I wonder if it still has the markings of my growth for the six years I lived there.
I remember sitting on the floor, reading a primer while the workers laid down the carpet in the rest of the house.
I remember the way that I had to walk through it to get to the rest of the house, even though there was another door from the carport.
I remember spending the night on the floor, on the Mayflower. Making our own butter, eating beef jerky and biscuits. Or maybe saltines. Hardtack.
I remember my sister singing seventeen made up verses to I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause in February. Eating spaghetti with parmesan cheese and drinking milk, because one of the vamps was “Spaghetti and spaghetti, milky, milky, milk!”
I remember looking out at the birdfeeder by the bay window in all seasons.
The cardinal in the snow.
The titmice, my mother’s favorite.
The brown thrashers flitting about.
I remember the rats who ate through the Tupperware—that we still have—to get to our sugar cookies.
I remember the valentine placemats. The Easter tree. The pancakes on shrove Tuesday.
I remember Tombstone pizzas that I could make myself.
I remember decorating the kitchen not before, but during the sleepovers for my birthday.
It was the room that my mother knew. It was the room that we ate in.
We shared many family meals there. We each had our own places at the table. I sit here, you sit there. Set the table, fix your drinks, dinner will be ready soon.
There was light in that room.
I remember my hands being dry.
I remember planning meals. Once a week, and leading family meeting.
I never realized how difficult it was to be so creative in planning three new meals each day for weeks and months on end…
I remember seeing the fire out the window at the neighbors. The dark. The way that I thought that I should go sit somewhere else, and then one of my parents came to find me when I was not outside. Shoes with no socks.
I remember our cats running and slipping on our floors.
I remember sitting at the table, still eating when everyone had left because. I. Was. So. Slow.
I remember learning what cinnamon toast was. And that it wasn’t burned.
I remember learning how to eat “toast” Swedish style: with spread butter and jam on simple, untoasted bread.
I remember drinking a gallon of skim milk with Quik, one afternoon with my cousins and sister.
I remember orange Push-Up Pops.
I remember that it was the only room that didn’t change. The rest of the furniture in the house could move, but it was just so.
I remember where the spoons were.