Saturday, 31 July 2021
Long before the present owners bought the place, this was the driveway to Hope’s cottage. It was white inside and out, with a long south-facing porch, and there was a closet in the back that had many puzzles we were allowed to select from on rainy days. The living room had a shelf with all the Wizard of Oz books in hardback, each with a different color cover; I was quite surprised later to find out that most people didn’t know there was more than one Oz book—the one I liked best was pale lilac…yes, I liked it for the special color rather than the contents. Anyway, much of the interior had beadboard for paneling, and it was the first building I remember noticing it. Hope taught me to make potato salad in the kitchen. One potato and one hard boiled egg per person, and one of each “for the pot.” Still a good ratio. Hope’s husband was in a wheelchair from mid-life (polio? dunno), and she needed to support the family, so she began a diaper cleaning service called what sounded to me like Di-Dee Wash that catered to households in the wealthier suburbs of Detroit. She did very well. Hope was a friend of my grandmother’s from college days, and that’s why she had the cottage on the hill and across the road from my grandparents’ property. I recall hearing that part of the original building had been a chicken house, thoroughly cleaned and moved and painted to become part of the meandering layout of the cottage.