Thursday, January 15, 2009

Basement - Part II

This old house is on the left side of the road as you're coming from Glenns towards Freeport. Although you can't exactly tell from the angle, it's an incredibly narrow house. I got out the car and walked around back (or not, depending on who is reading this) and couldn't get over how narrow it was. A person could walk around that house twice and get dizzy from going in circles.

Speaking of going around in circles, I have another story about our basement, which is sure to make your eyes spin like pinwheels.

When the Chesapeake Bay Sisters were kids, the basement of our house was an indoor playground. Although minimally finished with a concrete floor and visible support poles, it was the perfect place for roller derby (Kansas City Bomber, anyone?), riding a bicycle into a clothes line, scarring your nose for years to come, and pulling Baby Sister in the wagon.

One evening, all three Chesapeake Bay Sisters were down in the basement playing with the wagon. I was pulling Baby Sister while Middle Sister pushed from behind. Baby Sister was loving it.

We went around and around in circles, fast. Faster. Faster. Faster. This isn't fast enough....Let's go even faster!

Yadda yadda yadda* the wagon turned over as we made a sharp turn. Baby Sister flew out the wagon and made contact with a piece of furniture. Blah blah blah, lots of blood, wah wah wah wah (said in your best Charlie Brown Adult Voice), she had to get five stitches in her forehead.

The End.
*Chesapeake Bay Girl--always the one blamed for these sorts of mishaps even though Middle Sister was complicit-- called for Chesapeake Bay Mother, who raced to the top of the steps.

Greeted by screams (from the two younger sisters) and blood (from Baby Sister), Chesapeake Bay Mother was rendered helpless to behave as a properly functioning member of society.

As CB Panicked Mother hurled the questions and the epithets out with the intensity and frequency of a machine gun, Chesapeake Bay Girl stifled herself in her best Edith Bunker fashion. The more CB Mother screamed, the further CB Girl retreated into silence. This was a survival mechanism kicking in, plain and simple.

Mass hysteria ensued, and yadda yadda yadda Baby Sister came out OK, while Chesapeake Bay Girl was scarred for life.

The End, II.


Anonymous said...

Skinny homes....Good cross ventilation??

Head wounds - parents never tell children that that bleeding is always much worse than the actual wound, cause then there'd be no punishments :)

glad your up and running for a while!

Mental P Mama said...

Why is the oldest always catches all the crap?

pjhammer_1965 said...

It's always the fault of the older sybling, that was your job, to create opportunities for dangerous fun that would lead to injury, and accept blame - while we had the fun and got injured...LOL - I have the scars to prove it.

We were lucky though, Mom being a nurse, she always had this calming effect and got right to the business of patching us up and telling us it wasn't that bad - blah blah blah. Yea, Right! I'm bleedin here woman!

One of the greatest adventures of all time between my older brother and I was the day we learned to fly. My older brother had this bright idea that if we managed to get one of those little plastic swimming pools up on the monkey bars, we could join the ranks of those seeking to conquer the moon. I was maybe 4 and I guess that would make him 8. anyway, we get the pool up there and old older brother says, "Ok, P.J., shove off". Being the good second officer in charge that I was, I complied with the order and we managed to fly about 9 feet! From the top of the monkey bars to our most unwelcome host, terra firma and man was she firma! The cries and wails had not been heard, nor would they be heard again, with such ardent persistence until older brother and house keeper's son dangled P.J. over the fence of the chicken coop at house keeper's house, months later.

Older Brother runs in the house cryin' to get Nurse Mom and PJ is just layin' in the bushes wailin' like a saxophone player in a jazz band. Turns out that older brother has broken his arm and I, PJ, who just won't stop crying is found to have a golf tee sized thorn lodged in my buttock - which Nurse Mom removes and the pain subsides almost immediately.

Older brother looked pretty cool after that, with a big old hard thing on his arm, which everybody seemed to want to write-on, myself included. No blame was issued that day but the lesson was learned for a lifetime.

Anonymous said...

Oldest siblings only gets caught 1/4 of the time. It only seems like a lot cause us younger siblings are always innocent ....INNOCENT I TELL YOU!!


Unknown said...

That sounds like so much fun! I wonder why someone would build a thin home? Do you think it was cheaper? Was it architecture design at it's finest? Hmmmmm. Interesting.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

RC - I don't know why so skinny, I"m sure somebody out there would know. I am not up and running, more like limping or crawling, wounded. The thing behaves when it wants to and acts up most of the time. Very, very frustrating.

MPM - We catch it because we're the ones "responsible" when the mothers are upstairs watching Search for Tomorrow or Match Gamea 76 instead of tuning in to the crescendo of squeals in the basement.

PJH - Thank you so much for telling that story. I wish you had sent it to me via e-mail, I would have put that up today instead of my ridiculous puff of hot air. I can just picture Older Brother and you now, what a hilarious story. You have a way with words, mr. "wailing like a saxophone player in a jazz band." Excellent.

RC - Not in this family, no siree. I was the Good One and they got progressively more challenging (to put it mildly) the further down the line you went. Just ask anyone.

