A Very, Very, Very Fine House

I had a doctor's appointment today, because I caught my annual pre-Thanksgiving plague, and it isn't getting any better. I still go to see the same doctor that I have seen since I was about 12 years old, the office where I used to work in the billing office, with my grandmother and my grandfather and my mother as my bosses. Good times, those.

I took a half-sick day off work and went to my parents' house to have lunch before my office visit. As it turns out, my father was meeting my mother for lunch, so when I got there, I was the only person in the house. That is the first time that happened in at least five years, and possibly ten. Because there is always someone at my parents' house -- it's like Grand Central Station up in there.

In the spring and summer, my mother's garden is THE place to be, but the inside of the house is greatly underappreciated. I love my parents' house, not just because I lived there for so long and still spend so much time there, but because there are so many things in the house that say "Home" to me. Totally weird and random things.

Like this bowl. This bowl is my very favorite bowl in all the lands and the skies. Don't ask me why, because I'll be damned if I know. But it's always a special treat to me when I can eat out of this bowl, which I did today. Chunky Sirloin Burger soup will never taste as good as it does out of this bowl.

I love this grandfather clock, which we have had for about a hundred years. Well, okay, like 35 years, but still -- I always remember it being in my parents' house, so it might as well be generations old. It hasn't worked right since before I got married, I don't think. But when my sisters and I were little girls, it used to play a tune, and when my father would tuck us in at night, we used to sing the song together, and take turns being kissed goodnight on the long "BOOOOOING!"

This tatty old Monet poster is probably 20 years old. I got it when I was in high school, on the day I went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and saw my very favorite painting for the first time. This poster has been in three bedrooms in my parents' house, plus four different college dorm rooms. Lucky for me that my mother and I have the same favorite color palettes, and this poster still matches the walls in the room that is now the "guest nursery." (Ironically, the poster is NOT a print of "A Bend in the Epte" -- the PMA did not have any copies of that poster left when I was there back in 1990.)

No idea where this weathervane came from, or why my mother has it, but her house generally has a vaguely-nautical-slash-beach-cottage decor, and this thing fits right in. This is in the guest bedroom, and sometimes when I'm sleeping over I will watch it reflect streetlights and headlights and taillights and the occasional tealight, and it helps me sleep.

If I recall correctly, my mom got this dresser either from "salvage" (i.e., she knew someone was getting rid of it and she picked it up and brought it home) or from a yard sale. Either way, she got it for next to nothing. It matches EXACTLY ZERO other pieces of furniture in my house -- my decorating style is more a cross between kind of colonial and a little bit Scandinavian and sort of hand-me-down -- but I call dibs on this wardrobe anyway.

On almost every available surface in the house, there are pictures. Tons and tons of pictures, of everybody and everything and every occasion, some of them literally decades old. Just in this one corner on my mom's living room, there are pictures of (clockwise, starting at top left) my wedding from 1999, my parents' wedding from 1973, me and my sisters from approximately 1987, my father's parents and their kids from around 1955 when my dad was still the youngest (there are only five kids in that picture, so my grandmother would go on to have EIGHT MORE children), a picture of my father and his brothers from my aunt's wedding in 2000 or 2001, and a picture of my mother and her siblings with my grandparents from I don't even know what year. Stuff like this is EVERYWHERE. My mother has my great-grandmother's elementary school graduation diploma on the walls. It's AWESOME.

And, OF COURSE, she still has roses blooming, because she and her dirt are made of magic.


  1. mom is not in that picture. it's all the Black boys: poppy, his kids, and grandkids. NONE OF THE GIRLS.

    and i think that was always daddy's soup or cereal bowl. that's why it's so special.

  2. d'oh! i took a picture of that picture and i STILL don't know who's in there.

    and i think you're right about the bowl. i freaking LOVE that stupid bowl.

  3. What an awesome post, your parent's house is awesome! I am sure I will have wallpaper made ot of photos when I am older! LOL! I have my wedding memorabalia displayed and always will. Then I have what I call "The wall of babies". It's pictures from my 4 kids first year. I have a very asian inspired theme in my furniture and all. I hope my kids love coming home as much as you do when they are older. I hope you are feeling better as well!