Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Big Bay Window

My house is the same house my mom grew up in. She says she never really liked the house or felt that "home sweet home" attachment, with its cramped rooms and dark hallways. Out of everything, she most fondly remembers the kitchen pantry, stocked with Goldfish and French's fried onion bits and whatever else satisfied her salty cravings.

She moved away, but thirty years later she is back in that house, with her own family. The dining room is now just an extension of the living room. The wall between the TV room and kitchen has been knocked down, and the TV room now holds the kitchen table and a couch for company, so they can sit and chat while we try to casually carry on a conversation while waiting for the ham we put in the oven an hour too late.

I'm not sure if I feel any strong attachment to my house. It's hard to know because I've never really been away. But I know that when I leave, one thing I will remember is the big window in what used to be the TV room: the big bay window.

I will remember the years Mom decorated that window with phrases wishing passerby the joys of the current season, properly accented with flowers or snowflakes or falling leaves. I will remember the giant ceramic Jack-O-Lantern that smiled at trick-or-treaters from the windowsill. I will remember all the singing snowmen from Hallmark that took the Jack-O-Lantern's place during the Christmas season.

Why will I remember all this? Because the big bay window looks into the kitchen, and it is the first thing I see upon returning home. There is nothing more comforting than when I pull into the driveway to see the kitchen lit up, Mom or someone else standing over the stove. I love to see my dog's perked ears as she stands on the couch, deciding whether or not she needs to warn the house of intruders.

When I come home from college in a few years I will pull into the driveway and see the big bay window, and I will know I am home. Inside a loaf of bread will be in the oven and my dog will greet me with happy barks. At least that is how I will remember it.

What do you remember most–or think you will most remember–about your childhood house?

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