Where the Magic Lived
Fred knew. From the moment I plugged him in above the stove in front of that wall of windows so black at night, life would never be the same again. He lived all those years, a warm glowing sentry. The welcomer, witnessing all.
Mice skittering along window sills, jumping out of cupboards, shrieks of fear and laughter so often the city girls weren’t afraid of them anymore. Wisteria wafting through the kitchen in the evening, Red tail hawks call, ravens, mockingbirds, night songs. Doberman toenails echoing on hardwood. Rusted bits and horseshoes, treasures from archeological digs in the pasture.
Cows, honest to God cows, peeking in the windows in the morning on their way from the sleeping cove behind the house down to the stream that ran across the rolling two hundred acres. The horses followed walking with their friends, a parade of colors through the mist, a carnival of enchantment for the girl who dreamed of them all of her life. No one else understood. It didn’t matter.
Fred my friend, little nightlight in the kitchen, listening, sheltering, soft shadows, ginseng tea, anger and ecstasy, first kisses, heart wrenching tragic goodbyes. Loneliness and friendship. Moody Blues, Elton John, YoYo Ma. Full moon over the avocado grove, toast with cheap wine, glass hummingbird in the window. Grease, Andy Gibb, Donnie and Marie, giggling from the back room. Barbeques, new friends, walks on cow paths, weed growing like Christmas trees, so much weed. School, always school.
My tendency to live in dreamland, to feel what the house feels, the imprint of happiness. When it was new eighty years ago, maybe more. When it was loved, before we loved it. When the new bride was carried off to the back bedroom…that’s still there. When the windows sparkled with life, reflecting baby hands reaching out to touch the fat spiders just outside. When mice were happy in the kitchen garden not the pantry.
Equal parts of wild and sad, foolish choices and bliss so pure it still calls when I least expect it, grabs my heart and I can close my eyes and feel warm hardwood under my feet and smell the damp earth outside. My sunshine California, my Last Chance Ranch.
We were so young, perched with our hearts on the edge of tomorrow, waiting to step forward.
Day Twenty: The Things We Treasure
Today’s Prompt: Tell us the story of your most-prized possession.