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Quote of the Day
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Not My House
Every family has a certain smell, and that smell permeates everything the family owns. My grandma's apartment always smells like boiling potatoes. Corinne and Ben's house smells like a lovely mixture of dill and vanilla. My parents' house smells like summer wind, even in the winter. Our house usually smells like clean laundry, even when the place is a mess.
Today, our house doesn't smell like us.
Today marked the beginning of a large transformation: the neighbors who are buying our house started moving things into our now-empty basement, filling the storage area and the playroom with neatly packed and labelled boxes, plastic crates of toys and shoes, and clear bins of Christmas decorations. All of our things that used to be in the basement are now piled into our family room. None of our things are gone from this house yet -- that doesn't happen until this coming Saturday, which is Phase I of our move to Pond House -- but our scent seems to have vanished altogether. I ran a few errands this afternoon and when I returned I noticed that the place did not smell like laundry detergent, but cinnamon. That is not our smell. That is their smell.
At first, it took me by surprise. I started to feel sad about it, but as I looked around I realized that as soon as I packed up the linen closet, boxed up some of my cake pans, and filled the holes in the walls where my crown moulding ledges once hung, the house became a little less mine. The special things about this place that made it uniquely ours are packed in a box or shoved unattractively against a wall, awaiting placement in a moving truck. But in the basement, wrapped securely in bubble wrap and tucked in stacked boxes, a new identity for this house waits, and the smell of cinnamon is announcing its arrival.
I hope that, by this time next week, Pond House is starting to smell like clean laundry.