Sunday, January 9, 2011

At my Parent's House

Growing up, our house was mostly brown and white, then blue and white, then some cranberry and canary. Since then. my parents (mainly my mom) have become very comfortable with color. The past decade has seen the same reds, yellows and blues, but pink, orange and lime green have been added. The transformation in the home I grew up in is remarkable. Our house is nearly 200 hundred years old, and our family has been there for more than 40 years now. The use of the building has changed, walls have been added, and removed.
I bring Amira to my childhood home, and I think, "she is playing and roaming where I did." And there are certain nooks that have not changed. Then there are major changes that give the space a whole new feeling-and are as new to me as to her.
My parent's living room is my grandmother's living room. But when I went to my grandmother's living room, the walls were white, the rug was pastel, the floors were dark brown, as was the trim. There was a big silver space heater and an entertainment center next to a small deep set window. She had a sand filled snake at the bottom of the door to the room to block the draft, and a shelf with a wooden duck. There was a secretary and big stand up radio both colored black. And on the wall going to the kitchen was an expressionist painting as big as my grandmother of a woman holding flowers.
Amira, in her grandmother's living room, sees a red couch, orange walls, and terracotta trim. The floors are blond now, and the space heater is where the shelf with the duck was. Instead of big and silver, it is small and looks like a wood burning stove. The duck is in the guest room. The window was traded for french doors and the rug is a graphic black and white. But the painting of the woman is in the same place, and the latch on the door is the same, and the arrangement of the couch and coffee table is the same as when I was a child. The radio is gone, but the secretary is in an adjoining room. A different painting hangs above the couch, but is by the same artist.
Amira visits and sits at the coffee table, much like I would. And I know her view is different from mine, in many ways, but it is nice to know that some experiences are shared.

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