20 01 2008

As a kid, I spent winter Saturdays feasting on rummage sales, stuffing my bike baskets with immense ballgowns, glittery shoes and costume jewelry–a buck a bag; in summer my dad and I cruised flea markets, antique shops, yard sales, he chasing coins, I antique spectacles, postcards, photos–anything humming with stories. When I found an odd wicker rocking chair, missing a rocker, my parents wouldn’t lend me the quarter it cost. But my grandfather not only dug into his pocket but into the far reaches of our dirt-floored basement where he turned up an orphan rocker, mustard yellow, a perfect fit.



19 01 2008

In our summer cottage, my butter-yellow bedroom was at the top of the steep stairs. With the door open, anyone heading up to the bathroom or to their rooms had access to its contents, yet closing the door meant a dark climb. And so every morning my door would be fastened open with hook and eye. That meant I had to keep it clean, spartan even, treasures stashed. My brothers had corner rooms, private and messy. One brother’s was even painted a deep-sea blue except for along the eaves’ sweep where huge maritime maps charted the depths of coastal waters.