Sunday, May 9, 2010


‘The Little House’ is Mawmaw and Pawpaw’s house, but we just don’t call it that anymore. Mawmaw and Pawpaw passed away in 2005. Mawmaw passed away in April, and Pawpaw followed in May. About 6 months later, Mr Z and I started dating, then 6 months after that Mr Z proposed to me. For years I had plans to move away to attend chiropractic school, so he was coming with me in 2007. In the mean-time, my parents offered for him to stay in Mawmaw and Pawpaw’s house so he could save money (to support their only girl). He lived there for several months before we got married and we couldn’t call it Mawmaw and Pawpaw’s anymore, so we began to call it Bert. No, just kidding. Just seeing if you were paying attention. It became ‘The Little House’.

In the several months Mr Z lived there while I was still in undergraduate school, he began to find out things about this house and the people who lived there before. No, no ghosts…at least not that we know of. Just character. We repainted some of the interior and in the process we found scotch tape pieces just stuck to the wall in random places. Not holding anything up, not holding something down, not covering a hole. Just there. Each day it seemed, Michael would find another random piece of tape. We soon decided to leave them where they were because they might be what is holding the house together, who knows.

The water to the house is supplied by a well. The water pressure, well, what water pressure? The cabinets do not stay closed. There are soft spots in the floor. Air conditioning = window units. Heat = one butane heater and space heaters (Now, only space heaters. The butane tank needs to be fixed.)

When Mawmaw and Pawpaw lived in the house, Mawmaw was very clumsy. When she walked into a room, it seemed like things would just fall at her. She knocked things over, dropped things, spilled things. One of her most frequently said phrases was "Geez, Louise".  We always attributed these happenings to Mawmaw. As kids, we thought it was so funny. And Mawmaw got a kick out of it too. Most of the time. However, when Mr Z moved in, we soon realized that there was a possibility that maybe Mawmaw wasn't as clumsy as we thought. Things continued to fall, drop, and spill.

These are definitely not the only weird and unusual things that this house possessed. There was a smell. An awful smell. A persistent awful smell. It was in the bedroom by the wall that is shared between the bedroom and bathroom. He thought maybe there was something rotten in the wall. Maybe the wall itself was rotten. Maybe the laundry kept souring. He couldn't figure it out. Pinesol, febreeze, and candles. That's what seemed to temporarily work. So every day when he got home from work, he had a 'smell routine'.

After Mr Z and I were married I moved in. I had to acclimate myself to the Little House. The smell was the worst. I had to find it and get rid of it. Even if that meant tearing down the wall. I got Daddy to come over and look under the house at the plumbing to see if he could find anything. Nothing. Everytime he stopped by, we had already pinesol-ed the place, so he couldn't smell it. We never found anything.

Finally, about 2 or 3 weeks before were supposed to move (so I could start chiropractic school), Daddy found it! I was SO happy! And a little embarrassed... There was a butane heater hook-up in the bedroom that had been capped off several years before. Appearantly it wasn't...uh...leak-proof. Neither myself nor Mr Z had ever had butane heaters and didn't know what butane smelled like. If you do not know either, butane is actually smell-less, but they add a smell, a very distint smell, so that a leak can be identified. It is like they bottled the smell of rotten eggs, stagnate water, paper processing plant, landfill, and sewer back-up. This is a very effective way to get a home-owner's attention.

So, no walls had to be torn down and we didn't have to call HAZMAT for cleanup. But we did have to think about what brain cells we lost... and how maybe we shouldn't have used candles to help cover up the smell...


  1. Michael ZeaglerMay 9, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    I will never forget that smell.

    Lesson learned.

  2. lol... i'm so glad you guys didn't blow yourselves up! :)

  3. I'm laughing again.


  4. omg beck im so glad you told about that. i was hoping you would. lol that is still so funny to me. oh and the rest of the house looks wonderful. it makes me want to tear something apart and use spackel!!! lol love ya girl

  5. Becky,
    Sharon & your mom talked about your blog at church last first thing, (when I got to work- tsk tsk!) I opened it up with some help (technology challenged) from Sharon.

    I have read it from start to last edition, and can't wait for the next. You are a girl after my own heart...I love stories about people we love.

    Will be glad to see you & Michael back in your beloved Belah...and people who don't live here do not have an idea what they are missing.

    "Miss" Carolyn