By David Giffels
With the lyrics of a Replacements tune working via his head ("Look me within the eye, then inform me that i am satisfied"), David Giffels—with his spouse and boy or girl son in tow—combs the environs of Akron, Ohio, looking for the precise apartment for his burgeoning kin. the search ends on the entrance door of a pretty yet decaying Gilded Age mansion, the once-grand former place of dwelling of a rubber-industry government. It lacks sensible plumbing and electrical energy, leaks rain like a sketch shack, and is infested with all demeanour of natural world. yet for a tender father at a coming-of-age crossroads, the problem is strictly the attract. the entire manner house is Giffels's humorous, poignant, and confounding trip throughout the nice event of restoring a crumbling apartment so one can studying what the phrases "grown up" and "home" relatively suggest.
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Extra info for All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House
All about us were piles like sleeping bears: clothing and magazines piled on chairs; boxes pushed against one another; newspapers; old photos; sheet music. To our right, near the doorway into what looked like the dining room, a black rotary phone rested on a stack of books and papers. There was furniture, some broken and buckled, some fine as can be. There were out-of-style floor lamps and racks of clothing under stiff, clear vinyl. To our left, through a wide entrance offset with formal columns that supported a large, ornate lintel, was the living room.
I would flick the lights off and on a couple of times and he’d stop working and see what I wanted. So there I was, in the dead of night Christmas Eve, reaching for the light switch with a bad feeling in my stomach. I frantically flicked the basement lights off and on. The drill stopped. ” I scolded. “You can NOT be using a drill right now! You’re drunk. ” “Too . . late,” he said distantly, coming into view at the bottom of the stairs, just as I had begun my descent. His head was hung sheepishly and he was tugging at the stretched and mangled sleeve of his Doctor Dentons, looking like a slightly oversize child who knows he has done a bad thing.
Perched on a wooden folding chair, in the corner between a long, cluttered set of Craftsman-style bookcases and the draped front windows, she was hunched into the shape of a question mark. She either couldn’t or didn’t want to look up. She was wearing a dark shapeless jacket and had a cat in her lap. The real estate lady didn’t exactly introduce us, but rather she rhetorically presented a pair of facts: that we were visitors and that this was the owner. “Hello,” the hunched woman said, not unpleasantly, but she seemed to be speaking more to the cat than to us.
All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House by David Giffels