By David Giffels
With the lyrics of a Replacements track operating via his head ("Look me within the eye, then inform me that i am satisfied"), David Giffels—with his spouse and boy or girl son in tow—combs the environs of Akron, Ohio, looking for the proper condominium for his burgeoning relations. the search ends on the entrance door of a pretty yet decaying Gilded Age mansion, the once-grand former place of dwelling of a rubber-industry govt. It lacks useful plumbing and electrical energy, leaks rain like a comic strip shack, and is infested with all demeanour of natural world. yet for a tender father at a coming-of-age crossroads, the problem is exactly the attract. the entire manner house is Giffels's humorous, poignant, and confounding trip in the course of the nice event of restoring a crumbling residence with a purpose to gaining knowledge of what the phrases "grown up" and "home" quite suggest.
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Additional info for All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House
They anchored the front and rear corners of that end of the house, one above the dining room and one above the kitchen, and they were connected by a walkthrough bathroom with a whole wall of built-in closets. Those rooms were filled with more of the same—decay loaded up with the detritus of some old lady’s lifetime, an old lady who owned furs and whose furs had decomposed. Who was she? Where did she come from and how had she come to this? Mashed together were piles of trash and expensive antiques, without distinction.
Not directly, anyway. Instead, we sat late into the evening in our semiremarkable dining room, talking about the old-fashioned pearl push-button light switches, without raising the question of their wiring. We talked about the bank of leadedglass windows across the back wall, and not about the fact that the glazing was falling from the hundreds of panes of glass that encased the house. ) We talked about the central vacuum system, which must have A ll t h e Wa y H o m e [ 49 been state of the art for its time, and whose machinery was still in place in the basement, looking like something from Stalin-era Russia.
One door at the rear of the suite opened to a long, cramped hallway of closets whose row of doors was streaked with brown and whose casings were rotten at the bottom. I wasn’t supposed to, but I opened one of the doors and saw that the shelf was covered thickly with wet, rotting leaves, which had entered through the hole I could see in the roof valley above. On the inside of the door were tiny muddy handprints, which I recognized as raccoon. I closed the door. There was a tall window at the end of this oddly tight corridor.
All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House by David Giffels