A View Of The Rooms

The ice storms have passed and the temperature has reached forty. Let the thaw begin! The gutters frozen and clogged are of little use. The water has to go someplace. Why not under the shingles? Water drips from the ceiling of my bedroom. The glass light fixture had to be emptied twice. The front windows are fogged up the way my car windows used to get when I was in high school. I didn’t mind then.

When my house really frustrates me I try to think of the things that make it my home. The following is a view of the rooms.


Lot’s of people have collections. Phillip has baseball cards. Stamps and coins are popular items. My twelve year old has started to collect towels. There is no larceny involved in this. She isn’t taking the towels from the hotels and motels we visit. No, these are the towels Jennifer uses when she showers.

I have eight bath towels for the two kids. I noticed that the linen closet was empty and ran downstairs to do a load. There were only three in the hamper. Up in Jen’s room I waded through dirty socks and clean turtlenecks strewn upon her floor. The five missing towels were forming a pyramid by her papasan chair. One solution would be to buy more towels, but I don’t know how many her room could hold.


Peace had descended upon the living room. Jen was playing Nintendo in the basement. Phil had yet to return from his youth group overnight. Alissa’s children, R.J. and Meredith, were with their father. Adult time.

I poured two large mugs of cinnamon flavored coffee and lowered the volume to “Sunday Morning on CBS.” She curled up next to me on the couch as we finished our breakfast of lox and cream cheese on bagels. After Charles Kuralt ended his show with the sound of Norwegian birds perched in trees above the Olympic crowds, I put on some music. I was reading the editorials. Alissa had the Metro section.

It is hard to read with your eyes closed, your arms wrapped around the woman you love. Hours were spent on the same page. Kenny Loggins’ C D, Leap of Faith, played all the way through four times.

I have faith. I am ready to leap.


Jennifer lit the Sabbath candles. Phillip led us in the blessing over the wine and recited the Kiddush. We were having a traditional Friday evening dinner. It was not unusual for us to celebrate the Sabbath. It just seemed so odd because it was the first time in over a week that Phil, Jen and I were eating dinner together.

We used to eat dinner together every night. But Phillip is in a play at Brush, and Jennifer has flute and babysitting, and I have meetings and appointments, so now…

Sometimes I make three different dinners at three different times. Sometimes they are my children. Sometimes they are my two red-headed roommates.

I am ready for them to grow up. I just wasn’t ready for the dining room to be so empty.