The Flat

“In life, a person will come and go from many homes. We may leave a house, a town, a room, but that does not mean those places leave us. Once entered, we never entirely depart the homes we make for ourselves in the world. They follow us, like shadows, until we come upon them again, waiting for us in the mist.”
Ari Berk

The last flat¹ we lived in in San Francisco had a little room off the kitchen where there was a sink with a window over it, and there were counters and shelves on each side of the sink. I thought of it as a pantry but it was probably more like a scullery, “since the scullery was the room with running water, it had a sink…”². Scullery³ sounds like a place to store sculls, catacombs. There were no skulls in our pantry.

800px-DJJ_1_Catacombes_de_Paris by djtox on Wikipedia.

Catacombs of Paris by Djtox

The kitchen had a built in breakfast nook with a vinyl covered U-shaped banquette, like a booth in a diner. My mother loved the nook. Flats are like large apartments. Ours had a kitchen, den, two bedrooms, living room, 1¼ bath. I say ¼ bath because there was a small room in the hall with a second toilet. The rooms of the flat were bigger than a typical modern apartment in the US. Our flat was on the top floor. You had to walk up a flight of stairs to get to the front door and another flight once you got inside. My mother did not lock the front door. You were not afraid living in The City in those days. Flats seem more like homes than apartments.

10754345204_a0846b68e7_zThe Mission District by Ken Lund on Flickr

Mission District by Ken Lund

This (above) looks something like the flat we lived in, only nicer. Below image is not too far from my old neighborhood.

800px-CastroAnd20thStreetInSanFranciscosCastroDistrict via wikimedia

2oth and Castro Street


1.flat: A set of rooms forming an individual residence, typically on one floor and within a larger building containing a number of such residences.-Oxford Living Dictionaries


3. Etymololgy of scullery: Middle English squilerie, sculerie department of household in charge of dishes, from Anglo-French esquilerie, from escuele, eskel bowl, from Latin scutella drinking bowl-Merriam-Webster Dictionary online.

One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image The Scullery Maid  painting by Giuseppe Maria Crespi via Wikimedia


13 thoughts on “The Flat

  1. bikerchick57

    “They follow us, like shadows…”
    I love that. It is so true that you never fully forget every home you live in during your lifetime. Whether the circumstance or location was good or bad, the home follows like a shadow. You always have memories of its existence.
    I visited San Francisco many years ago and was enamored with the hilly streets and the flats that you’ve pictured here. I always wanted to live in a flat, they are somehow very appealing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      I was happy to find the quote. My memories of my childhood home is in a kind of mist now and I am thinking I would like to write more about it, those times. Flat are pretty nice and spacious. Probably cost a lot now with the high rents in our cities. In my childhood days they were very affordable. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      You are very welcome. We who lived in San Francisco knew of flats but when I was researching a bit for my post I noticed it was being defined as a British term. So I did think people, even in the US, may not know what I meant by “flat.” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. JoAnna

    Your old flat sounds charming. I’ve always wanted a sink with a window over it. No skulls. lol. Reading this deepens my understanding of why my father refused to leave the home “we” bought in the late 60s. He felt my mother’s presence there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      When I think back about that little room I do think it was kind of charming. The flats have a lot of character. I do have windows over the sink in my kitchen now but I do not have the separate room like a pantry. The places we have lived are part of us. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person



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