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Sunday, December 23, 2012

standing where it is

  The house is still there. A bit worn, tired, and in need of some repairs. But it is still a warm shelter, it is clean, it is useful. More than forty years old, still solid, built to withstand tornado wind, maybe, it has not been tested. High winds only bring tree limbs to rest on the roof, erosion has washed away much of the brown dirt hugging the foundation. Each year, more is added for wind to whisk away in the dry times. Yet it is a good house, built with love by the original owners. There was attention to detail like positing the homestead due north, in winter, where the sun will rise to warm the children's bedrooms to ease the chill of the night.

  The fireplace in the dining room is large, not so large as one can step into but large to warm the home, and by the way, it is central with all air flowing toward the bedrooms of the H shaped home. The second owners were not as kind, they replaced items with those of less quality. They covered the wallpaper with paint, and the wood floors with carpet, wall to wall. The tile in the bathrooms were the seventies pink and grey, but the finest tile, with pieces specially made to fit the corners and edges. Now, they are cut, and the cut tiles around the tub show they were not even sanded. The towel rack is slightly tilted. The linoleum in the kitchen has burn marks, made probably by the ash of cigarettes hanging from someones lip, lots of cigarettes. There were fire alarms in every room, unnoticeable battery operated discs that would blare when the oven was lit. Reminders that someone smoked, or that the house was heated with wood. The black on the walls would attest to that, and the film on the windows too. Ash in the kitchen cabinet or is it simply years accumulation of dirt, either or both.

  When dreaming about how to spend the lottery money we will win, when we play the lottery someday, the little instances of loving care this home needs, grows to the wish list of true dreamers, indoor swimming pool, sauna, whirlpool,  windows, walk in closets and on and on. But mostly it is the wish to pay respect to a thing that most persons would say is not alive, this house, this home, the place that hugs us to sleep at night, and warms us awake in the morning. The place we take for granted, until, adversity puts it in jeopardy, this place that has been good to us for so long, and when we have to leave, we would like to pass it along, in better shape from when we got it. But that too is probably just the stuff that the dreamers of winning the lottery dream. We will just leave it, standing where it is, and if we are smart, we will not look back.

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