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Sordid Past – Mine Again

Sordid is a dirty word involving ignoble actions and motives; arousing moral distaste and contempt.  I think I may have mentioned burning down my mom’s house in one of my recent posts.  That was pretty dirty,  The motive arousing moral distaste and contempt is that I procrastinate.  Just like tonight.  But I did have fun!  🙂  Tonight, not burning down the house. …

Barbie Trousseau

My friend Wyla was getting married that day, and I was in charge of sewing many of her new clothes for her trousseau.  It was about a half hour before the wedding, and I carefully pressed her last dress before I ran to the car and sped to the wedding.  The wedding was lovely.  She loved her dresses, and we came home several hours later.  At the end of the street we could see a fire engine.  “That looks awfully close to our house,” Mom, Randy and I all agreed.  We had to go around the block to get home.

When we got there, sure enough, it was our house, or rather the O’Bara’s house that we rented.  Fortunately for us, a friend of mine – who happened to be a fireman – had come to visit.  When we weren’t home he came on in, and sat down at the piano to play while he waited.  He smelled smoke.  He told us later it took him 5 times to get the number right when he tried calling the fire department because he was so nervous.  Thanks to Gary our house remained livable.  The fire was contained to my room.  This song was popular then.  We sang it A LOT!

Oh yes, I had left the iron plugged in.  The iron was old, its cord just a little frayed.  Our house – old.  Wiring – old.  The attic, where I lived with my sewing machine, and hundreds of discarded patterns that Mom brought home from work for me, made the perfect fireplace.  Had I not been in such a hurry I would have remembered to unplug the iron.  I might still be using that iron today.  Who knows, I might be still making clothes from those patterns.


The ignoble part came later.  Someone offered to let us stay with them while our house was being repaired.  I had no problem leaving for a week or so.  It was like a fun vacation.  Mom and Randy stayed home.  ?????When the house no longer smelled like marshamallows, I returned.  I felt very helpful, so I offered to paint Mom’s living room for her.  The house still was a little stinky.  Paint should help – right?  She approved the plan, but not the color.  The walls turned out chartreuse, probably because I liked chartreuse.  It was the late 60’s after all.  Mom loved blue.  I decided it was time to move away permanently, for a couple of years.

Our Old House Today

I really was a hot mess!  Smokin’ hot!!

So I’ve told you a sordid story.  What about you?  Do you have a skeleton in your closet that you want to share with the world?

38 replies »

  1. Glad your sordid story didn’t turn into tragedy, Marsha. The worst think I ever did was to leave ha quarter of a cucumber in the vegetable drawer of the fridge, when we went over to Florida for six months. My daughter and family came down here for a beach vacation, and found a mushy mess. She’s never let me forget it. Family can be sooo unforgiving. I’m supposed to be perfect. 😯


    • Hahaha – you are perfect, Sylvia. It was the cucumber that wasn’t perfect. Why is it so bad if we do that to animals, but not plants? I accidentally left my goldfish in their bowl all alone when we went to Florida for a month when I was a kid. My dad was supposed to be feeding him while I was gone, but when he left, the fish didn’t make it. I really hadn’t made any good arrangements for them. 😦


        • I know! I wish I had felt worse about them. Their slimy water made me hate them. We didn’t have a filter. I had won them throwing a ping pong ball into a bowl. Since I’m so bad at throwing and actually hitting something, I was thrilled to win until I brought them home. Then my parents had the NERVE to make ME take care of them. So, for three years I faithfully cleaned their bowl once a month whether it needed it or not. I didn’t have a net to catch them. I had to skim through their gooey water and try to catch them barehanded, put them into a sink of clean, chlorinated water while I washed their bowl and refilled it with clean chlorinated water. For some reason they lived three years – about 2.5 years longer than any of my friends’ fishies had made it. After their demise, I never tried to win or buy any more indoor fish, not matter how entertaining or beautiful they might have been. 🙂 I mean 😦


      • Ahem! Who says one cannot take wee fishies for walks? I certainly did! I had a jar I would gently carry about and sport this fish about the neighbourhood and school. I had two white clouds and one speckled one striped danio. I loved them dearly. They abided with me in my room. And they are TOO scintillating company! They can very well be trained to do little tricks for food. And even without food reward. I got them to swim to the surface on command (one tap on the glass), and swim to the side, (two taps). I got them to “hover and glide upwards” in the water by tapping the surface of the water and they always responded to my voice and came sailing out of the skull or the castle I had in there where they would hang out and gossip when I was away. They were darling. Sunlight filtered into the tank during the day and they would dance in the swiveling rays. Naturally I had to have fish companions- I was obsessed with the water of course. Too bad about your fish-distress indeed, and interesting cucumber story there- I concur, entirely the microbes’ fault, not paradise’s! Cheers!


          • It is not your fault, dear lassie! You didn’t have a filter, blissful invention, that, and what SHOULD have been included with your prize was a wily-eyed leprechaunic lassie to reveal the magical wonders of fish. 😉


          • Oh all right! I completely ran over an octogenarian teacher when she stepped into the gym, completely flattening her, then I called her “babe” during English lesson, called the principal “Jimmy Boy” and “Prince” on the playground, and I drew horrid caricatures of a teacher called Miglin as she was not a very nice person, and passed them around the class surreptitiously. My sordid history in elementary school. There’s more but we’ll leave that for now…


