Before I ventured into the realm of share houses, I followed tradition of many country dwellers, moving out of my family’s small town home, to temporarily reside with family members in a nearby town, large enough to boast 2 sets of traffic lights. Their sons, one slightly older, and one several years younger than me also lived there with the two elder daughters coming and going as well. It was a hustle bustle household. Not least because the property was located in the middle of town, only metres from the rail line and crossing gates, adjacent to the Anglican church, a supermarket car park and aged care residential complex.
It wasn’t a spacious house. My ‘room’ was a caravan in the backyard. In an attempt to encourage domestic order, applied to the horizontal surfaces in the house were plastic shrouded signs advising “Please Clean Up After Yourself. Cups and Dishes Go In Sink”. “DO NOT Leave Mugs Here”. And at the sink, “DO NOT Leave Dirty Dishes In Sink. WASH THEM UP”. Mostly the signs served as placemats and coasters, evidenced by the imprint of rings.
Dinners could get a bit interesting if the Man of the House was cooking. This occurred only when we’d been out socialising, aka to the pub for a few after work drinks. If we hadn’t had a counter tea, upon arriving home he’d announce I’ll make dinner. I need an apple and an orange. If we had the misfortune to have these at hand, he’d chop them up and they’d go in the frypan with whatever else could be found. With a slice of toast it was edible. Mostly. Especially if you were hungry.
Shortly after I moved in, I caught up with an old friend who didn’t know the details of my new living situation. Over drinks he regaled me with his recent adventure, which went something like this… I went to score off this bloke who had some good stuff. I called ’round to his house and while we were doing business these other 2 blokes came to the back door, one had a sawn off shotty, so we bolted through the house out the side door and over the railway line up the street where the ‘wagon was in the car park but they came after us and chased us until we lost them at…
A couple of days later, the Lady of the House caught up with me for a chat, which went something like this… It’s ok now, but there’s been some trouble. Senior Son had a mate over and a couple of young blokes came around the back looking to break in. They had a gun so Senior Son and his mate took off out the front to get away from them, and were able to escape… Just so you know.
Younger Son and I got along well. So well that he decided to play a trick on me. As I entered the kitchen through the back door, he jumped out from behind, launched himself at me yelling gaagggghhhhh. Unfortunately he didn’t clear the door’s path before doing so and in shock, screaming, I slammed the door at him, knocking him senseless to the ground. When he came around he got an earful from the Lady of the House for scaring me. This was a little unfair. I thought we were even.
The Lady of the House when it came time for me to leave, kindly, generously handed back to me all the $50 per week board I’d been paying. We continue to debate to this day over who pays what.
“Sharing is caring. Caring is loving. Loving is amazing.” Unknown