Red Door Memories

Click through memories below!

-That was one kitchen cupboard door that never stayed shut 😉

-I had a little garden on the roof in the summer. I grew squash, peppers and had few healthy basil plants!

-I lived at the red door after core members moved out. For me, it was a quiet place, a retreat, a chat and chew meet-up, and occasionally a place for movie and game nights. It was memorial space of “what was” with core member’s artwork gracing the walls, forgotten movies and books on the shelves of resident’s past, a shed with buckets of copper and tools for making crosses. I was a part of many attempts to clean up the space and bring back some life, but it still always felt a little empty, dark, neglected, and lifeless. I’m hopeful for the Euclid crew to have a fresh start with a new accessible home to call their own together as assistants and core members!


By Brooke Lacock-Nisly

When I was a student and came to visit L’Arche GWDC for a week over my spring break, I enjoyed dinner around the Euclid dinner table with Sonny, Gene and Glen. After dinner, Gene beckoned a few of us upstairs. He led us down the hall to his room, where he gingerly opened his door just a crack, slipped in, and caught his cat. He introduced Milton to us with pride and enthusiasm. I felt I’d seen a treasure.

Even though I’m not much of a TV watcher myself, I loved to stay after dinner, sink into the couches and listen to Mo’s running commentary on NCIS. It was even better when I could start a pillow fight, or when a “ghost” untied my shoe.


Sometimes Nickolai Stefko would steal someone’s shoe and through it outside. There was always some mischief going on as the night wound down.


When I was working in the office and living with my parents out in Maryland, I would sometimes stay the night in the loft room at the Red Door if I was out late and it was just too much to go out the MD and come back to DC in the morning. People at Euclid House always made me very, very welcome.

At the dinner table Mo would often look up at Andrew and smile. “Big eyes!” he’d say with a gentle tease. Andrew loved it.

One time Bob Jacobs made savory oatmeal for dinner. This did not go over well.

I’ve never felt as free to bring my singing anywhere as I did around the Euclid dinner table after prayer. I think Andrew’s big smile created space for me to do that.

Dottie told the story of an inspector coming in and finding one of the house’s cats in the kitchen and ordering a cat door be installed. Then the next year an inspector declared the door a fire hazard and ordered it removed!

The front room in the basement had many lives. It housed files. It hosted massages given as David King, our accountant, went through massage school. It was a container for sacred conversation as Dennis O’Connor provided spiritual accompaniment.


By Mary Ruppert

The Red Door

after 33 years of this living together

By Sito Sasieta


I remember screaming goooool!

when México scored

in the 2014 world cup

on the summer day I arrived.

I remember

the veins above your brow

when you were short

of breath. I remember the alarms

of each day & that pink-orange


from Syracuse

that helped

me keep it all straight.

I remember how

you woke

at the crack of every dawn,

asking, what are we gonna do now?

I remember the watercolors

that streaked across

your door, that claimed you liked to stir

up trouble. I remember that green

sticky note in the kitchen—

Mo, you’re an artist extraordinaire.

“I know that!” Oh, how you grumped

& hollered & swore & taught

us words worthy of soap

in the mouth. How you loved

to love by threatening

your beloveds—  


Keep quiet, four eyes!


You & I, we lived

a life in this dim

windowless rowhouse. Upstairs

was the snake that did when the plunge

would not. I remember spilling

the urinal on your leg. I remember

your handwriting with those Pilot G2

pens. I remember the napkins

on your dresser the bed bug leg

protectors the creaking

of the uneven steps the summer

nights when you came down

without a shirt for liquor

& cheese, how we watched

the pope

sitting on a plane,

how our family

would feud, especially me & you.


I remember tearing off

the wings

of resentment. It was afternoon

& I said I felt

I was doing all the dishes.

I have learned

some things that shouldn’t be so difficult



You & I, we had to move out.

I held your arm. You held your

bitar, your banjo, your pillow

your thirty plus years, right here.

We stumbled down the street. We bit

the concrete & all was bitter

until you baptized us

with the water

from your mug.

I placed the black mat

by your new bed & I heard

a seminarian

speaking in Prairie Dawn. I tell you

I used to dream

in Prairie Dawn.

I repressed

many-a-thought at Team Meeting.

Not because I wanted to. Thank God

you stripped


my hard-wiring. You extracted

the copper from my body.

You gave us the time

to say my name is ______

& I am

an alcoholic. I learned to pray,

which is a way of saying that I learned

to sing. Who of us did not sardine

on those blue

sofas? On the bottom

of the pile, you cackled.


You signed more. Everyone came

for Thanksgiving. Your papi

made gravy. Mine made guacamole. You said,

I like yo’ daddy. I like yo’ sister.

I made the turkey. You made the derby

pie. You called us old turkeys. You painted

a turkey that we framed

above the toilet. Your fingers

signed ‘turkey’ & we all returned

for seconds. We all stuffed

stuffing into our sternum

until our hearts were sober

& lucid. We prayed.

Once, when our life was in boxes,

we put a tiny tea candle

in an orange juice lid. Once,

you slammed a mound of whipped

cream in my face. You threw

a watch at me. You grit

your teeth. You pushed us away.


You pulled her tight. You binged

Home Alone in French

all night.

We prepped

for Colonoscopies. We hid ten

alarms in Baldy’s room. We set them five

minutes apart. He charged

down the steps

onto the tupperwares of liquid

placed carefully for him.


Or so I had hoped.


But you & I, we did slide

onto the roof. We stargazed

& didn’t tell Don & didn’t

tell HR that we smoked

a baby cigar in North Carolina. I remember

that blackhead

on your shoulder

& the tree you painted in the basement.

Mostly, I remember that you stayed.

When you broke

your ankle when you birthed

your boy when you

COPD’d when you didn’t sleep

when you used a walker

for the first time

in a home full of steps when

your gait

belt wasn’t tight

when your eye

was swollen blue when you knew

you’d probably never fly

again, and then, when we hid

the airplane in a box

when we placed

a bow on top when you flagged

down the ambulance

when you feigned a sore

knee when you shuddered

& when we rushed

from the Emergency Room

to BWI. How we barely caught

our flight to France. How after 3 years

I heard you say, for the first time,


I love you.


I despised your presence

on a day away

when we painted your room

in the colors

of the Washington Football Team

& you didn’t say thanks

when I wanted to refit

the engagement ring & you wanted

a watch.


You & I, we tried to serenade

college students

with poorly sung lullabies

but it didn’t matter. You pointed

your finger at one of them & made everything

clear. I remember when you fainted

in the shower. I remember

when you peered out the back

right window

of the silver van, & said, look, look

a pretty flower. I remember Elvis

& Al Greene & that boy—

Mary Kasper. I remember Mary Lou

& Lou-eee. I remember all the Melanies,

all the Marys you called Mare.

The mountain

of MARs. I remember

Peanut Butter & Lasalle

& how you’d shut

the back gate

because no one else would do it.

Now, you’re gazing upwards. You’re showing

my wife

a sliver of the moon. I remember

how you named a friend



Finally, I remember when you slipped

on the ice by McDonalds. How

your shriveled & rugged body

shivered in the back

of an ambulance, alone,

speeding to an ER. How a doctor

sent you home

in a taxi. How the man in the cab

gave you candy. How this made your day.

How, bloodied & bandaged,

you sauntered up the front steps.

How you pressed

the discharge papers

into my hand. How none of this

was part of the plan. How the address line

had no numbers & read


the Red Door.