‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Saturday, June 9, 2007

There's no place like home

Another day, another party, another house to snoop around in.....

Today we went to my friend Laxmi's house. Admittedly she's really more of an acquaintance, although I have tried to ingratiate myself because I am fond of saying her name.

Next to their door is a little plaque that says "Welcome to our home away from home." Knowing that they live here year round, I think oh goody, they have a sense of humor like mine. I once bought some napkins that said that. They were a dollar and sometimes I like to pretend that this is our summer house. It is also our winter house.

But Laxmi and her husband are from India and this really is their home away from home.

They live in a single-story, grey-shingled, white trimmed house, same as everyone else. But then you walk in and promptly leave the country. Everything is simple and sparse with ornamentation tucked into all the details - like a dark canvas that someone has scattered faceted jewels on. The walls are all painted rich hues and candles in votives flicker everywhere. The plain tile floors are studded with patterns and the curtains are all sheer with ornate embroidery and tiny mirrored bits. Their dining room has a low table that they can all sit on the floor around. I think this is especially neat because I saw it on Six Feet Under once.

I love it when things are not what they appear to be from the outside. I love homes that tell me a bit about the people who live there.

I was once a nanny in Germany. From time to time I would be loaned to a family up the street who had lived in Brazil. In this very German home they had little touches of Brazil - a very ornate sink in the guest bathroom, a distinctly South American sculpture on the landing - tucked all around the house.

And then I came back to the U.S. and started living in my own homes. Although I didn't do it consciously (does anyone?), I have surrounded myself with those touches that tell a story - who I am and how I got here and what remained important along the way. I have moved several times and have probably furnished entire college dorms with my discarded stuff.

Not attractively, but still.

Sometimes the laundry shrouds what my home has to offer - something I need to remedy. Maybe it's time to throw a party of my own, which will force us to clean and do some emergency landscaping. Or maybe I will tell my friends that the editors of Very Famous Magazine are coming to do a story and photoshoot on me and my chickens and will they please please please come help me fix the place up?

It might just work.

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