Posted tagged ‘back gate’

“A knife wound heals, but a tongue wound festers.”

March 24, 2015

No weather report today. Day after day is always the same. It’s depressing. The only bright spots are the large numbers of green shoots in my front garden. They give me a bit of hope.

When I was a kid, we lived in what we called the project. The houses were all duplexes, one side the mirror image of the other. Living there was only open to veterans and their families. Kids were everywhere. We first lived around the small rotary which the last of the duplexes circled. Below those duplexes was the field surrounded by woods. A long fence in the backyards separated our houses from the privately owned houses behind us. I used to climb the gate by the parking lot as it was a shortcut to my aunt’s house. I never once, in all the year’s we lived there, see the gate opened. No car ever used it. No car ever really used the parking lot either. Most cars were in front of the houses. My dad always parked his on the side road as our house was on a corner with the hill on one side.

Most times nothing much happened in the project. In the summer you could, now and then, hear people yelling at each other through the opened windows. We always listened. At supper time, mothers yelled out the doors for their kids. Once there was a fight between two men who were neighbors. I remember one man was a photographer who took pictures for the local newspaper. I don’t remember who the other man was. I do know the fight started because the wife of the photographer was German. He had met her while he was in the service on duty in Germany. This was in the mid 1950’s, and most of the men in the neighborhood had served in World War II. The guy I don’t remember called the wife a Nazi and a few more choice names and then the fight started. They rolled and wrestled on the grassy hill, and I remember the photographer’s sweater vest was pulled over his head so he couldn’t see to defend himself. Everybody was out watching. I don’t remember how the fight was ended. I figure neighbors must have grabbed the fighters and separated them as I would have remembered the police coming.

That fight was the talk of the neighborhood for the longest time. The men never spoke to each other again. The photographer and his wife and son eventually moved. That is the only time in my life I have seen adults physically attacking one another. Burned in my memory is the image of the two men rolling down the hill trying to punch one another. I remember the sweater vest had the argyle pattern popular in the 50’s. The son of the photographer wore glasses.

It is strange what our memories hold on to and what is lost over time.

“One winter morning Peter woke up and looked out the window. Snow had fallen during the night. It covered everything as far as he could see.”

January 4, 2014

The snow fell all day into the night yesterday. The plow didn’t come until quite late and did only one sweep on each side of my street. My car and house are still buried. I can see my paper, but the snow is just too deep to make the trek to get it. My factotum, Skip, said he’d be here by nine but that’s nine Skip time so he’s not here yet. I need to be out in the next couple of hours so I hope he’s on his way.

Yesterday Gracie was smarter than I am. I let her out back and then noticed the snow had forced the back gate open and Gracie, being Gracie, went out. I called her and she came right back into the yard and the house. It was snowing, and the snow was so deep it was up to her belly so leaving the yard and walking in all that snow wasn’t attractive to her. When she next needed to go out, I attached two leashes together and let her out front. She wasn’t too happy as she never goes out there so it took a while for her to find the right spot. I held the leash and waited. My sister suggested that maybe I ought to try and shut the gate, and that’s where stupid comes in for me. I put on my shoes, rolled up my pants so they wouldn’t get wet and went out. I never gave a thought to my legs from the tops of my socks to where the pants started. The steps to the yard were covered in snow, and I had to hold on to the underneath rungs of the wooden handrail so I could use my foot to clear off each step before I got to it. When I got to the bottom of the steps, my legs were covered in snow as were my shoes and even the rolled up pants. The gate wouldn’t shut because of the show blown against it. I couldn’t get to the snow outside the gate because of the Christmas light wires so I reached with my leg as far as I could and cleared the snow with my foot. One section was beyond my reach so I shut the gate as far as I could and kicked it. The gate moved a little at a time until finally it shut. I worked my way  up the stairs to the back door, but I couldn’t get inside: the button you push to open the door was frozen and wouldn’t move. Gracie went in the dog door and stood in the kitchen watching me. I banged that button with my fist so many times my hands were sore. I knew my only other recourse was to go out the gate, walk through all the snow to my friends’ house and get my spare key from them. No, I couldn’t bear it so I kept banging and cursing. Finally the button gave way, and I got into the house. I was covered with snow so I took off all the snowy stuff right there and then hung it up to dry. I put on warm socks, slippers, pants and a sweatshirt and was warm in no time. I think it will take me a lot longer to smarten up. That was about the dumbest thing I’ve done: bare skin, no hat, no coat, no boots and no gloves. What an idiot!