Having been swooped on and hugged and kissed and swept away by my favorite Mom and equally favorite Auntie Linda (and having once again forgotten the very existence of one pink camera in the confusion), I am thenceforth driven northwards toward my old home town. After a yummy Costco lunch (gotta love Costco frozen yogurt berry sundaes), and lots of chatting, Mom's noble (but slightly less than awesome) Dodge Caravan drops me at the house my Mother shares with my amazing Grandma and sweet Aunt Michele. Mom is only able to take a half day away from work so off she goes and there I am in a very empty, very strange, very familiar daylight basement apartment. I intend to sleep, but I'm far too restless.
In the end I will not sleep that day until every inch of the house is seen, touched, remembered, reconciled with. This is important. Having left it longer than ever before, this house and I have nine months worth of relationship to mend. We have both changed. The house is much more subdued than I remember. It is quiet, it is big, it is white. It is just a little sad.
I do not recognize myself in its bathroom hallway mirror.
I do not see my copper pot on its stove.
I do not find my shoes by its door. I always left shoes by this door.
The real sadness however, comes when I find the courage to climb the two flights of stairs to my old bedroom.
The door still has a penny size hole in one side.
The walls are still that beautiful deep, dark blue that my sister and I painted them years ago.
The carpet is still oatmeal colored and stained and lumpy in places.
The windows are still big with a breath-taking view of Mt. Baker and the sunrise. (Sad to admit, I did not take the picture below.)
But my furniture is gone. The beautiful scrolled, caned, antique bedroom set that I shared with my sister has been moved around the corner, and someone else's bed, someone else's dresser, someone else's armoire has found a home here. I try hard not to cry. But here too I make peace. I thank this room for all it shared with me, and I say goodbye again, for good this time.
Being thoroughly exhausted, I trudge back down the stairs and make a truce with the silent basement. Tea is definitely in order. And one utterly transcendent book by Ray Bradbury that I discovered in my closet upstairs (I feel slightly guilty, having borrowed this book from a dear friend more than a year ago).
Notice I finally remember the little pink camera patiently tucked in my purse. Oh, and look at my Mom's oh-so comforting (if not crackling) fireplace. Mmm...believe me it hits the spot.
Did I mention that I am very, very tired at this point? I thought pajamas and slightly worn fuzzy socks were appropriate for the occasion.
Just so you understand what I mean when I say tea and Ray Bradbury. Oh, and a happy reunion with my favorite teacup. My big sister gave that to me. The shortest of my three big sisters. She's even shorter than me. I love her.
Yes, alright, a little overkill. Never hurt anybody...
I'm done, I promise. Crossing my mental heart at this moment. Do you doubt my mental heart? I don't blame you, I doubt it myself sometimes.
Almost forgot: Being the unfaithful and sporadic-at-best photographer that I am, this is the only picture of my dear copper kettle. Sad day.
Oh beauteous vessel of sanity poured out so faithfully to me time after time, thy shiny loveliness surpasses all of thy companions and I solemnly promise to give thee thy due honor in future. I love thee.