Brown Thrashers are back! Check.
We’re so busy giving the house a facelift this spring! In this post I expressed my disgust for the condition of our bedroom linens. After a few months of agonizing over the right choice of bedspread or comforter, we headed to a mall south of the city yesterday where I bought the first one that moved me. I liked it. I bought it. Here it is.
A few days ago I received the nicest e-mail from a special friend who admired our freshly painted walls she saw in one of my recent posts. Her husband was looking over her shoulder at the photos and commented that he wishes to live graciously in a newer house like mine. They’ve been living in their home for thirty-four years and she asked him, what would happen to the ducks, birds, squirrels, raccoons, and possums we’ve catered to for so long if we moved away?
On my way to work that morning, I couldn’t shake her e-mail from my mind nor my rush of emotions. Here’s an excerpt from my reply to her, slightly edited.
…About the house. Sometimes, I’d trade my new home for the opportunity to grow roots in one place like you and your husband have done. A few states away from here, there is a home we lived in for fifteen years. In it, there is a time capsule hidden behind a basement wall that Gina made when she was seven years old. Her elementary handwriting and goofy sketches made with a permanent marker and paint are no doubt still gracing the undersides of the basement steps leading upstairs to the kitchen and on the cinderblock wall behind the furnace. Since 1992, there is a beloved cat buried under the largest, most graceful weeping willow tree out back. She’s wrapped in a white crocheted baby blanket with her favorite catnip toy and blue food bowl, labeled “Mini”. Nearby dear Mini, are the remains of about two dozen gerbils buried in assorted jewelry gift boxes. All were buried with our hearts breaking. We left so much behind.
To hell with the glamorous walls and ceilings and open floor plans I have as they only hold three years of memories and little character. God, the older I get the more I realize how old I am and just how far away the 1970’s and 1980’s are from here and now…
So tell hubby to hold on. Hire a painter and keep those walls! Seriously. Tell him what I said, OK?
Gee, I’m all teary-eyed now, here at work, 7:55 a.m.
And there I sat at my desk, bawling like a big ole baby. I’ve had a few dreams of visiting that home and I did not like what the new owners did to it. I do, however, think the wallpaper in the foyer and hallways I chose back in the late 80s - a pastel floral that reminded one of cake and ice cream - needed to go, for sure. Yeah, parts of that house looked like a birthday party for a few years.
Given the opportunity to visit that house today, I’d climb the stairs to the second floor and predict the creak in the floorboards before getting to the linen closet. Peek inside every bedroom. Back down in the living room I'd hear my Dad tickling the ivories and echoes of giggles where the Christmas tree stood at the big front window, brightly lit in twinkling multi-colors. Yes, I liked them to gently twinkle as much as I liked that big picture window that was once trimmed in mint green paint. Turning around to the dining room, and rounding the corner to the kitchen, I’d look for a small tear in the linoleum on the pantry floor. To the right, there’s a corner of the family room where a metal dog crate sat for two growing pups in the 90s. Facing right again, I’d take a walk through the sunroom, pass the pond, way down the back, towards the wooded stream, behind the barn red shed, and stand under the weeping willow, where I’d see images of Chloe’s young face and remember her shenanigans with the birds and quirtles and bunnies and turtles and hornets and crayfish. Quite frankly, I think a visit would be too much for me to handle. I’d want to move in for a week with a box of wine and write a damned book!
There are those who seem to keep moving forward, not caring about much, and never looking back. I certainly do move happily forward but always, always look back to love the footprints and echoes…
And about the walls that surround you? They really do matter.
a return Visit
7 months ago