Tuesday, January 05, 2010

My Dream House


Some people say their Dream House would have 4,000 square feet and bay windows and a highly efficient super kitchen and five huge bedrooms with five large bathrooms and vaulted ceilings, a foyer and a spiral staircase.

Me? My Dream House has pineapple tops in saucers and thumbtacks still holding bits of birthday crepe paper and tiny Christmas bells around doorknobs and a creche still on the mantle in July.

There are drawers crammed with linens and damask napkins, hutches with collected treasures spilling everywhere and there's a chandelier with crystals and beads and bendable fairies. There are stacks of old records and Glenn Miller is spinning on the player with the occasional pop! from dust. Decorated lampshades send out cozy light and cupids are stenciled here and there on the walls above each black phone with a rotary dial.

There's a butler's pantry with stacks of mismatched dishes and seashells behind glass and sewing supplies on the counter and inside floral-papered drawers. The kitchen has a Formica and chrome table and chairs and wallpaper from 40 years ago and glass-fronted cabinets which reach to the ceiling.

The bedrooms upstairs were painted in Easter egg colors back in the 1950's and the closets hold old formals, wedding dresses and Halloween costumes as well as pink striped hatboxes. The hall is lined with sepia photos of the people who once lived in this house and the carpet runner is worn down the middle from their long ago footsteps.

There's dust, but there's a rampant feeling of love on every level and, always, it feels as though a birthday party could burst forth anytime and as though sunlight is shining from behind the heavy drapes, even when it isn't. There is laughter and music and creative activity and the children who live in this house hope to never, ever leave it.


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This post is partly inspired by the essay, Other People's Houses, by Nancy Eberle, one of my all-time favorite pieces. Ever.


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Actually? I have visited my Dream House many times in reality over and over. Tom and I often stumble across it when we attend summer estate sales.

5 comments:

debi said...

oh....you've drawn me into a place I had almost forgotten....one of the happiest homes I've ever visited is just like the one you described that I used to go to as a child.
My favorite part then was the prom formals in the upstairs closet off the bedrooms that my sister and I used to put on and feel beautiful in.
Looking back, though, I see the real magic was the joy that exuded from that home....oh the joy that each family member had.
Thanks for reminding me of what's really important today, Debra.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Sounds very good to me....Here is a present for you, something you can wear in your dream house.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_G-Djbg65IEo/Sn-rDw7QOlI/AAAAAAAADiw/gAy8sUzYeCw/s1600-h/DSCN0610.JPG

Judy said...

I used to love love love my grandma's kitchen.

Recently, I saw a picture of it.

The one in my memory was better.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Oh, this post was wonderful because I have never seen this essay by Nancy Eberle. One of my favorite books, ever, was written by her. It is "Return to Main Street". If you haven't read it, you really should.
You would love it. It is about her family moving from a big expensive house in the Chicago suburbs, to a rundown old farmhouse on a neglected farm in a rural town in Illinois. It was written in 1982, and is a wonderful read. It reminds us of what is really important in life.
nancyr