What A Place

This place I moved to is a house near a golf course in the central portion of Spokane also known as the Audubon Neighborhood. Unlike the house I lived and own, the neighborhood is far removed from the cares and concerns of crime, poverty and blight.

Most of the neighbors are a bit more affluent, work in professional careers, have lawns on tree-lined streets that are green, and the hedges trimmed. It was a place I wanted to live at, had I made more money and my preapproval amount had been significantly higher.

I received a call from my wife the other day, informing me about money matters that are a bit out of my control at the moment until I received actual money from the job I returned to. I told her that I missed her, and she stated that she and Lillie missed me too.

“Mom really misses you because you talked with her and helped her out. She really
misses that.”

She recounted her tirade against Lillie’s stepdaughter and her grandson, my stepson Terry for their sloth.

I told her the home owner has a similar issue with his 20 something son too. I glanced into his bedroom the other day: clothes strewn all about the floor, a water filled fish tank with no fish but some grayish film inside that I could only assume was a new science project he was experimenting on, an unmade bed, soda cans and empty bottles laid about the dresser, floor and table like thing. It’s a small room made smaller by the clutter.

Thankfully, the rest of the house isn’t like that room, though it isn’t clean by Lillie’s standards, not by a long shot. I told the home owner, a disabled vet who was in the National Guard, like myself, but got deployed unlike me to Kuwait and Iraq for Desert Storm, about Lillie. He chuckled at the kind of spic and span order I came from, to this.

We discussed our mutual experiences and I admitted I wrote for the holy trinity: fun, money and therapy. I told him I chose writing over drinking after my stroke I suffered in 2002.

Bob, he’s the actual room mate who helped me and Stephanie move down to Idaho. He lives in the basement with Bill’s stepdaughter and her one-year-old toddler. As far as I know she and he are not an item. They just live in the basement. He’s also a former alcoholic—I mean recovering alcoholic who helps pay the rent by donating plasma and cooking dinner.

Yesterday I helped clean the house. I did the bathroom while Bill cleaned the kitchen floor along with the floor in the living room and hall way. Bob did some dusting. The boy, Luke is his name stayed inside his closed bedroom with his dog Cooper, a Great Dane that is slightly smaller than a Shetland Pony. I think his stepdaughter snuck out while we were cleaning too. Later Bill asked Luke to give Cooper a bath.

He took the dog that stands at my hip when on all four legs, I imagined he would stand well over my head if he stood on his hind legs, outside and ran the hose and scrubbed him with doggy shampoo. Luke had to roll up his pants and remove his t shirt. Thankfully for both it was a sunny and reasonably warm afternoon by Spokane standards.

On occasion, Bill’s other son is dropped off by his ex-wife, named Josh. Josh has Downs Syndrome. He’s chubby and chummy, who likes to touch and feel and hug everyone. He has that ageless looking innocence that these people possess. I know how far that goes sometimes and Bill warned me that I needed to watch him and keep my bedroom door closed so he wouldn’t be tempted to go inside. I think she brought Josh here yesterday but then they left. I stayed in my room, figuring I wasn’t needed. I did overhear some yelling prior to them leaving, so I guess there was an issue, and I chose to stay out of it.

We get along I think because we all share a connection. We all are recovering alcoholics who work extremely hard at sobriety. Mine is the writing, the other two, uses their Christian faith and Bill’s son Josh to keep them away from the brown jug. How long will I stay here in this house? I have no idea, but because I am taking everything one day at a time, it might be soon, or it might be months down the road. It is nice here though; what a place.

Published by Jerry Schellhammer

Jerry, a published author of both published and self-published books, is devoting his time and efforts to his craft after having retired from the previous job as a janitor at Northern Quest Resort and Casino. He now calls Gooding, Idaho his home. Writing is his passion and he now has a successfully published book and another on the way to being published later this year. He has a BA in English with emphasis in professional writing from Washington State University. His website: www.jerryschellhammer.com is available for everyone to see. In it are the lists of published books available both through Amazon and Barnes & Noble in eBook and print format.

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