09 April 2014

Walking Through My Home

Tonight I sat on my couch and in my mind’s eye I walked through my home in Africa.

Then I cried.

I remember our comfy couch that we never had for the first six years living there and what a blessing it was when we got it. I remember what it was like to lay in my bed under the buzz of the AC and look out my bedroom window framed by thin white curtains. I remember the tall tree that would often be full of bright pink blossoms. The blossoms would blow of the tree and cover the balcony floor and dry up like fall leaves.

I remember the squeak of the bathroom doorknob. I remember the hallway cabinet and it’s thin caving walls. I remember the crooked nail that kept the living room window closed during most but not all dust storms.

I remember our big pink rug and our brown table that held a basket of baby toys on the lower shelf. I remember my striped curtains that I purchased in Qatar and brought back to hem myself.

I remember the fan mounted on the wall in Mike’s office.

I remember the toy shelf in the kids room. I remember their mosquito nets and the extra mattress under the bed perfect for pulling out to sit on. I remember how much I worried about putting one year old Sweet N in that room with H to sleep in the same room at night. And I remember how well they did.

I remember the dining room chairs that lasted us seven years. I remember the way they sounded when they scraped across the tile floor. I remember how ants that would swarm under the dining room table eating crumbs even before we could finish a meal.

I remember how the paint was peeling off the floor in the kitchen. And every other room.

I remember my white tile kitchen counter that my Dad installed for me when they visited. I remember baking Christmas cookies on that counter with my Mom.

I remember the way the stairwell would get dusty so quickly and there would be four sizes of footprints leading up and down.

I remember the creak of the porch swing that Mikey had made for me my first birthday living there. And I remember how the legs were a good 12 inches too long and my feet couldn’t even touch the ground from the seat until we sawed the legs shorter.

I remember how I used to peek over the side of the balcony hiding myself because I might have been only wearing a tank top in the house and if someone from the street saw me it would have been embarrassing.

I remember pulling our two plastic tables together on that balcony to host many-a-visitor. I remember the morning light on the balcony. I remember the dusk and the call to prayer on that balcony. I remember H riding his bike and N playing in her tripod on that balcony. I remember peeking out late at night to see Mike watering the plants in the dark while listening to a podcast.

I remember the wooden sideboard by the door where my mobile phone would sit all day so I could hear it ring from any room. I remember each shelf in that sideboard and I remember what I had stored on each one.

I remember the stains on our bathtub. I remember how filthy the windowsill in the bathroom would get. I remember filling our red baby bathtub and bathing my babies in that tub on top of the washing machine.  I remember that our bathroom mirror wasn’t made right and it was more like a funhouse mirror on one side.

I remember My boy H peering though his bedroom window into the hallway when he was two and he’d wake up from his nap.

I remember spending hours hanging laundry to dry on my two drying racks in the hallway.  I remember that pigeons lived on the outside wall of the house and made a mess.

I remember standing my babies at the kitchen window to wave bye-bye to Daddy as he pulled away to go to work.

I remember the way the kitchen faucet would spray water everywhere when I turned it on because it sometimes had such strong water pressure. I remember the way that same faucet would just gurgle when I turned it on to discover the water had been cut.

I remember that a box of tissues in the kitchen drawer was my equivalent of paper towels. I remember that I never had a microwave.

I remember all this. And so much more.

It’s burned on my heart.

And I miss it.

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