Listening To: Sunday Morning Coming Down by Johnny Cash
Line Obsession: "Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there's a tomorrow. Maybe for you there's one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through your fingers. So much time you can waist it. But for some of us there's only today. And the truth is, you never really know." - from Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
He asked: "What would your dream house look like?"
I told him about the outside first. I said it would have a big porch, the kind where you sit in rocking chairs, and sip iced-tea, and watch for falling stars. But before you start picturing The Notebook (or Cracker Barrel), you should know my dream house is just a quirky old cottage. My dream house definitely would not have stairs. Carrying laundry upstairs isn't fun when you're gravity impaired. Ditto for furniture on move-in day.
My dream house would have lots of windows. Maybe even a window seat. When I was little, I used to sit on a white toy box in front of my window and pretend to be Little Orphan Annie. Remember in the opening scene of the movie, when she's staring out at the lonesome city streets, singing? "Betcha he reads. Betcha she sews. Maybe she'll make me a closet of clothes." I so did that. (I didn't mention that part out loud.) (Some aspects of my past are best left for public blogs, not private conversation.)
The house would be surrounded by shade trees. In the summer, the sunlight and the moonlight would filter through the trees and look like a fire-pattern spread out across the wood floors. I would fall asleep dreaming about patchwork skies.
My dream house would be full of original art, not by known artists, but by friends who will be known someday. Or should be. And I'll hang up art by college students and high school students who show their art at school shows, and look like you've offered them a free trip to the moon when you ask if their work is for sale. I would frame the music notes my papaw left on a yellow scrap of paper in his banjo case. That would definitely go on the wall.
My house would be full of built-in bookshelves. And there would be space for the bookshelf my dad made for me at the house where we used to live. There will be a place for the bookcase I bought at Target which is plain, and black, but kind of awesome. There will be no such thing as literary snobbery on my shelves either. Narnia, Diagon Alley, Avonlea, and Grover's Corners will all be located side by side. Sandra Cisneros and Zadie Smith can chill beside the random quirky books I liberated from the free pile at my used bookstore. My heart goes out to tattered covers.
My record player would be there. And on rainy days, I could listen to Johnny Cash records while I made strawberry muffins (while Biscuit plays with her toys).
Pictures of my friends and family will be there. And hopefully, my friends and family will be there in person, not just in pictures. Their smiles make me smile.
My house would have an office that felt like a little oasis from the world; a place with a big window, a desk, a comfy chair, my Mac, and my yellow notebooks. My coffee cup with the Shakespeare quotes would hold G2 pens. My I ♥ Jim Halpert mug would be full of warm coffee. And my heart would be full too. My heart would be decided. A few years ago I painted a canvas black and wrote "I have a decided heart" (a quote from an Andy Andrews book) in big, swirly white letters. I would hang that quote in my office, where I could see it everyday. And in that dream world, I'll write more books. And I'll be able to look at those books and realize, not only did I decide, I did.
I would let my niece and nephew decorate the guest room. Erin's half would be chic and magazine worthy. Andy's half would be full of Transformers, trucks, cardboard telescopes, and those plastic containers of clay you buy at Wal-Mart that make fart noises when you squish the clay down into the corners. The house would have a couple of bathrooms. (The bathtub would totally have jets. This is a dreamworld, after all.). I would have a cute kitchen. With a drawer for take-out menus.
My house would be welcoming, full of comfy pillows, a comfy couch, and lots of movies and board games. (Clue, anyone?) I would put pink roses in a turquoise vase on the center of the table. The quilts my great-grandmother made would be tossed on the couches. Biscuit's toys would be on the floor. And I would have magnets on the fridge from the states I've visited. Virginia is for lovers. You haven't lived till you've lived in Texas. See Rock City! Viva Las Vegas!
The house would look lived in, which makes it mostly ordinary, I guess.
But there's this other room, sort of a mystery room. I don't know what it would be exactly, but I know I would cover the ceiling with old maps. Every now and then, when I felt tired or cranky or bored or just desperate for some inspiration, I would go in that room and lie down on the floor. I would stare at the ceiling and think about the places I've gone, and the places I want to go.
Then I'll imagine a girl sailing across the blue paper ocean. Her flag is white with a single red heart in the center. She's standing on the edge of the boat, watching a storm made of words billow in the distance. The wind blows. The heart trembles.
She sets her sails for the storm and never looks back.
Question: what would your dream house look like? Happy Weekending. :)