PREFACE (which I generally never read in a book)
I wrote these fables for my grandchildren Ethan, Addi, Sophie and Henry Rommel. Math love runs in the family so titled them with a number. The moral, or “what’s the point?” is something I noticed they enjoyed discovering when we read Aesop’s fables.
These stories come from the home movies playing in my mind. Jill’s the star, but her family wins the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
The Mitchell Girls, Wendy, Jill, and Jennifer (and later Pamela) lived in a red brick split level in Abington. Dad called it his “estate.” He and Mother bought the house because it sat across the street from Overlook Elementary School.
“Kids might walk across our lawn and litter their papers on our property,” they discussed. But the school came with several playgrounds, baseball fields, and bordered Roychester park.
With three bedrooms upstairs, a living room with a picture window covering the front of the house, and a patio off the dining room on the main level, the yellow awning house was perfect. The lower level boasted a pine paneled room with a window facing the school. A door in the paneling opened into a large laundry room and half bath. A single garage would later be turned into a guest bedroom for missionaries, family and parents. That was possible because another, two car garage sat beside a hedge enclosed play area on the north side of the house. Dad eventually assembled a swing set and wooden play house from Sears for that private paradise.
Mother chose soft green carpets for the living and dining room. Her baby grand piano took up more than a corner of the living room, flanked by two red velvet tufted chairs. The bedrooms had wood floors while the rest of the house was covered with linoleum; dark brown speckled in the lower level, and creamy white speckled in the kitchen. The kitchen cupboards were fabricated from a metal of some kind. All the accordion closet “doors” were made from what looked like plastic. The house itself will not achieve historic status.
But lamps glowed in every room: floor lamps and sofa table lamps in the living room, lamps on bookcase headboards in the bedrooms or on mahogany dressers. A wall sconce hung beside the phone on the wall in the kitchen.
“Turn lights off!” Dad would scold. But Mother turned them on in abundance: in the daytime, on cloudy days, or in the mornings before the sun shone into a room. The house was ablaze with the warmth of those lamps, in spite of the pain of the electric bill.
In all that coziness Jill, her sisters and parents, lived these fables.
The address: 1802 Edge Hill Road, Abington, Pennsylvania 19001.