Mysteries #ThursdayDoors

How is this possible? Okay, you build a house, ‘k’? You put up the rafters, and you cover them with wood sheeting. You cut a hole in the sheeting to bring the chimney up through. So then, there’s this gap where the chimney comes through, right? So you cut some metal sheeting and bend it at more than a 45-degree angle and snug it up to the chimney, caulk it down, and cover it with shingles. Waterproof, right?

If it leaks, you see where it’s leaking and plug up that leak, right?

Yeah, there are doors in this post, keep yer shirt on.

So how is it that, without a leak, we got a hole in our roof from water seepage? How did water get through all that?

Okay, here comes a door. Ready?


Spooky li’l door, all sooted up and stuff. An old door, salvaged from some other house, because we’re from the West End of Louisville, baby, and we use whatever we can get aholt of and only buy stuff if we can’t get aholt of something that’ll work.

It’s a door to —

the attic! But what’s all this crud on the steps, which are carefully covered in plastic, so their raw woodiness won’t be spoiled by falling crud?

Oh, yeah. Seepage, so tearing off part of the roof and replacing it. Shingle bones. Ick.

All fixed now.

Sounds like I did the work. No, I just listened to Charlie tell me all about it. That’s what writers do: listen to other people and then use what they hear to sound like they know what they’re writing about. It isn’t “Write what you know,” kids, it’s “Write what you can convince the reader you know.”

One last mystery door:

Behind this ladder, behind this insulation, is drywall and a room. When the kids were little, before we (meaning Charlie) finished the room, there was one little panel of drywall that wasn’t tacked down. The kids used it as a secret passage. I mean, OF COURSE!

This has been (marginally) part of Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors link-up. Visit Norm’s blog, view his wonderful photos, click on the blue froggy link, and enter a world of intriguing doors.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU BASED ON MY POST: Write about a secret passage.


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I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Mysteries #ThursdayDoors

  1. joey

    October 26, 2017 at 7:29am

    Dang dang dang. Glad it’s all fixed up now. For the record, I can’t imagine building a house, but then I kinda can, in like, my mind, but not with electricity or plumbing… so maybe a treehouse. But yeah, there’s a hole — better water than fear and sorrow. Was that too cheesy, twisting Eagles lyrics? You know what’s cheesy? This breakfast burrito. And me. πŸ™‚

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 26, 2017 at 8:48am

      Not cheesy at all, your words or the Eagles’ words. The burrito, I don’t know — gimmee some and I’ll get back to you on it.

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  2. Ally Bean

    October 26, 2017 at 8:41am

    A secret passageway? How very Nancy Drew! Great pics.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 26, 2017 at 10:27am

      It was fun for all of us. “What?? Where did you come from?” ~giggle giggle~

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  3. Norm 2.0

    October 26, 2017 at 12:33pm

    Glad the leak is fixed. When it comes to houses and roofs, it’s a mystery to me that we don’t all have more problems, but I guess we all get to benefit from centuries of lessons learned with different building techniques and materials.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 26, 2017 at 12:54pm

      You are so right. It’s amazing the things we clever little monkeys have figured out how to do!

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  4. Dan Antion

    October 26, 2017 at 1:33pm

    Very weird day today. I read you post in Firefox (which was recently updated) and no pictures. So, I posted the URL into Chrome and – yay – pictures.

    Lot’s of ways for water to get inside. I have a post coming in the near future that explains some of that. But, worn shingles tops the list. Glad you got it fixed – pretty pictures (now that I can see ’em).

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 27, 2017 at 7:41am

      Well, the shingles were kinda wornish, so maybe that’s the answer.

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  5. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    October 26, 2017 at 4:16pm

    Excuse me, you did NOT explain how the water got past the defenses in the first place – and I was waiting for that information – for MY house.

    As for the hidden passage, I’ll do you one better. When the unfinished attic the builder gave us was finished into a bedroom and bath, the eaves were left as storage on both sides of the house – and the kids found a part that had been walled off – with a little panel of wood held in by screws to allow access in the future. The space behind became the clubhouse for more clubs on this court than I can shake a stick at – and part of the mythology of this street. They all remember fondly – and none of them would fit in there any more.

    I just put the panel back, removed several lamps and a heater left in there since they were children (at LEAST 20 years ago), and had one of those nostalgia moments you have when you know you are planning to sell the house to other people. I will hate to lose a house I’ve been in since 1981 – but it has WAY too many steps, and no usable neighbors. Nice people all, but everyone has always socialized with family, and my one good friend has moved to Florida…

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 27, 2017 at 7:47am

      I didn’t explain, because we don’t know. Dan Antion says it might have been worn shingles. But it makes sense that only a little bit of water got through the defenses at any one time, gradually saturating the wood.

      I love the clubhouse! What a wonderful memory — and for the whole neighborhood!

      Is Florida, near your friend, one of your retirement options?

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  6. janet

    October 27, 2017 at 9:39am

    Secret passage–cool. Water in the house–not cool at all. πŸ™ We were in Louisville just a couple of weekends ago and of course, we took the only N-S highway through Indiana, I-65. Not a fan!! But we made it and had fun.


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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 27, 2017 at 9:59am

      Yes, I avoid 65 whenever possible. Too much traffic. Too many trucks.

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  7. Macs

    November 1, 2017 at 2:11am

    Oh kids love secret passages. I want to see the covered stairs going to the attic too. Looking forward to seeing more pictures of your project/s. Glad you were able to fix them all.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 1, 2017 at 12:10pm

      Let’s be clear: I fix nothing but food. Charlie is the builder/handyman. πŸ˜€

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