Last night I woke with what Regis used to call the "grippers". I kept the bathroom light on as I trotted to and from the bathroom. I was transported back to the back bedroom in the house I grew up in. When we first moved there, the room was an upstairs kitchen, as an old lady, Mrs. Johnson, lived in the upstairs at one time. My mom and dad chose it as their bedroom and I often slept with them. Dad got up with the light over the sink to get me a drink of water. The light last night felt like that light for some reason.
A lot of remodeling was done
in that house, like that kitchen changed into a private room with a
full tub and shower, back stairs to the kitchen and a large closet. Mom
and Dad used that room for quite a few years. I was supposed to have a
little room on the east side, the carpet chosen, a maroon pink, since I
wanted a pink room. My sisters were to share the front bedroom
overlooking Main Street. A short little hall, more like a landing at
the top of the curved stairs, led to another bathroom, remodeled with a
double sink, and bathtub. The big middle bedroom was my brother's. The
three back rooms all blended together, with no central hall, the only
drawback I could see with the lay out of this house.
did not get along at that time and quickly my second sister shared the
middle bedroom with me and Dan went into the small room with the maroon
But I think I spent the most time in that back
room. I sneaked in when my dad worked midnight turn or laid there until
he was home from afternoon turn, then pretended to be asleep so they
wouldn't move me into my room.
One time as convenience to my
sister entertaining a girlfriend overnight, I slept with my mom. In the
morning, Mom discovered that my sister had locked the door. She
shrugged at me and we went down the back stairs. But they weren't
carpeted and Mom wasn't too happy to use them.
When I was in first
grade, my sisters were both all ready in college. I seemed then to
have some stomach ailment. Was it first grade stress? I threw up I
felt almost every night. My teacher, who was ancient as the hills
surrounding our town, missed a lot of school. Her substitute was even
older and meaner. Was I worried about my teacher leaving, too? Or was
worrying about spelling after Christmas break fearful to me? I was sure
they meant cursive writing and I didn't feel ready to do that.
Christmas party time, I had a cute little red and white dress with an
adorable gray mouse on the pocket. I still love gray Christmas mouses
to this day. But I was sick. My stomach hurt so much. My teacher was
very sympathetic to me and I felt accepted, even though I was scared
about that spelling in January.
At night, I laid in my parent's
bed with a towel, in case I couldn't make it to the bathroom. My mom
would rub my stomach and I used a heating pad.
By the end of the
year, the pediatrician was going to work up the situation. The first
test was the simple urine test, only I couldn't pee in that doctor's
office. My mother turned on the spigot and even the sound of running
water didn't help. We went a few blocks over to my grandmother's, who
scolded me for not peeing when it was required, but I was relaxed and
was able to pee in her dim old lady bathroom.
No more tests were
done because I seemed to have a miraculous recovery. I don't know if
they ever did figure it out. My mother often said she thought I was
worried about my teacher, but didn't know how to voice my concern. It
could have been that or just that fear of added responsibilities, like
spelling in January.