Posted by: lafouch | January 18, 2010

House From The Past

Memories of houses you’ve been in are always hooked to the people you’ve known. Recently, a narrow house in New York City was sold for over two million dollars. It brought back memories of a narrow house I visited with my grandmother as a child. One of her childhood friends was Helen Birch. I knew her as Aunt Helen Birch. She lived very near where we went to church in a “narrow house” so frequently we would stop by and visit her on a Sunday. We may have had lunch with her as well.

From the outside, front of the house, you saw a small front porch, front door and bay window overlooking the street. A round table sat close to the window and looking out was a beautiful porcelain baby. I would watch for the baby in the window as we drove up to her house. When inside the living room I would go immediately to the baby doll. She lay on her stomach on the table pushing up as if getting ready to crawl. One leg was stretched out along the table and the other bent at the knee, kicking up in joy. Her knees and smile were dimpled and she wore a pink dress with tiny flowers on it. I was always delighted to see her when my grandmother and I visited.

The house had a long corridor from the front door to the kitchen at the back. There were no rooms on the right side of the hall. All the rooms opened up one after another on the left. I only remember the living room and the kitchen, and a postage stamp backyard that was behind the kitchen so I suppose those were the rooms we visited. The hall seems long and dark in my memory but that may have been colored by my own size at the time.

Aunt Helen Birch had other fascinating things in her living-room which kept me occupied while the grown-ups were busy. My other strong memory was of a chair she had. It was leather and wood and had a lever on the side which she let me work. When you moved the lever the back of the chair dropped back and a footstool came out from under the chair. I loved to make it work. While I hadn’t thought of it before, that’s probably why I have and enjoy my La-z-boy furniture today.

Judie Fouchaux


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