Friday, September 19, 2014

House of Words

There’s nothing so special as time spent with grandparents. My memories of this side of the family are tactile—specifically, the joys of reading for hours under an afghan on a brown leather couch.

House of late-night card games, bottomless coffee pots, fully stacked bookshelves. House of print, print, print! Magazines, newspapers, music sheets.

So many of the books that have shaped me came from this house—books by Thomas Merton, Wallace Stegner, Willa Cather.

House of words, trying to make the perfect play in Scrabble. Curiosity about all the words, what they mean. Change this letter, why is this here, how can I play a “Q” without a “U”?

House where 10:30 a.m. on a Sunday is the right time to crack a beer—church duties being fulfilled, of course.  House of nodding off for a nap while the piano is playing, and there’s a lovely voice singing a hymn.

A Midwestern home, to be sure. And though it's never been my mailing address, a house that, when I visit it, feels like coming home.

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