By David Giffels

With the lyrics of a Replacements tune working via his head ("Look me within the eye, then inform me that i am satisfied"), David Giffels—with his spouse and baby son in tow—combs the environs of Akron, Ohio, looking for the precise condo for his burgeoning family members. the search ends on the entrance door of an attractive yet decaying Gilded Age mansion, the once-grand former place of abode of a rubber-industry govt. It lacks sensible plumbing and electrical energy, leaks rain like a comic strip shack, and is infested with all demeanour of flora and fauna. yet for a tender father at a coming-of-age crossroads, the problem is exactly the attract. the entire method house is Giffels's humorous, poignant, and confounding trip throughout the nice experience of restoring a crumbling residence in order to researching what the phrases "grown up" and "home" rather suggest.

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Extra resources for All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House

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The two of them found each other in a vast Goodyear factory where they made bicycle tires, and together they raised seven children on cobbled-together paychecks from rubber shops and a basement television-repair business. Nine people lived in a house with one bathroom. The only son, Gus, fell smack in the middle—three older sisters and three younger sisters. When he was old enough, he went straight to the waterline in the basement and tapped in a shower head for himself. He later became a cop. Their household had urgency and energy, but it was not in any way romantic.

That other button must have been there in case someone rang the front doorbell,” I said. “Instead of answering the door, the owner 48 ] David G iffe ls would ring this internal doorbell and wait there for a servant to come and answer the door for him, then the servant would turn and announce that someone was at the front door, then wait for the owner to grant entrance. ” “We don’t have servants,” Gina said. “Well, yeah. But we could eat boxed macaroni and drive shitty cars, and then we could save up to hire a cook and chauffer.

He added what might be construed as hardship into his life because he found in it some raw aesthetic value, and because there was room for it. There was such a manner of leisure and conscious choice from the moment he awoke. Each morning after he shaved, he went downstairs in a crisp shirt and tie. While the rest of the house was still sleeping, he drank a glass of grapefruit juice and wrote a note to the family—instructions or observations for the day. Boys: Clean up the crab apples before raccoons overrun us.

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