when their cold bodies were recovered and brought back from the fields in France where they had fallen!
I shook that thought right out of my head and left the room.
I became aware that the house seemed to be closing in about me, like I was being drawn into the misery of the place, starting to live in the unhappiness that had been their lives!
Which, as far as I was concerned, seemed to be seeping out from the very walls!
I went down the hall and re-entered the child’s nursery.
I looked around, touched the dust-covered dolls and stuffed animals that lined the shelf by the door.
I went to the chests of drawers and opened them, finding a cache of old sewing materials, bolts of cloth, a few old magazines from the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, nothing of real interest.
I went over to the naked sewing form by the window and moved it around, it squeaked a bit.
It was old, moth-eaten in places, with a wire skirt at its bottom. The foam head perched top was an old yellowed faceless, earless shape, and I was not sure of its purpose, for it defiantly had been an added piece.
The room held nothing more to my imagination, and so I U turned and went to leave, intending to check out the parents’ room/shrine next door.
It was as I was going through the door that I felt slightly grab and pull along my shoulder from behind!
I stopped dead frozen in my tracks, my whole being prickling in fear.
Thinking one of the dolls had fallen off the shelf I looked up, but everything appeared to be in order.
I looked down on the floor, then all around me, there was nothing there, no fallen toy!
I looked around the room, nothing had moved out of place.
I shrugged my shoulders, just my far too vivid imagination I convinced myself and left the room.
Saturday – The Master Bedroom