The Attic

February 1, 2015 at 8:15 am (Fun) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Shirley Jackson, in her book Life Among the Savages, writes longingly about the first house she raised her children in. It was old, it was large, it had five attics one of which could only be accessed from above one of the others.

I am intriqued by attics. Exciting things happen in attics. Scary things happen in attics (ghosts like to live in attics). Attics are for hiding in and exploring. One could lose days, weeks, months, years trapped in an attic with only one’s imagination for company.

SC Funeral Home 01

What type of houses have attics?

Century old farmhouses have attics. Houses newer than 100 years old very seldom have attics. Attics need space and air to grow. They need time to ripen.

Manor houses have attics. Former owners, who use to have a lot of money now only have memories and attics to store those memories in.

Seaside cottages have attics. There must be a place to store unused beach chairs during the off-season and a place to dry swimming suits in the summer with room for beds and reading and day dreaming.

Haunted houses have attics. It’s a common fact that ghosts like attics to reside in. Basement are too damp and the rest of the house is too busy accommodating the living. Ghosts, on occasion, will stomp through a kitchen or preen in a bathroom mirror but at daybreak they prefer an attic to retire to.

What happens in attics?

Adventures happen in attics. Hours are wiled away as corners are explored, trunks are opened and new friends are made. Cats slink in corners and bats rest in the rafters.

Doors open to new worlds. Are you in the past, present or future now? No one really knows anymore and no one really cares.

In a blink of the eye children grow up and move away only to return with their own children in tow. Old men wear hats. Dresses have bustles. Which queen is it in that picture? Whose baby carriage was that? Is that really old great-aunt Mildred in that picture? She looks so young and witty there.

Half-asleep, drowsing in the attic heat, young girls discover love.

SC House 01

What gets stored in attics?

In this corner there are dress up clothes. There are luxurious wedding finery, tiny little baby blankets and grandfather’s stovepipe hat. What shall we try on first?

In this box are old toys. There is a tea set, a train set, many, many dolls and a worn teddy bear. Who will come alive first – that creey doll or that patchy tan teddy bear?

Like a maze, there is old furniture everywhere. We wind our way around old chairs, duck under the oak table and pause, wondering if we should dare open the ebony wardrobe. The little one stops to pet the hobby horse. The older ones are intrigued by the steamer trunks. What journeys have they been on? Why does no one travel like that anymore?

All these trunks, scattered willy-nilly, hither and yon, hold such treasures and wonders within.

Whose love letters are these?

Key Hole Window

Does anyone have an attic (or two, or three) that I could explore?

February’s posts will be inspired by the Ray Bradbury Noun List.

1 Comment

  1. Blueberry Muffins & Red Wine [a letter] | Ramisa the Authoress said,

    […] Solitary Spinster The Attic […]

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