My Dad wrote me a touching limerick when I was 16-years old. I came home from school one day and found it, sketched onto the back of a large piece of wrapping paper and hanging from the doorway of my bedroom.”
There once was a girl named Lar
Who was the sloppiest girl by far
She had a room
But lacked a broom
Now she sleeps in a place with a car.
So proud was he of this little tribute to my high school housekeeping skills, that he popped it up repeatedly throughout that year. Eventually it found a permanent home on the basement walls of our house.
Graffiti fills the walls leading to the basement of our house, which we purchased from my mom in 1995.
It all began with my own surprise 16th birthday party back in 1980. My mom had been planning to paint the basement walls anyway, so she told my friends they could write on them to decorate for the party.
The walls still haven’t been painted and, in the 30 years since, the graffiti has spread beautifully. It marks the heights of our children, and the wit of their friends. Foreign exchange students have signed the walls, as have all our young friends.
The wall marks special occasions like prom and 16th birthdays, and ordinary ones like the day cousin Erin came to play.
One day I came home from picking up our babysitter. In a hurry to get to a meeting, I hustled her and the children into the house. A policeman greeted us as we approached the door.
“There’s been a report of an intruder,” he said.
“Seriously?” I asked. I’m ashamed to say I wasn’t even concerned, just focused on making it to my meeting on time.
I opened the front door and began to walk in.
“Ma’am, I really think I should check it out,” said the policeman.
“Oh, of course,” I said.
We waited on the porch while he looked around.
“Oh ma’am,” he said. “Someone has written all over your walls.”
I’m sure he was startled when I laughed.
Turns out someone had taken a break on a front porch and rested on one of the chairs sitting there.
No harm done.
But I really should have asked that police officer to sign our wall!