Houses don’t shrink, but families do grow!
When we moved into our current home, we had great, glorious gobs of room. The storage space was unbelievable. We actually had one room upstairs to use just for storage.
But, that was five children ago.
If you have been a resident of Ohio for over six months, you are undoubtedly aware of the fact that we Buckeyes require two separate wardrobes—one for hot weather and one for cold.
Now, if you multiply two sets of clothing by 10 people you eventually wind up with clothes overflowing the closets into cardboard boxes which are stored in every available corner.
As time passes, the boxes multiply until in some extreme cases I have seen it seems that several walls are papered with cardboard. In other cases crossing a room requires all the endurance of a career Marine on an obstacle course.
When the sum of the boxes is greater than the space available to put them in, you either pitch the boxes or seek more space. We went the space route.
Next choice is either up or down. The attic? Impossible! There was a little square opening above the top shelf in the hall linen cupboard that required an acrobat/athlete to gain entrance.
The basement? Perhaps. It is dry, but then so was my friend’s basement dry, until the next good rain, and her basement and stored clothing were under water.
Back to the attic, and the discovery of disappearing stairways. I knew Bill could install them, the only question was where.
First we considered the hallway. But, every time someone wanted in another room the steps would have to disappear and anyone who could pull the steps down could get into the attic at anytime.
We chose our bedroom where we were sure the plaster could take the shock of installation, and admittance to the attic would be by invitation only.
During his vacation Bill began the project. Installation of the stairway and floor went along without a hitch—almost.
When he was cutting the hole in our ceiling for the steps, he sent our son Billy up through the linen cupboard to check the progress. While jumping the joices Billy’s foot slipped. The end result was a stairway sized hole in the hallway ceiling which had to be repaired.
Just before the steps were in place I heard one of our younger, friendly children out on the front sidewalk inviting passers-by to come in and see the hole in our upstairs ceiling. Thank Heaven, they declined.
In spite of all the children helping, Bill triumphed. The attic is finished, complete with an eight-foot long clothes rack, made out of two-by-fours and galvanized pipe. “The only way they can pull that down is if they pull the roof down with it,” he said. “Please Lord, don’t let those be famous last words,” she said.
Now I can stack up boxes to my heart’s content. I can also hang out-of-season dress clothes on a long clothes rack so they won’t have to be ironed before they are worn again.
That is, I can hang them up if I can find enough hangers, those skinny, scrawny, wire things used to hang clothes.
Maybe I could start an anti-polution crusade. Don’t throw your hangers out to rust and upset the ecology. Let me recycle them for you in our attic.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate on Aug. 11, 1971.
Charlene Thornhill is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her community column Along the Garden Path. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.