Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Doors and Windows

I was fortunate enough to 'stumble' upon a post in a blog recently that I enjoyed so much I cried. I lost the thread to it (too many tabs opened) and now I can't find it. It was a mummy type blog and the post was short and sensitive, The woman writing described how certain smells can trigger memories and feelings. She had lost her father two years previously and was driving home in her car one day when her senses were hit by his familiar smell. She pulled over and sniffed all through the car trying to find the source of the scent to no avail.

I have an odd memory that I go over from time to time. It's the sound and feel of the closing of each of the doors in my childhood home.

My mother and father moved into the newly built house in 1958 and mum lived there alone 20 years or so after my father died until the day two years ago when she followed him. We sold the house a year after she left us.  It was her treasure.

In my mind I open and shut each door in the house one after the other. I know the shape and feel of each handle, the weight and movement of each door in it's jam when it closes and I know the sound it makes as it shuts. There were eleven doors in our house.
Each one had it's own sound which is shaped by how much use it had seen and how it was opened and shut. Next time you use  a door, listen. We shape their character.

The windows in our house were the old-fashioned sash type and noisy, depending on how often they were used.
There was a window at the back of the house that was low enough to reach from outside with the aid of a chair from the back verandah. This window was loose with use and easy to open without making a sound.
When any of us were locked out of the house this was where we broke in. Every member of the family had climbed in and/or out through that window.

Most of us girls, as we grew into young women, would succeed to the single room at the back of the house. Alone and without little sisters to bother us we were free to enter and leave through the window after dark and when everyone was asleep.

Over the years as we each became too big to whack, stories of our teenage misdemeanors would leach out at family get togethers until mum had a dossier on each of us as long as a window sash.

Two years ago, after debilitating illness and hospitalization my mum passed away. When the daughters waiting at our old home received the call from the daughters on duty at mum's bedside we quickly locked up the house and piled into my sister's car. My brother in law drove like Jack Brabham to the hospital to the tune of 'Don't Be so Reckless' on the radio.
We were all in a hurry.
Mum wasn't going anywhere but we had to get there fast.
When we returned home I opened her bedroom window so she could get back into the home she loved almost more than her beloved husband.
It was on the high side of the house - but she would be flying, wouldn't she?

Mum would be a good ghost.
She would look after the family we found to buy her home.
She would soften their young children's falls so they wouldn't get too hurt.
She would make the oven turn off miraculously so the new mum's cakes wouldn't burn while she was busy in the garden looking at snails with her four year old.

But in years to come when the new owner's teenage daughter is climbing in through the back bedroom window at four in the morning will mum's ghost give her a leg up? Maybe...



  1. I think every single door in my house has some kind of problem. I will have to make a list! Thanks for the blog post idea.

    Nice story!

  2. beautifully written. what a lovely tribute.


  3. ps--where is the nony mice post? it was in my blog list, but you have pulled it? looked intriguing.....


  4. hmm.. I'd feel same way too, I think good things will likely to follow.

    Windows Tewksbury MA

  5. Beautiful. I had goosebumps all over, reading this post.

    I especially loved the part about, opening up the bedroom window so that she could get back in.

    Very moving.

  6. Thanks esbboston, MOV, Mac and Lilly. It was an emotional post for me. MOV - the Nonys are coming...

  7. Hi Julie noecy and warm and fuzzy like you if Mum is reading your blogs she will be having a chuckle
    SF :)

  8. Yeah - I think she would. Thanks SF


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