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I don’t have a back door

3 July 2011

Until I read this friend’s blog post, missing my back door hadn’t occurred to me, but she’s right – there are so many benefits to having a back door in your home! As she did, I yearn to be able to be outside in the grass without having to run down flights of stairs (and, in my case, walk or drive to a park). That is one thing I do miss about having a back door.

Growing up, our back door played an important role in my family life. We left the door open all summer long. At holidays, the door would be adorned with the appropriate decorations: wreath, jack-o’-lantern pictures, Easter eggs, turkeys, shamrocks…… My mom always went all out with holiday decorations.

Our back door at Christmas.

It was where trick-or-treaters would ring the doorbell on Halloween; where we’d leave as a family with packed suitcases on our way to a holiday destination; where my sister and I and our friends would run in and out, letting the screen door slam (sorry, Dad!) on warm spring days playing in the back yard. We’d make loops through the house, in the back door, down the stairs, out the downstairs door (that’s what we called the patio door, the “downstairs door,” because it was the only door on the ground floor), around the house, around the garage, through the yard, and back up the wooden steps to the back door, where the circuit continued.

It was the door we carried plates of food through when we had a party, or were sitting outside on the deck to eat dinner because it was cooler outside than inside. (Oh, the days of no air-conditioning in the humid Pennsylvanian summer heat!)

It was the door my mom waited outside with our new puppy Sam, a Christmas gift for my Dad. The door our neighbour knocked on to let us know he was using the lawn mower. (My dad and our next-door neighbour shared the mower instead of each owning one. That, to me, is a truly 1990s neighbourly thing to do.)

My balcony door. (There are now plants and and chair furnishing the balcony.)

Our back door was also the main entry to the house, which was unusual, and we called it the back door even though we didn’t have a front door. We had a sliding glass door that led onto a patio at the side of our house, but a stone path led visitors from the driveway to the back door, which was up a flight of wooden deck stairs.

In my apartment now, I have a main door, which leads from the apartment building hallway into my apartment, and I have a second door that leads onto my balcony. I suppose this is my back door. It leads me to a concrete slab instead of a grassy lawn, and when I sit out there I hear traffic as well as birds, but at least it is a place of fresh air, with trees and a river included in the view. I can’t say I specifically miss having a back door, but I do miss the easy access to nature.

I grew up in the same house my whole life, so the phrase “back door” brings to mind a specific door for me, not just the general idea of a back door. Maybe that’s why I haven’t noticed not having one before. Either way, it was fun to be reminded of my old back door and how present it was in my childhood!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. riotflower permalink
    6 July 2011 05:56

    My childhood back door was also always the same one- I think you’re right about that being the reason why I hadn’t really thought too much about not having one!

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