“Here’s your room. Towels, everything. Sorry about the house. I know it’s small and the bathroom…”
“Your house is pretty! Jack-n-Jill they call these, right? But yours is a little different.”
“Yeah, for some odd reason there’s a little hallway here. The closet is mostly empty. There are hangers in there.”
“Just let me know if you need anything.”
There is no privacy in this house — well, some, but not a lot. The house is 95 years old. Sometimes I wonder about the people who built it and what their lives were like, how their values were different from ours, different from mine, anyway. I’m a private kind of person. I got that way as a kid growing up. I was never allowed to keep my bedroom door closed. I could close it, but SHE would open it, “What are you doing in there that you have to have your door closed?”
That turned me into a person who prefers to live life with her door closed.
Partly because of the physical configuration of my house, I’m better at visiting others than at being visited. I bring my own coffee, my own pot, my own blender, my own breakfast and a happy outlook in the morning.
My house reminds me of my grandma’s house which was older than this one probably by twenty years. My grandma’s bathroom was built on by my uncles! When my grandma and grandpa moved in, the house was out of town and had an outhouse. When I was a kid, the only way to get to the toilet was to tip-toe past sleeping grandma.
It never bothered her. As in her house, my bedroom door opens from the living room — the big difference is my grandma didn’t have a door, just a curtain. And, for that matter, the room I’ve set apart for guests is probably the one meant to be the master bedroom. It’s larger and very slightly more….private.
My grandmother could offer hospitality to more people than I can imagine in this tiny space. I remember a couple of Christmases when there was almost a barracks of makeshift beds in the backroom for grandchildren and daughters. I think there were nine of us in there, kids stacked two and three up, aunts sharing a double bed. “Don’t look!” yelled my Aunt Martha at the little sleeping boys as she undressed, boys who’d probably never thought of looking until she mentioned it.
My Aunt Martha also lived with her door closed. ❤