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201 Holland Street
by Jackie Cooper



My family moved to 201 Holland Street when I was five years old, I think. I have never been positive of my age at the time of the move, but I do know the day was rainy. We had been living up the street in Miss Bessie's house, and Daddy moved all of our furniture in the back of a pick-up truck to our new house down the street. I was packed in the back with some of the furniture and I could smell the rain in the air. Luckily the bad weather held off until he got everything moved inside . . . and then the rain started to pour.

It's funny how I remember the rain. It was soothing, as if it were telling me everything was alright because we were warm and safe in a new house that would be a great home for us. And it was.

The house wasn't very big. It had two bedrooms and one bath. There was also a hall where the floor furnace was, as well as a kitchen and living room. There was also a stoop in the front and back and also a huge screened side porch. Mother put rockers on the side porch and we spent many an hour sitting out there with the breezes blowing, just rocking the days away.

In the wintertime in order to save on fuel Mother heated the kitchen by letting down the oven door. When I woke up in the mornings I would fly into the kitchen and be as warm as could be. On the coldest of days the furnace was going and we stood on the grate over the heating part until our feet got too hot and we had to move.

In the summer we opened all the windows in the house and let the breezes blow through. I never remember the house being overheated. Those windows did their job. We did add fans in the windows from time to time. We took box fans and crammed them in and let them bring the cooler air to us.

The front porch stoop had railings on both sides. We had only been in the house for a few months when the post on the left side of the stoop moved forward and broke the concrete that held it. The post didn't come off, but there was a chip in the concrete where it had moved. I liked that the house had that flaw. It meant it wasn't perfect and neither was I.

I lived at 201 Holland Street until my mother died when I was fourteen. Even through her illness I still loved being in that house. I didn't hold her sickness against the house. It tried to keep us safe, but germs and illness come to even the strongest fortresses.

After my mother's death, my father built a new house in the adjoining lot. That is where we lived when he married my stepmother. I never liked the new house. And even though the old house was rented out, it was still my house - my family home.

Now my father and stepmother are dead. My cousin and I have equal interest in 201 Holland Street, and we have put it on the market. The home has been redone and I am told it looks great. I haven't seen it but will before it is sold.

It's hard to think strangers will own that house and it will no longer be mine. A new family will move in. I hope it rains on their moving day.

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Jackie K. Cooper was born in South Carolina and now lives in Georgia. He is the married father of two sons and the proud grandparent of a boy and a girl.

He is familiar to people living in the middle Georgia area as the "entertainment man" since his entertainment reviews run in newspapers and are shown on television there. His short stories have also been used as commentary on Georgia Public Radio.

Cooper has lived an exceptionally interesting life. Portions of it were contained in his first book JOURNEY OF A GENTLE SOUTHERN MAN. Now the journey continues in his second book titled CHANCES AND CHOICES.



Write Jackie Cooper at this e-mail address
and be sure to visit his excellent web site: jackiekcooper.com.



~Read more of Jackie's stories at USADEEPSOUTH~
Alzheimer's: The value of humor
Jackie White
Online Dating
Finding Your Face
In Praise of Red-Headed Girls
Fear Itself
Men and Their Automobiles
It's All About Me!
Moments of Memories
Walking Tall
Never Too Old To Hurt


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