Prompt 2 -Earliest Memory – The Writers Circle
I’m going for the longest earliest memory the arrival of the cubby house
A favourite memory, not just of mine but my siblings to. Dad and his business partner owned a building company which was handy when you needed some manpower to maneuver a cubby house into place.
Dad was home on a Saturday, unusual, as he generally worked 6 days, Sunday a day of rest for him, or in my dad’s case a day of resting your eyes (all day long or for as much as we would let him get away with) while laying down on the sofa, belly full after a cooked breakfast of bacon and eggs. Of course not before driving us to Sunday school, that was his Sunday job. I am sure they just wanted peace and quite for a couple of hours, as none of us had a religious bone in our bodies.
I didn’t find out till years later that my brother was terrified of the flying Golliwog at Sunday school. I feel bad for not remembering, just a vague feeling and memory here.
Today was the day we were going to get our own house to play in.
Dad’s men arrived early, he went out to greet them, four in all. They man talked while waiting for the truck, smoking, a mug of coffee in hand, laughing out loud at jokes. I stood on the front door stoop, eavesdropping in on their conversation all the while keeping an eye out on the road for the truck to arrive. I couldn’t tell you what the men were talking about, despite my best intentions to listen in. Dad kept shooing me away. But that was okay as I knew what was coming. I had turmoil in my insides, I couldn’t possibly imagine all was going to go well.
Then came the rumbling of a truck with a brand new shiny cubby house on the back, well strapped down on all sides, that house wasn’t falling anywhere.
There was a hitch, the only entrance to the backyard where our little house was going to rest, is up an incline then along a narrow path leading up the side of the house. Providing of course that the truck drivers ability to direct the truck in reverse down our steep long curvy driveway, which was narrow at points, what could go wrong. Bet the driver was cursing, the drive being 300 metres long. I can see the frustration on his face as I write. I was often terrified to ride my bike down this drive fearing I would crash, which in fact I did one day, another story for another time.
Dad’s lads directed the truck backwards down the drive, a lot of shouting, instructions, and whistling signals going on. The men were at work, the truck could only go so far. They then positioned themselves on either side to lift the house off the truck and place her none to gently upon boards so they could push and shove her the rest of the way, transferring the boards as they went. I held my breath, remembering my insides feeling like a can of cola that had been shaken, tingling with excitement from the bottom of my toes to the top of my head, ready to burst.
It took ages
Those men heaved and pushed that little house up a little hill, squeezing it in beside the house on the left and a fence on the right, scrambling to remove the side gate, finally making it through to the backyard. You would have thought that the side gate would have been removed earlier wouldn’t you. Minds on other things I suspect (funny how I remember that). Shouting, grunting, huffing and puffing they all were. At one stage I didn’t think they were going to make it. My brother and I had a birds eye view leaning outside of a bedroom window at the side of the house, looking down at the goings on.
Finally they made it, our little house was rested onto some timber stumps, high fives all round and chests puffed out at a job well done. I will never forget that day, they were awesome what they did for us.
Our cubby house consisted of one room, where when opening the door, you could immediately see two cupboards on top of each other, your eyes taking in the kitchen bench with a sink to the right of the cupboards. Then along the side at the end of the bench a bench seat with storage underneath fitted along the end wall of the house. I think there were even gingham curtains on the windows.
It was made from timber slats just like a real house. Painted baby blue, with white window trims, a lockable door, (pretty sure they confiscated the key) and a grey slated roof. The floors, bare particle board, floors echoing as you walked across them. Over the kitchen sink there were glass shutters and opposite this the window on the other side from memory could be slid aside.
We dragged in bedding, plastic kitchen utensils, tea set and treats. Many years of fun. Eventually the little blue house got a second life when were done and dusted with her. A wire fence wound around her backyard, space becoming home to the chooks. The white door now an entry at what is to become their forever home. Hedgehogs claimed a spot underneath her to (they smelt something awful). At least we were never short of eggs, recycling at it’s best don’t you think.
Next week your first love