At 315 North Eighth Street in Bismarck, North Dakota, this quaint little house was my home until the middle of fourth grade.
It was very small– a living room with a sofa bed for my parents, a kitchen, with a small bedroom off to the side for my brother and I, and a bathroom– somewhere– I don’t remember where. I think behind the kitchen, which would make sense. The basement had one finished room for my brother who was ten years older and in high school.
The hedges in the front by the public sidewalk were taller than I was, and we would watch out the living room window for the mailman and his huge leather bag. He always smiled and told us some little joke. The hedges gave us a private world in which to play. I think my mom liked that, since my younger brother was prone to wander, but he’d stay in the yard behind the hedges or in the back yard so he wouldn’t get into trouble.
See the flower garden along the front of the house– mom always had a flower garden and a vegetable garden. The vegetable garden at this house was in the back yard.
To get to the front door, use the steps on the left– that yellow-green section was added later– a little porch/landing by the front door. The front porch, the garden area, and the row of lilac bushes along the side of the house were our favorite places to make mud pies and create an imaginary fort or castle in the tall lilac bushes. They weren’t as tall as in this picture, but they seemed like it to me at that age.
Along the right side of the house grew tall and lovely hollyhocks– the blossoms of which we would pull off and slip a toothpick into. Turn the blossom down, and you’d have a princess in gown, with the blossom the long dress.
The steps and door on the right were my favorite part of the house. I think that was a double dutch door– the top part could open by itself and let in fresh air. But the best part: it was the side door to the house AND to the back porch– the whole side and back of the house was a screened in porch shaded by the tall crab apple tree, — cool on hot and muggy summer days and dry in the frequent downpours and thunderstorms of that time.
My friends and I could play for hours in our porch and under the lilac bushes. Mom always knew where we were and could hear us play safely.
I was heartbroken years ago when we returned to North Dakota for a visit, and driving by, the house had succumbed to the neighboring hospital’s growing spurts and was now where the ticket booth took your money for the parking lot. It was gone, but not forgotten.
Geeky Gramma ~~
Retired Middle School Language Arts/Media Teacher ~~
Writer and Thinker~~
Art from the Heart