          • Yes…I am an octogenarian-flattener all the way…

            Whale, let me explain a bit. We were engaged in an abominable variation of plush-ball “dodge-ball” where one sprays myriads of balls like bullets at any poor blighter one can hit. I usually hated this game and allowed myself to be annihilated so I could just writhe on the floor like a dying squid or try to get some other sitter to engage in philosophy or some rubbish with me. I was very strong-minded as a young-spurt and thought the “game” was too much militant, and I was quite the anti-war flower-kissing groove-loving Beatle fan at the time. But this one time, I decided, after the gym teacher accused me of having no coordination (and predicted my future as a star athlete to be a complete failure), that I would just see how long I could avoid the barrage. Whale, I kept going and going without being hit, until majority of the other students were moldering on the floor and I was the main target. The gym teacher kept bellowing, “HIT HER! HIT HER!” I don’t think she liked me very much. I once accidentally called her Miss Knuckles, when her true moniker was Miss Knickles. Anyhow, I was going at a similar speed as that of your average bullet-train in Japan, when the door popped open and an octogenarian educator with very thick glasses and an extreme fondness for pronouncing the word “washing” as “warshing” was in our midst. I went speeding right into her. I was a wee thing, second-grader in fact, and she was not a tiny lass herself, towering over me at 5 foot 8, but when one is not expecting a collision with a speeding canon in child-form pursued by a million colourful plush balls, well…one tends to topple a bit. She went sailing all the way back into the hall and the door slowly billowed shut. She scrambled right to her feet, ruddy-faced, glasses askew, and cracked the door to croak for us to assemble ourselves into order and march out of the gym. From then on, she always first gazed through the window, then poked her head out to see if the “coast was clear” as the phrase goes, before strutting boldly into the gym to bellow for us.

            I of course had kept going and was never hit, but as we assembled and began to shuffle out, I wheezed up to her and began to mutter, “Oh great Scott, awfully sorry, Mrs. Johnson, most abominable behaviour on my part, terribly odious, the worst, what a scoundrel and a scallywag I am” and so on, but she stopped me and muttered in a faint whisper, “It never happened!”


          • What a great story! And now the world knows that it DID happen. I can imagine how embarrassed she must have been. I fell off a table in the cafeteria while wearing a tight skirt. Problem was, I was a teacher, and the cafeteria was full of after school kids studying – well until I fell off the table! 🙂 That must be how she felt when she picked herself off the floor! 🙂


  2. The only sordid tale I have to tell is when my bathroom door in my parent’s house stuck & I couldn’t get out of the bathroom. It was the first time my new boyfriend had ever walked me home & we were being good (I did not allow him in the house, we just sat on the back step). I went in to use the bathroom & the door stuck on me. I had to holler out the window for him to come rescue me. Of course we damaged the door a little & I had to explain to my parents what happened. I’m not sure they ever believed me.


    • hahaha You’re right, that’s not very sordid! I had a friend who went to see relatives in Switzerland who had a tiny bathroom with the toilet facing the door. While she was using the toilet, she dropped her watch into it. She got up quickly turned around and fished it out. Someone picked that exact time to walk in on her accidentally. She could here them laughing in the other room. The loudest comment she heard was, “The sure do it differently in the States!” I’m not sure I could ever have gone out of the bathroom! 🙂


  3. I don’t have a sordid story, Marsha – but I do get very paranoid about leaving the iron on and now I’ll be even more paranoid about it. I’m so glad your friend was there so you didn’t lose the entire house! 😀


  4. As a tween, I tried to ride my horse across a train trestle. The sensible horse balked repeatedly, letting me know he would do no such thing. Well, I was persistent, and ignorant of how horses see, so I got down off the horse and led him across the trestle. He followed, trusting me and my judgment. He shouldn’t have. As we neared the far side, I looked down at his feet as one hoof missed a railroad tie, his hoof and foreleg disappearing through the space between two ties. He stumbled but recovered, pulling his leg out and bolting to reach the other side. I shook for hours after that mishap. He made it through with only minor cuts on his leg. It could so easily have been broken. I never told my parents. It makes me shudder to this day. I could have broken my horse’s leg, essentially killing him, on a train trestle, one that still ran trains.


  5. The pattern bring back lots of memories. Great post – I loved the music and photo. Great job!!


  6. What a story … burning hot and stinky! Girl, you where lucky and I truly like the way you told your story to us .. it gave me a couple of big smiles.
    I love the little blue house on the corner and I love that massive tree – it must have taken all the nutrition there was in that garden.
    This must be my old iron *smile
    You know .. I’m just going to help my friend with sawing a pair of trousers this week coming .. just like on your McCall pattern.
    Have a great weekend.


  7. I loved the way you wrote it, lacing it with a humor -:)!
    Sordid stories … not as such, maybe just stories about sordid deeds.

    Have a great weekend!


    • Thanks Daniela. No, I had put the word sordid as a schedule choice as a joke, but looking up the word sordid makes me think that I may have to change that. I thought I might be able to research and talk about interesting incidents in the lives of historic people. But sordid is probably not the appropriate adjective! 🙂


  8. I can’t think of any sordid stories, but your story with the iron, well, that makes me think, my eldest daughter has almost burnt the house down twice, once with a lamp that she left on that had fallen on her bed, there was another time, but can’t remember what it was now. The younger one left the hair straightener on in the bathroom, but left it sitting on top a cane basket, Luckily I was home both times and smelt the burning smell.
    Before we had children and before we lived here, I was home one day in our flat and there was a loud bang and the power went off, I went into the bathroom where the switchboard was and it melting in front of me, I turned the main switch off to stop the power, but it was really scary, what would have happened if I hadn’t been home.


    • We just had something like that happen here at home. My husband opened a switch box outside by accident while he was working on something else. It had a wire that was burnt and sparked . It could have caused a lot of damage, but he was able to replace it before it had a chance. It was only accidental that he found it, though! Good accidents happen, too! 🙂





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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