The Wide Staircase

When I was a kid I slept anywhere… at anytime. I would run around non-stop, going hither and yon, inventing imaginary games against imaginary adversaries… and when the physical activity or mental exercise exhausted me… I would curl up somewhere and grab a few winks.

It could have been under the dinning room table, behind the wing chair in the living room… wherever my adventure transported me last. This could prove vexing to Mom or Mommie Soph who could become concerned as to my where abouts.

But sometimes a nap would take place in a more “public place”… something in clearer view… like our staircase.

Our house on Alston Ave. was a “center hall Dutch colonial”. We had a center hall both up stairs and down. From the hall on the first floor there was a staircase up, a landing between the two floors, and then another staircase up to the hall on the second floor.

The landing had a good size window that afforded a fine view of our back yard… and in the morning the sun would project its warmth first on the landing itself, and then on the stairs up to the second floor hall.

Back then we had two Bedlington Terriers: Baa Baa and Rocky. When they weren’t busy peeing on our living room drapes and furniture, or barking at Dukie Gordon the Springer Spaniel from next door, they would catch some snooze time in the various “sun spots” in our home.

Depending on the season, the prime “sun spot” in mid-to-late morning would have been on the landing, and/or the adjoining stairs.

Maybe the dogs had been part of my imaginary adventure that day… who knows? But somehow my escapade brought me to the landing, and there was Rocky snoozed out, dead center in the sun spot. Maybe I was feeling the chill of winter and the warmth of the sun was calling to me, as well…

The sun in its path now cast its warmth on the stairs, too, and I positioned myself across the length of the second stair… arms tucked in beneath me to conserve warmth.

Soon the advantage of location passed from Rocky to me; but the both of us were soon lost to sleep… Rocky exhausted from taking a dump behind the wing chair, and me from dodging a German machine gun emplacement.

Yes… I could sleep anywhere. But a stair in a sun spot is not just anywhere! It’s prime territory to the napping cognoscenti… whether they sport four legs or two.

Somehow the length and width of that stair was a perfect fit. It was a wide stair, and I didn’t have to compress my length to enjoy the kiss of the sun’s warmth.

Yeah, I was a short kid… but that stair was wide.

They don’t make stairs like that anymore.

Yes, we get taller… we get older; but it doesn’t change the need… sometimes in life we still need a wide staircase and some sun.

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