By David Giffels
With the lyrics of a Replacements music working via his head ("Look me within the eye, then inform me that i am satisfied"), David Giffels—with his spouse and baby son in tow—combs the environs of Akron, Ohio, looking for definitely the right condo for his burgeoning family members. the search ends on the entrance door of a pretty yet decaying Gilded Age mansion, the once-grand former place of dwelling of a rubber-industry govt. It lacks useful plumbing and electrical energy, leaks rain like a caricature shack, and is infested with all demeanour of natural world. yet for a tender father at a coming-of-age crossroads, the problem is exactly the attract. the entire method house is Giffels's humorous, poignant, and confounding trip in the course of the nice experience of restoring a crumbling condominium for you to studying what the phrases "grown up" and "home" fairly suggest.
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Additional info for All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House
Yourself. Black Flag’s street ethic was just as authentic as my father’s shaving mug. These were my lessons. I followed them when I built the log furniture, when I laid the driveway, when I gave the bricks from the retaining wall the Gift of Eternal Life. The products were fine, but the idea that I could make them myself—that created a self-perpetuating, intoxicating energy. What appeared to be a pastime became an obsession, one with a lock-solid justification. 26 ] David G iffe ls This was not golf.
I think the answer had begun two Christmases before, in the wee hours of the morning. We had been married six years, and I was pregnant with Evan. We had spent Christmas Eve as we did every year, at David’s parents’ house. We always celebrated it big. Lots of food. Lots of drinks. Five months’ pregnant, I had the perspective of the wife who wasn’t drinking. So I was able to watch David drink enough for the two of us. I was able to watch when his dad brought out a bottle of cognac and David, who doesn’t drink cognac regularly (or maybe even “ever”), drank it like water.
I asked. There was a problem at the closing, the woman said. A dispute over who would pay for termite treatment. I tried to remove the word termite from her answer, hastily reckoning that termites couldn’t do much damage to a brick house. Could they? I asked if I—if we, my wife and I—might be able to see the house. The woman said yes, but she would have to contact the owner to set up a time. When we pulled into the driveway for our appointment with A ll t h e Wa y H o m e [ 33 the real estate lady, the sun disappeared above the arch of trees and vines—vines that crossed and doubled back and crossed again in a troubled wild lattice.