Sunday, March 14, 2010


I dream of houses. Most every night I find myself in a room; sometimes a real one from my past, sometimes it's unrecognizable, yet familiar at the same time. And there I am excitedly exploring, discovering more and more rooms that I didn't even know existed. If instead I am remembering my grandmother's house or my aunt's house in Cleveland where we would vacation each summer, I am almost always climbing the narrow stairs to the attic. We almost bought a house last summer that had these skinny stairs tucked away inside a closet leafing to a large open space. I imagined us putting down a floor over the unfinished beams in that uppermost hideaway... Yet we didn't buy that house and have yet to buy one, actually. Someday we will, one with room enough for animals, art supplies and countless LEGO pieces. Until then I pore over pages and pages of books - looking at doors, windows, hallways, walkways, and floorplans. These dreams grow and expand, modify and transform most every day. I often wonder if we shouldn't buy ourselves a little "piece o' land" somewhere and just start building. It seems as if we would have more than enough books for the foundation, walls and roof. We could use the pages for wallpaper: Auster in the entryway, Pratchett in the playroom, Herbert in the hallway, Asimov in the attic. To look up anytime and see yourself surrounded by the typewritten thoughts of these writers would be such a wonderful thing. Oh, words can be such comfort when dreams are not yet a reality.

My house and I - we're the same. We're both messy most of the time. We both have scars, flaws, occasional leaks and lax security. Some of our corners aren't quite flush and our joints creak in the damp. We could really use some new upholstery. Our eleventh anniversary is coming up and at least one of us needs a paint job. But we're a good fit. When that northeasterly wind blows with extra gusto we settle firmly into our foundations and wait patiently for the weather to die down. We've yet to be hit by a falling tree; the few stray branches that land on our porch roof are easy to shrug off. Most of our windows are smudged, but we see just about everything we need to. Someday we will be cleaner, more organized, and more adept at receiving company that measures higher than four feet tall. Someday we will be deeply quiet for hours at a time, which will be both happy and sad. Until then, we will calmly tolerate the errant grape jelly on our walls.

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