Saturday, June 12, 2010

Escape Artists

The old house my folks purchased for our family had two floors. Renters had occupied the upstairs as an apartment, and it was reached by a long outside stairway. When the renters moved out, my uncle, who was an expert carpenter, volunteered to build us an inside stairway, so we could make the most of both floors for our ever growing family.

Cutting a hole in the downstairs ceiling of a hall closet, he built a steep but serviceable staircase leading to the top floor. The downstairs had only possessed one bedroom, and a small sleeping porch, but now we were able to access both floors, and enjoy a bedroom for each child.

As we grew up in that old house, and reached teen age years, I discovered if we exited the window in my brother’s sleeping area, we could climb onto the roof, crawl around to the other side of the roof, hold on to a drain pipe and carefully lower our foot down to the rail on the outside stair case. From there it was an easy climb down to the porch, and as silently as possible we could slip down the stairs.

We planned this escapade on a night when my two girl friends, Shirley and Grace were spending the night. My brother and sister went along with my idea. Our other neighbor friends had intended to meet us at an arranged time. Five of us made our get a-way and were filled with excitement at our smooth departure, and we felt pleasure that we had put one over on mom and dad. Meeting our friends, we all strutted down to the boulevard to purchase hot dogs for all. Upon returning to my friend’s cottage in the rear of his mom’s place, we played cards and listened to music until we were finally exhausted.

It was time for us to return home, so the five of us carefully repeated in reverse fashion our escape that was now a re-entry. Whew, we made it safe, tired and happy; and we pounced off to bed and to sleep.

Early the next morning about 6:00 AM, we were rudely awakened by my mother telling us to get dressed. It so happened that my dad who is a light sleeper had over heard us come in around midnight. That morning he informed my mother that we kids had been gone several hours during the night by using the roof and the outside stairway.

“No breakfast for you all,” mother informed us. First we will all go to Shirley’s house across the street, and you can confess to her mother, the danger that you put her in by having her climb out on that roof.

Oh yes, we were embarrassed, but Shirley’s mother took it all too well. She knew Shirley would not try that again, and at least Shirley had experienced a “great adventure.”

Next on the agenda, up the hill, mother, Grace and I, marched to Grace’s house to wake up her parents. Mother required me to explain that I had endangered their daughter’s life, and she could have fallen off the roof, and that would not be good. Grace’s mom and dad also took it in good stride, and were pleased that no one was hurt.

Needless to say, we did not use that escape route again. Mom and dad felt we had all learned our lesson just by being scandalized with our confessions to our friends parents.

Seems like I constantly got caught when ever I tried to pull a fast one! Mother always told me, “Be sure your sin will find you out,” and that was certainly true, for it always did find me out!

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