LWK - I don't know, but there are many around here built like that, very narrow. They don't build 'em like that any more. I need to go get pictures of the other ones I'm thinking about before they fall down.

Thanks for visiting, everybody, and for being patient with my mind-numbing stories until I can get time to focus on writing and uploading pictures and attending basketball games and going to the paying job and coping with crashing computers, and maintaining a house, yard, 5 cats and a shedding dog. I'm definitely not overwhelmed, not at all.

Anonymous said...

When that house was built, people were shorter and skinnier. Have you ever tried to go up the staircase in one of those babies??

The classic line at my house was, "Why weren't you watching your sister?" I always chose to stay silent as well:)

Don't get me started on the shedding dog.....

Unknown said...

Faster, faster....I saw blood coming. And then screaming...
Why does blood gush so profusely from the smallest wound on the head?

And of course the oldest will forever be the whipping post. But the worst is when a younger uninjured sibling's hysteria turns smug once the whipping post gets punished.

My take on the subject was not based on any incident in CBW/G's childhood.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

BHE - Silence is the best revenge....even if it isn't intentional.

GJ - Yes, I was the whipping post, plenty of times. OF course Baby and Middle Sis would beg to differ and sing many sad, melodramatic songs about how much they suffered.

Sharon Day said...

As the youngest with an older brother who tolerated my presence only when the weather was so bad he was forced to play Monopoly with me, I found that ketchup and a good spontaneous cry was enough to get my revenge. However, be careful baby siblings what you wish for. Mother forced him to let me hang with him while he went out to play in hopes he'd tolerate the baby of the family, but he directed me to come with him to the middle of the woods where a planned pinecone war was taking place with adolescent boys tucked into tree house platforms above bombarding me with these sharp missiles. Real blood ensued.

foolery said...

A guess on the house: mail order kit. Not kidding. A friend bought a condemned victorian in the Sacramento area and she and her contractor husband managed to get it uncondemned. It had been a mail order house kit -- I think from Sears! -- and they had the original kit plans. If those houses were designed to be row houses like in San Francisco, they'd be deep and skinny.

But what do I know? I'm rural. And only recently got rid of my dial-up once Clearwire wireless internet became available in our area. It's worth a call to companies like that who may be expanding into your area and just need a few interested phone calls to put up a tower. Fingers crossed.

-- Laurie, oldest of three and never the instigator

Cool Breeze said...

It was obviously your fault ... and don't you forget it! You are supposed to be looking out for your baby sister, not throwing her into furniture.


CB Mother from the past through Cool Breeze

Anonymous said...

I think Baby and Middle Sis could possibly use some low-end to balance out the chorus once in a while....a bass or maybe even a baritone.

An-a-one, an-a-two, all together now....MMMAAAAAAAMMMMAAAAAAAAA!

pjhammer_1965 said...

My ADD kicked in again. Had a big meeting this afternoon and not many replies yet to read so, killed time by spinning a similiar tragedy, thanks for we had another adventure in that swimming pool, I'll send you that one and put you guys to sleep. night night.

Karen Deborah said...

we can't win period. My mom screamed and beat everybody who wasn't already bleeding, that made sure everyone was hurt so nobody was left out. I'm a nurse so most of what happens doesn't impress me. Mt girls get mad that I don't get excited and say the only way I'd pay attention to their woes is if they were dying.
Actually all that is necessary is some real symptoms like fever, blood, lethargy, productive cough, broken bones, you know something that really does need attention.
um why didn't CBMother tell you guys not to go so fast and spill the baby? I am a control freak the noise alone would've got a "slow down!" out of me.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Autumnforest - The ketchup and crying sounds like the devious plotting that is required to be a younger sister. Pinecones? I've not been pelted with them, but I've stepped on many a one barefoot and it is no picnic, for sure. Put some pesky boys in the mix and you've got the makings of one excruciating memory.

Foolery - You could very well be right, although I thought the Sears and Roebuck kits were more of the bungalow style houses? Perhaps they did have more than one style. It would make some sense, because I can think of 5-6 of these off the top of my head that all look the same and are incredibly narrow. I'll have to do some research but I think you're on to something...

Cool Breeze - I was always put in charge of those 2. Always! I have diaries that prove I was 10 years old tending to the two of them. Amazing.

Anonymous RC - A male of any description would have had a rough time of it in this family, singing or otherwise, which explains why Chesapeake Bay Father worked 400 jobs...kept him busy and "out of the way." You sing very well, by the way.

PJH - Please do send me the swimming pool story, no way is it going to put this crowd to sleep. They're already worn down by my stuff, yours will perk them back to consciousness again.

KD - You're singing my song, girl. Hairbrushes, flyswatters, the list of weapons was endless. This was my mother, nevermind what we used against each other as sisters. CB Mother was worn down by the time Baby Sister came along, and I think she just threw in the towel. She loved it when we went down in the basement, because she could just close the door and pray that nobody's head split wide open while she caught her breath and had some peace and quiet for a moment... For example.

Meg McCormick said...

Maybe it was a generic kit.