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House had different doors for company and friends. (Looking Back).

There were no set rules, but sort of a class system developed through the years concerning the use of our front and back doors. There was a definite pattern for who knocked at the back door or pushed the bell at the front door.

The mailman, who came twice a day if a package was delivered, always rang the bell. There was a long hallway that led to. the door, and the mailman would shuffle his feet, look up and down the street, remove his cap and scratch his head, waiting impatiently for Mama to answer the door.

The neighbors came to the back door, bringing neighborhood news, cookies or a letter from the old country to share. They usually joined Mama for a cup of tea at the kitchen table. The same ladies came to the front door when they were wearing their gloves, hats, flowery dresses and strings of pearls. At those times, they always had their tea at the dining room table.

The kids we played with always came to the back door and called for us. Then we would run to the back door, up the driveway and around to the front of the house, because our games were played on the front-porch steps or on the curb.

When the boy who delivered the paper came once a month to collect the bill, he rang the front doorbell. So did the insurance man, who came to our house every other week and always stayed to have coffee with Papa. The man who sharpened our scissors and knives came to the back door on Saturdays, and he usually, stayed to have coffee with Papa, too. The Fuller Brush salesman brought his case down the hall from the front door to show Mama each of the brushes. He would give her a little prize before he left.

Time passed, and our high school friends began using the front door. The boys who came by to pick us up for dates always rang the bell.

Now I watch from my apartment as a deliveryman jumps out of his truck, runs to an apartment, knocks on the door, then jumps back into the truck and zips away.

When the doorbell rings or someone knocks on the door of my apartment, there is a decision to be made. Since there is only one all-purpose door, I never know who, it might be.

Papa would be surprised at all the changes in the world, especially the fact that I have only one door.

I once locked myself out of my apartment, and as I went to the office for help, I realized that this situation could never have happened when I was younger. Not only did our house have both a front and back door, but neither of the doors was ever locked.

Marcella Lange

Medford, Ore.

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Author:Lange, Marcella
Publication:Grit
Date:Jan 19, 2003
Words:475
Previous Article:"The Amish Cook": traditional Amish recipes and life. (Hometown Kitchen).
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