The Coffee stains on the table are my grandfathers. Each intersecting circle creates an Olympic design. The curtains were sown by my grandmother, yellow with little red flowers faded by a thousand sunrises to varying shades of light pink. The chip in the oak countertop is my mothers, the place where she sliced a thousand cuts of meat and missed the cutting board only twice. The scrapes on both side of the back door belong to the dozens of dogs who have graced our lives with wet noses, wet kisses and the click of claws on the hardwood door. The scrape on the floor belongs to my father, the place where he drug his chair along the old oak planks, bellying up to the table, newspaper in hand.
If I were to find my place in this old farm house, it would be in the attic where the pink and green wallpaper now hangs like fly paper from the narrowly peaked ceiling. The floor where my brass bed once stood is scored by my running leaps which always moved the bed an inch. Other children slept here, my mother in her time, her mother before that. The attic is a child’s place, a lofted wonderland whose view never alters with the years. Stepping across the old planks to the warped single pain window, I see a hundred acres of oak trees. These are the same trees that my great-great grandparents planted one hundred and fifty years ago.
Reaching out I take a swath of wall paper, tearing a neat strip to make a sample. Now that the house is mine, the workmen repair the shingled roof and paint the gingerbread siding to its original peach and cream. Someday soon, on summer holidays my own grandchildren will sleep in brass beds in this attic room, their eyes tracing the green and pink wallpaper of my mother’s childhood. In turn they will mark the house, damage the molding, and scratch their ever increasing height into the door jambs. Someday this will be their house, filled with their stories, memories, dents and dust, creating the best kind of housekeeping for a well lived, well loved home.
3 thoughts on “Good House Keeping”
Reblogged this on SSpjut | Writer's Blog | Stardate and commented:
Author and poet, EEOrme uses her cadent voice to draw her readers into memories that find their heartbeats best in worn floor boards, scuffed back doors, tattooed tables, and faded patterns of pink and green. In 500 words she reminds us of importance of tradition and home.
Lovely. In particular, I like the atic and the memories that are tied to a place that has always belonged to the family’s children. I enjoyed how the atic traversed time to catalogue the many generations of children that had grown up in that room. There is a an almost tangible feel to the history of this home and the lives it nurtured.
Mikelle C. H. Gaines
Simply want to say your article is as amazing.
The clarity in your post is just spectacular and i could assume you
are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep
updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the enjoyable work.