Sunday, October 8th, 2017
MY VERY OWN LIVING MUSEUM
Here I am in Rangeley, Maine–In my office (that’d be bed). I’m sipping my first cup of morning coffee and not from a red cup. (When my husband brings me coffee in bed, I don’t kick the gift horse in the mouth and whine about the color of the cup. Ever.)
We bought this very plain spoken house long ago. I was so concerned about the brewing blizzard that I put up no fight. The following Spring we put our five kids to work renovating the house with no skill and no interest. I would say their approach was ‘soggy’. Our eight year old painted kitchen cabinets. Our oldest sanded the living room floors irritated and so digging deep every once in a while. We have divets .Everyone els was forced labor outside. To this day the kids swear that my husband had them move the same pile dirt from place to place. They learned to pretend to tend the raspberry patch to avoid other chores. And I swear we never ate a single berry. we never managed to be here when the time was right to eat the fifteen berries that were produced.
(Remind me to tell you about the basement. I’ll save it for another time)
From my propped position I survey my kingdom, my museum. I see-
-a wooden chair with a leather seat and back, a warm carment color. It is the chair my husband had to sit in to be chastised by his father in his dad’s den.
– the bright pink bed pillow of my mom’s that I bought for her fifty years ago
-a wool rich purple and gray poncho thrown on the back of a chintz arm chair. The chair was my former mother-in-law’s and the poncho I bought in Ecuador when I was a Peace Corp volunteer
-all of my college English Literature books full of handwritten notes that surprise me with their insights
-the lamp from my college dresser that had a base with a light in it that served as a night light. My roommate went to bed earlier than I did (waaaay understatement) and this lamp guided me home.
-a tiny stained glass sunflower–a gift from my admin from long ago
-wall paper on one wall that I hung back when there was wall paper. (It is coming back people, mark my words) I loved the precision needed to hang wall paper. I was good at it.
-a chain hanging from the ceiling to turn on the light. Yep. Just yank and there is light.
I am soothed by my living museum. This is where all of my eras come together and I see that my life makes sense. I have perspective. And I’ve only talked about one room. Shabby chic? No, just shabby and beautiful.
There is a recent addition that is not soothing. That I have resisted. That is a compromise with my husband. Here it comes. We Now Have Internet. No more office under the tree. No more sitting on our neighbor’s porch of the best Inn in Maine (Pleasant Street Inn) with my laptop on my lap greeting guests. The compromise? No TV.
One day our kids will decide to keep or toss the displays of this Living Museum. And they will muse at the ancient technology of the Internet and will wonder what on earth the hand held egg beater is.