There is a brightness to their house, like the walls have soaked up all the happiness they’ve witnessed and now just glow with the warmth and love. My mom actually grew up in this house, which is something I find fascinating. When she tells stories of high school, I can see her and her friends, skipping around the house, flirting with boys and eating my grandma’s cooking. In the foyer, there is a mirror. When I look into it, I see shadows of my mother, making sure every hair was in place before she smiled out the door on her Friday night date. It fascinates me, seeing my mother in all the items that became so familiar to me throughout my childhood.
Maybe that’s why their house always fascinated me, why I always crept around, examining knick knacks and running my fingers over photos from the past. Their house is a collection of lives, of experiences–it holds memories of my mother as young girl, as a teen, and then as a mom herself, bringing her children to visit. Everyone is so transient these days, with new jobs and different opportunities enticing them to city after city, house after house. But there is a sense of comfort in a house that has known one family for so long. The walls know things, the house breathes.
Isn’t my mom just stunning? I’ve been told that I look like her…a definite compliment.
My uncle’s room still looks much like it did when he was in high school. I used to stand and stare these bottles, a preserved octopus bobbing in each, bulging eyes staring back at me. They’ve always been there, and I think they always will be.
My grandma’s perfume collection is beautiful. The curved glass sitting on a delicate tray, reminiscent of the past, a timeless tribute to loveliness.
My brother and I would run to the big leather chairs, our little fingers diving into the cushions searching for grandpa’s loose change.
The pool used to be surrounded by plants, a lagoon in the middle of my grandma’s jungle. The lizards were underfoot, and my hands caught more than I could count.
The sweet, tangy, overwhelming smell of oranges will always take me back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, no matter how old I am or how many miles I am away from Winter Haven.