Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
CLICK ON THE RABBIT ( yes, those are cabinets) TO SEE MY PORTFOLIO, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT MY SERVICES...theartofthehome.com

Monday, May 2, 2011

Coming Home

Buying Belle Ami, this lovely old house, meant moving forty miles south of the cities, twenty miles south of the outer ring of suburbs.  I'm a good driver, but I don't love driving, and I really don't love driving at night.  Except sometimes.  Sometimes, coming home through the dark, I am reminded of childhood trips, which always ended in coming home through the dark.

Though Dad was pretty particular about seat belts, I was usually allowed to ride home laying in the back of the van, on the floor.  Being the end of some adventure, all of us kids were tuckered out, either dozing, or lost in our own thoughts, and Mom was usually asleep in the front passenger seat.  We shot through the night in our isolated pod, occasionally meeting another set of headlights, slowing to navigate the winding curves of mountain highways, and pausing at junctions, with a crunching of tires on the gravely pavement.

I would lie quietly in the back, watching the stars that glittered through the tops of Douglas fir and ponderosa pine trees.  As we neared town, the treetops disappeared, and I knew our location by the sound the tires made on certain spots, or the dip and sway of certain curves.  Then there was the quick dip of the echoing underpass that took us beneath the train track, followed by a soft ka-thunk-ka-thunk, that meant we were curving onto Main Street.  Soon, we would turn the last corner, and as we roused ourselves to gather armfuls of stuff, Dad would recite the last lines of an old nursery rhyme, saying "Home again, home again, jiggety-jig".

Those last quiet, almost ritualistic, miles were such a perfect and comforting transition from the adventure of the day.  Time to replay the best parts, figure out the reason for the tiff with the cousin, mull over the prospect of the next visit, and just peacefully wind down, so that by the time we turned into the alley, all was settled, and I was ready to just be home.  Ready to be embraced by the familiar smell of wood stove and old house, the squeak of the stairs as we made our way up to our bedrooms, the chill of the sheets and the heavy cotton-scented coziness of one of Grandma's old quilts.

I seldom get back to Mom and Dads' place, but coming home to Belle often has the same feel, even if it's just coming home from a day of work, and not some grand adventure.  Though I am in the driver's seat now, with my eyes on the road rather than the tree tops, I still know the rhythm of the last ten miles in my bones...the curving hill up to Jordan, where the speed limit drops, the final stoplight there, then on past the Apple Barn, where the frost cracks play a steady tattoo of ka-thunks, then a rise, a drop, and a slight veer to the right, and up and around to the stop sign.  I've made my way back through the dark, in my little pod of isolation, sorting my thoughts about the day, arriving home, just ready to be here.  It's a different old house smell, without woodsmoke, and the stairs have their own voice, but the sheets are still icy, and Grandma's old quilt is still heavy and warm.

I think I'll go tuck in there now.  I hope wherever you travel in your life, you have a peaceful home you love to return to.  If it doesn't yet exist in your world, may you know where to find it in your heart.  Home again, home again, jiggety-jig!

p.s.  In answer to Friday's question...at least three days.  There's no need to know the maximum, I'm sure.

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