Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)
TITLE: Always upstairs
By dub W
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Over our 40 years of marriage we have owned no less than seven homes. A realtor friend told me I had bought and sold more homes than some of his salespeople. This unfortunate affair was due to a big corporation who thought moving management people was a key to success. Anyway, of the seven, three were two-stories or more, one was a three-story – don’t live in a three story and own a “Stairmaster”, it’s redundant.
So, no matter what we wanted when we were upstairs, the item was always down stairs. And, if we were on the ground floor we would invariably need something that was on the third floor. Oh, how I envied people with elevators in their homes.
Repair people and movers avoided us like the plague. For an example, I contracted to have bookcases built into the library on the second level. I finally found a contractor with a teenage son. His trick was to work in the library and yell down to the youngster to carry up nails, screws, and boards. Movers were a different problem. I actually had a national moving company tell me that there would be a fee to carry items to the third floor. I finally used a different company and moved many things to the third floor by myself.
Moving the piano was special difficulty. We had a baby grand piano, I’ll save the history of the piano for another time, however, the issues involved in moving the piano was a story into itself. We paid dearly to have a piano moving company come and carry the piano into the proper room. Of course their fee also included tuning and setup – a racket organized by people smarter than me, to extract money from my wallet. The piano went up the stairs, and my bank account went down proportionately.
Relatives were quite another matter. My mother-n-law once visited us when she was ill, and closed herself into an upstairs bedroom, refusing to come down even for dinner. Her reasoning was that she didn’t want to continually climb the stairs. I think she would have starved had my wife not carried a tray to her. Other relatives would simply drop their baggage at the bottom of the stairs and expect me to tote it up to the second, or third floor.
There was also a cost involved with stairs. I blame the stairs for the money spent on trousers in our family. Our sons, much younger in those days, got a great delight out of bouncing down the stairs on their bottoms. Granted they did not do as much similar activity when the stairs were wooden, but opted instead to slide down the banisters.
We finally opted for a small refrigerator upstairs as a diet aid. When we only had one frig on the main level we found that going downstairs for a soda, often meant also carrying back up the stairs bowls of ice cream or other junk food. With the little frig on the second and/or third-floor, drinks were quickly accessed without any of the adjunct food groups.
One house we owned, in a historic district, was haunted. Not in the sense of the ghosts and goblins of television movies, but more spiritual in nature. Our ghost was a wispy woman, who during the night would make numerous trips up the stairs. However, nobody ever saw her come down. To me that would be a terrible afterlife, stuck in a cycle of always going up the stairs. Of course that is exactly what it seemed we were doing. I don’t remember any significant times going down the stairs, but I can recount many instances of lugging things up the stairs.
Nowadays we are on one level. However, my wife told me the other day that we needed to consider building a second story – her sister might come to live with us, and we have the unfinished space in the attic. I told my wife not to even consider a plan for building a second floor – unless she draws an elevator into the design.
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