Saturday, May 24, 2014

Old screen door

"How many slams in an old screen door? Depends on how loud you shut it. How many slices in a bread? Depends on how thin you cut it. How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live 'em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give 'em." - Shel Silverstein

It wasn't unusual to hear the screen door slam, and Mom put another plate on the table. When I was a little girl, the screen door came directly into the kitchen. Later after the remodel, the screen was on the screened porch. The creak of the spring moving to open that screen door always signaled hands coming in from the fields, Dad returning from the milk route, Loxley girls coming home from school.
The sound of the screen door wasn't usually followed by a knock on the door. Nope. Most people knew to just walk into the house. That was the way it was on the farm back the lane.

I loved that old screen door, that sound of the old spring doing its job. We don't have many screen doors here in Oregon. There is little need for storm doors. When my cousins, Gene and Betty Johnson came to visit, they were amazed that we left the door open. Then he noticed that lack of flies. I'd been here long enough not to notice. Perhaps it was then I began missing the old screen door.

"Anybody home?!" Doris yelled through the door. Mom yelled back from wherever she happened to be at the time. They sat and chatted. Mom in her apron. Doris in hers. After a bit, Doris walked through the door. Mom stood there with the screen open talking until Doris headed back down the lane, returning home. Sometimes Mom would go on out on the porch and sit on the swing. On warm summer days, her youngest daughter flitted around with the flyswatter splatting dead flies all over the screen door. Mom would point them out, and I would dash after them. The old swatter was a floppy old thing that sounded like a whip in the hands of a pro. Sometimes Dad would watch me with his upturned hand resting on his knee. He loved to show me up by catching a fly between his fingers. Ah, good times by the old screen door.


I think perhaps Shel Silverstein heard a few screen doors slam when he grew up in Chicago. That sound is part of my growing up and probably the same for some of you. When I returned home with my children in later years, I walked the lane to the house next door, "Doris, you home?"

1 comment:

Axiesdad said...

This post conjures up memories. Now we have combination storm/screen doors with those automatic closer cylinders and it just isn't the same. And visitors knock (if we ever have any). Thanks for bringing back good times.