I had lunch with my dear friend Ed, and he said, “This really is a precious time you have here (in Mamaroneck). You probably won’t be here very long.” I don’t know about the future, but as of now, it seems I will be living somewhere else come next Fall. I do see my time here as very precious for many reasons. One being my parents. I am grateful for them and their endless hospitality. Not many are blessed with such generous, loving parental units. There is so much I value at this time relationship-wise, spiritually, and emotionally, but today, I’m going to go literal. I love this house. It is the house I’ve called home since I was five years old. It has witnessed rich, full lives. I’m going to take a moment now to stop and take stock of its irresistibilities.
My primrose yellow, Victorian house on the corner:
Noisy radiators. When I sit in my quiet spot (secret to all except those who live in the house with me, including Vashti) I look down at the radiator below and rest my feet on it. Sometimes it’s too hot for that, other times I can just bear it. It’s an old fashioned radiator. It’s definitely not modern, not sleek. It’s got nookity nooks and it’s small. And it hisses and squeaks like a fidgety little monster. There are several of these around the house. They’re simply fantastic.
The curvy steps. Yes, I do like them. Even though I’ve lived with them for years, every so often, when I really think about it, the wonder hits me of a staircase that curves. It’s been guilty of switching into slippery mode, causing several of my not-so-graceful falling moments. But I forgive the staircase. It’s too fun, too creative, and different to not be loved. I try to go down it a bit slower nowadays though, especially when I wear my cotton socks.
Mor mor and Pop pop’s Vietnamese painting. It’s signed, almost illegibly by Le Minhs (is that a 7 after the s??). The painting had been displayed in my grandparents’ home when they lived in Maryland. On visits as a little girl, I would look up at it, eyes glued to the short street in Vietnam with its local markets. The vintage car moving towards me and the bike-ride taxi driver with his conical hat pedaling away from me. The whole picture obscured by rain. The raindrops are white lines tumbling down the canvas. The road is all puddle. When Mor mor and Pop pop decided to move, they graced us with the painting. It immediately found a home in our Asian-inspired living room. Now I go by it everyday. It’s still a beautiful window into a world I want to visit someday.
It’s slanty. This house is imperfect. Doorframes are slanty, the tops don’t fit snugly into the corners of the doorframes. The wooden floors slightly tilt, marbles would go a rolling ’till eternity. Not that we’re losing any marbles these days, hopefully. Thank goodness for this house’s imperfections. It’s a good reminder for me– it’s relying on God’s grace to make it another day.
The massive, white plush couch. I’m drawn to this couch. I would have it in my own apartment, granting I had the space. It’s white…a stain washing nightmare, you say?? Nah, we’re pretty careful. In fact, it’s barely used in comparison to the red and white striped one in the family room. This one is in the living room, used on more special occasions. It’s contrasting gold and salmon-colored pillows only make it more elegant. Sometimes I’ll treat myself to it, sinking in with a book (no food!), and gazing out onto the street. Hah, and then that’s usually when Mom and Dad go searching through the house looking for me. They exasperate themselves because they never think to look for me on the living room couch.
Low door handles. They’re so low I have to reach down to turn them. How significantly shorter people were back in the Victorian Era. It makes me feel like I’m Alice in Wonderland who just ate the cake that said “Eat Me” and grew to be 9 feet high!
The Spartus Clock in the kitchen. Today the electricity went out (crazy ice). Out of habit I looked at the microwave to find out the time, and came up wanting. Next I glanced at the stove clock, again forgetting there was no power. Third time’s the charm, I looked all around, my eyes settling on the clock above the kitchen door. It’s been there since I can remember. There it was, ticking away, it’s face smiling down on me, oblivious to the storm and its effects. It’s a Spartus Quartz clock. It’s square-shaped, and of a tannish hue. It has black numbers, minute lines, and hands. In a world where my laptop and cell phone provide immediate time-telling, I don’t often need its services. But it’s the clock of my childhood. A faithful clock. A clock of long-suffering.
My bay window. It’s the centerpiece of my room. A radiator is in front of the middle window (the perfect spot for a bench). But my bed’s pushed up against it, allowing for a border of windows along my head. A lovely view to fall asleep and wake up to.
Maybe I’ll keep adding to this, as my eyes continue to SEE more. Lord, thank you for 319 and for all the souls who have entered and exited it. May you bless and keep them.