I pretty much described the cellar at the end of this post.
I spent a lot of time in the basement. Whenever Cleo was angry (or for whatever capricious reason she decided I needed to go to the basement) that’s where I’d be. But I wasn’t always kept in the basement. It doesn’t take long to break a 3 year old and I had nowhere to run either. It was a big house.
The door at the top of the basement opened up into a hallway. It had one time been a grand house but Cleo and Lou had not kept it in good repair.
In the hallway, right directly in front of me when they let me out of the basement was the dining room. It was a very large room with very high ceilings with hardwood floor. The walls were covered in wallpaper – pale yellow flowers with a green background. There were white cabinets that took up the whole of one side of its wall. It had a large rock-looking fireplace with a large cherry table in the center. Around the table were 12 matching chairs. The dining room had its own outside entrance. This room was kept very clean because this is where Cleo would receive guests.
A room next to the dining room the door was always closed. It was a big room as well. The walls were white. This room was full all kinds of things, from TV’s, other electronics, and other items of just about every kind that were piled from floor to ceiling. Cleo owned rental properties in Philadelphia. She would steal from her own tenants, bring the items to the farm, and then sell them at the Montgomeryville Mart, a flea market down the road.
Going back down the hall past the root cellar door, there was another room that they called the “sitting room.” It too had a large fireplace. The walls were painted a pale green and there was a green couch and Lou’s recliner. There was a large cabinet where Cleo and Lou kept their alcohol. There was a regular size kitchen table. This is where they ate when they weren’t entertaining. You could walk through this room and through another door into the “Big Kitchen.”
The “Big Kitchen” was as bigger than I have since seen some industrial size kitchens. It had 2 large porcelain sinks. Cleo had her range, refrigerator and 3 large freezers where she would keep the butchered meat from the cows slaughtered that year. The walls were tan. I’m not sure if they were painted tan, or had just not been scrubbed and turned that way.
You could either turn left and go into the Dining Room, or turn right and go down 4 steps into the “Little Kitchen.” She had another freezer in this kitchen and an apartment size range. In the corner of the “Little Kitchen” was a pot belly stove. There was one door to the outside of this kitchen. There was another door that went up a narrow set of stairs to a small room with a cathedral ceiling. This room had a single bed and was decorated for a little girl. It was painted white.
There was no heat in this part of the house in the winter. The only heat came from the pot belly stove in the “Little Kitchen” below. If I left the door open it was pretty warm.
Going back to the hallway where the cellar was. There was a wooden grand-staircase. It was wide like what you would see in a old movie.
Immediately on the second floor landing was another door. This door had four locks just like the cellar door. The door opened to a room that Lou used. He called it the “play room.” There were lots of dolls . The walls were painted neon pink and there was a canopy bed. The bedding was white with tiny pink hearts. This room wasn’t a “play room” for me, it was for Lou for the men who Cleo brought to the farm who paid for time with me.
There was a blue tile bathroom. It was larger than my basement room. The floor was tile as well.
The second floor next to Lou’s “play room” was Cleo’s bedroom. I don’t remember much about her room.
Then if you go up the stairs to the third floor, you found Lou’s bedroom. He had it decorated with his military stuff and his military chest bars and stripes. He also had 2 purple hearts. He had pictures of his son that had been killed in Vietnam. Lou drank too much and would talk about “Sonny.” His son’s name was Gold.
Then you can go up to the attic. Cleo used that as another storage space for the stolen goods.
In the next post I will do my best to describe the farm itself.