The “Big House”

It’s nice to remember and think about some fun childhood memories”…

Big House with porch good

The “Big House” – a story…

It’s funny sometimes how little strange thoughts will hit you out of the blue at the most unlikely time and place. I was standing in a bird sanctuary at the zoo not long ago…one of those enclosed cage-like areas where the birds are free to fly about and land on rails and perches situated throughout, or even land on you if they so please.  Other “things” can land on you in the sanctuary as well if you don’t stay alert! 🙂
Before long, a beautiful yellow parakeet landed on a perch right in front of my nose. At that instant I was reminded, of all things, about Hattie the Housekeeper, whom I last saw when I was about eight or nine years old. Now Hattie was quite the character, a prerequisite for anyone that could work in our house, but that is an entirely different story. That aside,  what I recall about Hattie the most was her constant companion, a yellow parakeet who never left her shoulder, hardly ever! Now Hattie only worked at our house a day or two a week because her main job was working in my Dad’s family homestead a few blocks away from us, or what I called the “Big House”. 
I wrote a little about the “Big House” in my poem “Grandma’s Willow Tree” posted here. It was where my Grandmother and Grandfather on my Dad’s side had resided and raised eight children. The story was that my father had been delivered right in that house on the huge wooden table in the kitchen. Story details were always a bit sketchy as Grandma and Grandpa were  German and Grandma didn’t speak good English and really didn’t talk very much. By the time I came along they were living in the “Little House” out back and two uncles and aunts and two cousins were living in the “Big House”.
I loved to go to the “Big House” and did every chance I got because my cousin Karen and I were fairly close in age and loved to play together. We would watch Grandpa Elmer cut off the chickens heads upstairs in the barn and throw their bodies in the barrel of sawdust.  Sometimes he would humor us and set one down and it would run around in circles….proof that the saying “running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off” is a valid one! We would giggle our heads off at this.
Then we would go out in the garden and pick big juicy Ohio tomatoes and crunchy turnips, washing them off with the hose before gobbling down as many as we could. But the highlight was our secret hiding site. Yes, out behind the garden in a brushy area someone had ditched an old cast iron stove so we set it upright and cleaned it up.Then we filched all manner of little camping needs from “The Big House” and took them over a period of time to the site. We also made plenty of mud pies out there on that old black stove.We talked and laughed until our sides hurt. We didn’t dare get too loud or Grandma would start screeching in German at poor Grandpa – what? we never knew. When we heard that we would high-tail it to the “Big House” and hide!  And then there were  the “big” annual family reunions held in the “Big House” yard.
Denlinger Family Reunion 001I am second and Karen is third from left sitting on the ground. (The house porch shown  above is not the “Big House” as I could not find  a good picture to scan but it was similar). Can you believe all those family members were living in the same area? My how the times have changed!
The point of this story I suppose is that the unexpected yellow parakeet at the zoo all these many years later set off a chain of thoughts in my head and brought about some happy memories, thoughts and feelings . For me, that they were from my childhood made this experience even better.
I can only hope with all my heart that  my children and their children and so on down the line will have fond childhood memories to recall…and you too!

About DiAnne Ebejer

I am retired and live on the East coast of Florida where I spend much of my time reading, playing with photography and trying to write some "poetry and then some" at I care deeply about many things and wish there was much more love and compassion in this world today. I also have a part time blog "Thought You Might Like This" used for special projects and occasional things of interest
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2 Responses to The “Big House”

  1. Lovely story DiAnne. And it is interesting how one little thing can trigger such memory as though it were yesterday.


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