Welcome back to Member Monday. It’s a pleasure to once again feature member Jennifer Phelps. Welcome back, Jennifer!
by Jennifer Phelps
This is a picture of my house – or rather, my yard – of which I will only show a small piece because I am stubbornly private. It’s a good house and, like all good houses, has held its share of pain as well as joy. Call it “seasoning.”
I like to say I’ll be here forever, which of course is just one of those silly things we tell ourselves when we love something and can’t imagine letting it go. Who am I to speak of forever? My existence is only a small blip on the radar screen of forever, here and gone in an instant.
My house, though, I love unapologetically: its wide windows that show me the rain, stars, and moonlight; the squeaky hinge on the bathroom door that I could lubricate but somehow never do; the crooked corner in the living room that inspires speculation about drunken drywall contractors.
I love the way light winds its way into each room at a slightly different angle, the way the hall closet still smells of someone else’s candles, the too-sunny greenhouse window that cooks even the hardiest of plants to a pulp in the dense heat of summer.
Best of all, I love the garden, home to hundreds of Pacific tree frogs and numerous speckled, smooth, and mossy boulders – all of which I adore with shameless fanaticism. I love the neighborhood with its foothills for walking, its backdrop of dusky mountains, the way the wild pushes its brambled back up against my fence.
And I even try to love the neighbors – honest, I do try.
I fill my home with the things I love, the cobalt blue KitchenAid mixer that was a wedding present from my grandma, my mother’s bust of Mozart, the old rocking chair my parents carried me to for comfort in the wee hours, the pets I dare to love even though I know they will one day break my heart, and my special people, who share with me daily their truth, wisdom, and grace.
This house is and will be witness to the mundane, the profound, the astonishing. It is witness to our lives.
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