"Live a good life, and in the end, it's not the years in the life, it's the life in the years."

A home is a store house of memories

By on February 22, 2021 in Columnist with 0 Comments
Mike Cassidy

By Mike Cassidy

Editor

I smiled when the story on the featured home for this month came in, as it is the house on South Cleveland Street we owned in the 1990s.

We had been looking for a house in Wenatchee to buy and my wife saw it first. She liked the neighborhood of historical houses and was a frisbee throw to her beloved grandmother’s home and had bedrooms for each of our three kids and us.

Walking in, I instantly fell in love with the beamed ceilings in the living room, the historical vibe and the fact it appeared to be a “mechanic’s special,” that is an old home needing updating. That scratched an itch in me,  because for the previous five years, we had been renting and my need to cut, saw, hammer and basically make a sawdust mess had gone unsatisfied.

So, we bought it.

The first night, after tucking the little darlings in bed upstairs, I came down the narrow, steep stairway, and slipping near the bottom, bounced, bounced, bounced my way to the bottom.

Ouch! And ouch for several days to come.

I am sure I later read in a history piece an early Wenatchee mayor had taken the same fall down the same stairs, but died from his tumble. (This anecdote seems to live more in my brain than any historical document, but my brain won’t give it up.)

Being an old house, and the site of a violent death, I wondered if the house might be haunted. But ghosts, really? Ha-ha.

We started filling the house with some antiques — such as on old upright school piano — and the odds and sods that come with a young family.

Being close to downtown gave us easy walking access to Grannie, the library, the Plaza Super Jet market and parks.

Maybe too easy, because one day, our daughter came home with a kitten, saying someone at Memorial Park was giving away a wagon full of them. 

Has any father ever looked into the eyes of his pleading daughter holding a kitten and said, “No.” Once she had a cat, the boys got kittens to make it “even” and we became a cat house, even though I was raised with dogs.

So, the ghost. My wife and I were asleep one night on our waterbed (this was the 1990s, right?) when we heard the tinking of piano keys coming from the front room.

What the heck? I fumbled from the sloshing bed, grabbed a tennis racquet leaning against the wall in case there was a musical burglar in our house, and ever so slowly opened the door from our bedroom adjoining the front room, fully expecting to see either a thief or an apparition at the piano.

Nope. Instead it was a cat walking across the piano’s keys. Cats — creatures who like to play at night.

A few years later when we had the house on the market, I came home to the darken house for lunch. We owned The Wenatchee Business Journal then and the latest issue contained a story about a local Realtor who was accused of financial shenanigans. We didn’t usually write investigative stories, but felt this was a situation where we needed to alert readers who had done business with this individual, or were thinking about it, to know what they might be getting into.

Parking in the driveway, I opened the back door onto the kitchen when this very same individual stepped out of a dark hallway right towards me.

My. Heart. Stopped. I would say visions of every bad slasher movie flashed through my head, but in truth, my mind was stunned into blankness.

After an eternity but really a second, he said, “We have a client who might be interested in your house, Mike. I just wanted to look around.” 

Whew!

That’s home ownership for you: sometimes painful, sometimes scary, and often full of family memories.

Stay home, stay safe, and enjoy The Good Life.

— Mike

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