Okay! Finally! Something more normal to write about! Because I want people to, y’know, keep reading this shit.

I really am sorry if that last post didn’t float anybody’s boat. I guess I mostly did that one for myself, and honestly I wasn’t all that inspired when I wrote it, so…yeah. Excuses, excuses. I’m a freaky weirdo and we all know it. Moving on.

I was trying to come up with something to write about next, so I started thinking of old stuff. Considered doing a couple of things, and then a memory popped into my head. And of course, it’s one of those that’s positively loaded with nostalgia, so it’s perfect material for a post. A peaceful Saturday morning is a great time to write about such things, so here we go.

When I was a little girl, I desperately wanted a playhouse. But, as you probably guessed, they were and are really expensive. Like, the Power Wheels kind of expensive, which to a four-year-old is like a thousand hundred million dollars. I used to ask my dad to build one for me, but he’s never been much of a builder and my four-year-old brain didn’t understand that all the materials needed to build a decent one would also cost a big lump of cash. So this is one of those childhood dreams that almost went unfulfilled.

No, I never got a playhouse, but I did have the next best thing, and I loved it to death. To an adult, it was just a hole under the stairs that needed to be closed up. To me, it was a second home within my home– within my own room, even.

The house we lived in back then was old (built in the 20s or 30s I think) and had a weird floor plan. My room was sort of like the center of the house. You had to pass through it to get to my parents’ room and the bathroom. And around the corner was the staircase. The house didn’t originally have a staircase– my grandfather put it in when I was very young. The wall that covered it wasn’t completely finished at the time, so there was an opening underneath the stairs.

Since I’d been wanting my own secret place, I took to it right away. The “room” was big enough for me to stand up in, but any adults would have had to stoop down. It would have been dark too, but there was either a light put under there or a lamp. It was also just big enough to fit my kid-sized wooden table and chairs and– get this –my Rainbow Brite toy fridge and stove.

Lots of time was spent playing make-believe in that hole under the stairs. One of my favorite games back then was playing house. (I still like “playing house” today.) I would sit at my table and pretend to eat the fake food from my fake fridge.

Now, since that damn fridge meant a lot to me, I’m going to go on about it at length. Here, I even managed to find pictures of it by searching the web! They’re not real clear, but they’re better than nothing and I’m very grateful to this person for posting them.

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There’s the front of the fridge. That text there in the cloud says “Rite Hite”. Indeed it was. I love how the Sprite on the top door is giving Rainbow a scoop of ice cream.

The “freezer” and “fridge” doors both opened so you could store stuff in there. I mostly put books and crayons and stuff in it, which is pretty hilarious.

Now, let’s look inside…

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Okay, well, the photo’s too blurry and JPEG’d to really see what’s in there. But that’s why you have me here to describe it for you! (Aren’t you glad.) I swear I must have had nothing to do as a child, because I can remember sitting and staring at all kinds of pictures for long (or, at least, they felt long) periods of time. One of those things I used to do this to is the painted-on food inside this refrigerator. I remember some of the details even though I haven’t seen the thing in like 17 years or something. The picture definitely helps though.

Up on the very top, there are some of those canned frozen juices– from concentrate of course. Apparently, those were big in the 80s for some reason because I remember my mom and Grandmama having them around a lot. I never liked drinking them, but whatever.

On the shelf under that is a bunch of frozen-y sweets. I remember that one of them is a bag of frozen strawberries, and at least one of them is ice cream, and there’s some Cool Whip-looking stuff too. Those were always my favorite things to pretend to eat.

In the “fridge”, there are some eggs. Right next to them, for some reason, is a flower. I distinctly remember wondering why that flower was there. As far as I know, flowers pretty much never get stored in the fridge.

The rest of the stuff I don’t really remember in detail; from the looks of it, it seems like a collection of various condiments and drinks. I have just realized that the “food” in this thing isn’t even really food. But then again, I guess actual food isn’t kept in the doors of real-life fridges either.

Anyway. Another game I liked to play while hiding out in there was to pretend to watch TV. I had a Fisher-Price music box toy that looked like a little TV set. Had dials on the front and everything. When you wound it up, there was a scrolling picture as well as music. And I would make believe it was a real television. I even made up my own jingles for the pretend channels.

Now, why in the hell did I do this when I could just go watch something for real? Well, my best guess is that this was probably what I did when somebody else was using the TV, maybe when my mom was watching Young and the Restless or some lame crap like that. Or it could just be that I liked to pretend I could pick up stations from other states. Yes, even at four I understood this concept.

Before we had cable, every once in a while, a station from Fort Worth, Texas– channel 11 –would come in on our TV by some fluke of nature. Fort Worth is a couple hundred miles or more from where we lived at the time, so that’s pretty amazing.

The first time this happened, it blew my fricking mind. I thought TV only came from Oklahoma City, so when that channel showed up all fuzzy on the screen, I was fascinated. And from that point on, I always wondered what TV was like in other places. (The answer, of course, is…pretty much the same. But I didn’t find that out until years later.) This is probably the obsession that my love of station IDs was born from.

I do sort of feel like this post is all over the place, but the playhouse under the stairs is one of my favorite childhood memories, and I wanted to immortalize it somehow. Hopefully somebody out there enjoyed reading it. So, until the next post– which won’t be very long, so stay tuned –be excellent to each other. And…party on, dudes!

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