For 2019 I'm running a year-long series on my blog in which I share my responses to the writing assignment prompts found in THE BUTTERLY HOURS by Patty Dann.
The house on Burns Lane in Birmingham, AL had a staircase in the corner of the foyer that turned and became a small balcony that led to my younger brother's bedroom and one side and mine and my sister's bedrooms on the other side. One of my childhood gripes was how once we moved into that house, my father no longer came into our rooms to bid us goodnight. He was obese for much of my childhood, and climbing stairs was not something he could comfortably do. I'm not sure which I resented more – him (and his weight) or the stairs. I just thought if he loved us, he would climb the stairs anyway. And when he didn't, I felt unloved and forgotten.
Another (happier) memory from the same set of stairs was my first date with Paul. I was in college, living at home, and when he rang the doorbell to pick me up on our first (blind) date, I was still (strategically) in my room. My mom answered the door, and I made my grand entrance coming down those stairs as Paul watched, smiling, from the foyer. With what happy faces we greeted one another! I remember how his cheeks lifted, how round and rosy they were, like a little kid's. And how his hair flipped up above his ears. Adorable! Of course I had to marry him! :)
Currently we live on a mountainous lake which offers an amazing view, and to get to the water, there's a 150-step staircase. Getting down there is not a problem. It's the coming-back-up! Our son uses the staircase like bleachers and runs them as part of his exercise regime. We, too, use those stairs with joy and pep in our step – who needs a gym membership? It's all in how you frame it... and it all balances out, because our home is 100% one-level living. It's not for everyone, but we feel like we have the best of both... and our “Overlook” is one of our favorite parts of the place. It's a giant rock right on the edge near where the stair begin and where we've got a couple of Adirondack chairs for looking out over the water and up in the sky at the eagles, geese, herons, clouds... lovely!