Thursday, January 25, 2007

That Was Then, This Is Now...

While I am opening every drawer, cupboard, box, nook and the proverbial cranny of my house and flinging to the winds (and Salvation Army) scraps and pieces of my past, this is what I am thinking:

The Kind Of House I Wanted Back Then:

I wanted Naomi to grow-up extremely creative, so at her fingertips, I kept boxes and drawers of paper scraps, fabric, cardboard rolls, white glue, glitter, cereal boxes, felt, popsicle sticks and blank books so that--should an imaginative idea swoop down upon her--she'd be prepared to deal with it. In half of our attic, Naomi (at 13) created a whole town of dollhouses, some purchased, most created by her from boxes, and I loved the expanse and depth and ingenuity of her city all over the attic floor, this project #243 (at the very least).

And at the base of the stairs was our trunk of dress-up clothes, with old 1950's formals and furry stoles, shiny glass necklaces, high heeled slippers and grey wigs. Up on top of bookcases I placed retro piles of colorful Sunday or going-to-town hats... I wanted our house to be the one people in charge of church plays or ladies' teas came to when they needed props. And it was.

Ours was the house where, when Naomi's teachers required small groups to make video movies, Naomi's groups always came here and dressed up and created clever, messy props and had full-run of the house, all three floors, to film in any room they wanted. And where, ten years later, we still have props in our basement, like jars with color-markered labels reading, "Super Juice! Buy Me Today."

I wanted our house to be the one with any book worth reading so Naomi could grab one anytime she had a book report to do... and so we had books in every room from up in the attic to down to the basement. I counted 700 one time, not even counting the books belonging solely to Naomi or Tom.

I never wanted a house stuffed with expensive stuff, no, just imaginative, fun, old stuff which someday, Naomi would think back on as being treasures of a different kind. And those memories would bring smiles.

The Kind of House I Want Now:

Today, I want a house which reflects me as I am now, an older, different woman--a woman who went on a journey, yes, but who did not have to carry back every single souvenir she saw along the way. I want to furnish my house with only those things I find useful and beautiful and trust that I'll--always--be able to recall the trinkets which fit and made sweeter the bygone years... things which, if held onto too long, only slow down the moving forward which is required at this new turn in the journey.

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