because it’s late, and because i’m spending time with my mommy.

I took a few pictures today of gramma’s house. My mother and her family have really cleaned this place out since the last time I saw it, and I was surprised at how small everything looked, when I was used to it being so big.

This is the front of the house. My mother wants me to mention that the “crap in the front yard” is because they are having garage sales to sell the furniture, clothing and everything else that they find that the appraisers aren’t interested in. For all of you eBay lovers, I’ll be sure to tell you when we start auctioning depression glass. And all sorts of other glass. I don’t know, there’s lots of glass. And War things. Big “Help Your Soldiers” signs and stuff. Flags. An old gurney from WWII. I don’t know. Gramma has one of everything ever invented. At least, that’s what I thought. I now know from going through the attic that she also has one of everything that has a patent pending.

Those stairs on the front of the house used to have a small fence around them, and that’s where Gramma kept her thirty-seven dogs. Okay, like seven, but really, so many Chihuahuas, (you try and spell that word), they all look like hundreds of the same yippie dog.

This is the corner of the house. Apparently every single relative that’s ever lived here has snuck out of this house by the third-floor window and then jumped off that second story landing. At least, that’s what they all keep telling me. You can see in the windows now, and it was very strange for me to not see the hula hoops that were leaning against the glass when I was a kid. They are in the front yard now. That front room smells just like my memories of Gramma. When I walked in there I remembered how she helped me trap fireflies in a Mason Jar and we held them in that room (it was dark from the things blocking the window) and we watched them glow. I went to the fridge in that room for a Coke this afternoon, and I swear I heard my Gramma holler at me from the kitchen, “You don’t go fallin’ down out there, you hear me? Watch yourself, okay?”

That’s the one thing I remember most when we drove up to the house. I remember that sign, and it was right above Gramma’s Pinto. She’d …

Mom just told me she put that sign up the other week. I guess I made up that memory. Oh, well.. I like it anyway.

So, as far as you’re concerned… Gramma had thirty No Trespassing signs all over the yard. There. It’s my memory.

So, do you guys know if any of this is worth anything? Just checking. We know. That’s the garage sale stuff. But if you want any of it, come on down to Stratford.

I told you I wasn’t kidding.

And don’t you forget it.

Gramma was born in this house, but on that day it officially became hers.

I love this picture.

That’s a picture of me next to a strange clock. I keep finding pictures of myself everywhere. Today Mom showed me a letter that I had written to Gramma when I was seven. All I talked about were my new books and Sesame Street. Some things never change.

And some things just spook me out, man. Gramma has all sorts of broken, scary dolls. She had these two dolls, Peter and Patty Playpal, that she pulled from this cubby hole in the bedroom one night when I was about three. It looked to me like she was pulling small children out of the attic by their arms, and was making room for me.

Mom hid Peter and Patty in a trunk before I got here because she knows they still scare the hell out of me. I can hear them moving in the trunk. I mean it. And Mom’s all, “There were actually three dolls, but I can’t find the other one.” That’s because it’s waiting to kill me.

This was my mother’s vanity in her bedroom. Mom would like to point out that that is the “ugliest lamp in the world.” I found some of mom’s old makeup in there today. And stuff she got from boys. Hee.

Did you guys hear some yelling and laughing around dinnertime tonight? Yeah, that was the house I was in. My ears are still ringing. I’ve got some fun relatives, I tell you. Then I spent the evening looking at pictures of them when they were my age. It’s an interesting way of finding out your history.

I’m exhausted.

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