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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Home (01/09/06)

TITLE: Dishes in the Sink
By Michael Wilmot


There are dirty dishes in the sink when I get home. I like to have the kitchen clean, but with two teenagers, I have accepted that having a constantly clean kitchen is not going to happen. But the dishes mean the children are fed and healthy, that we have food in the house, and our family is highly blessed.

Stuck to the wall near the molding is a press-pin which has been there since September. It is hard to see unless you are looking for it but my eye brushes past it daily. I could pull it out, but it reminds me of my birthday party banner that exclaimed “Happy 40th Dad!” which was held up by this little pin. I can take the pin out of the wall later.

I know there is a scratch on the hutch in the living room, but I doubt you could find it. I always mean to stain it over but I remember how it got there. I was sneaking the thing into the apartment for my wife’s birthday. We were in Germany then, the kids were tiny. I was rushing the final piece from the truck, got it too close to the door frame and years later the scratch is still there.

Our china cabinet has been converted to a display for our traveling treasures, mementos from places we have seen, things we have done. Sometimes close friends have sent us things that warrant placement with their peers. I arrange the collection for balance and beauty when we add something new and I think the same two things; the cabinet is full and we got too much stuff. But each item there is an adventure, a host of memories captured into an otherwise useless thing.

The loose trim board in the hall and the mark on the wall came from wrestling match with my son a couple of years ago. It is just a little blemish, and one day when we paint the hall, that memory may be lost, but not if I leave the trim board alone. It rattles a little as I walk by, but so discreetly it is like a whisper. I hear it when leavening for work in the morning.

There are a host of things that are wrong with our house, and a few things wrong with our home. We argue more than we used to and it is hard to get everyone together for dinner. We rush in and out of doors from the house, car and the activity of the moment. Our home, like our life is imperfect but our very own.

A guest made an off the cuff remark about how our living room might be arranged differently. He is a good friend and I know his intention was not to give offence. But I could not help but feel a little intruded upon. I know that my wife and I are not gifted with design, our choices in paint are always a little off, although we both like the way our bathroom turned out. But our home fits us, it represents us.

We are an open family in many respects. We place our feelings on our sleeves and share our experiences with others. We believe life should be shared and those around us hear about how our daughter made her first point in a basketball game, or that our son moved from fish to “Flying-Fish” in swimming. Our home is the same way. The things we treasure are out in the open from pictures to mementoes. We try to arrange them neatly and keep them clean, but they are there to be enjoyed.

I love being home. I would rather invite fifty people for dinner than go to someone else’s home. Everything in our home is designed and placed for our comfort and our style. I could spend money and time to make our house better, less imperfect. I could fix the trim, replace a sink and paint a smudge. But something inside holds me back, as if to say those things are valuable too.

My wife and I decided to do some work in the house this year and upgrade a few things. We started in the master bathroom and are working our way around. We are excited about the changes in the house, but plan to keep home just the way it is.

I am leaving that press-pin in the wall. It’s a keeper.

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This article has been read 880 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Birdie Courtright01/17/06
Ah-ha! Now I understand why my husband doesn't want fix stuff! Thanks for sharing...I think I get it now!
Leslie Lamb01/18/06
This was beautifully written. I love the descriptions that you used and the way that you brought us in to the intimacy of your home...the honesty of it all was refreshing.
Venice Kichura01/18/06
Great job!
Candice Kettell01/19/06
Thank you for sharing your home with us! Your love for home and family shine through. I can relate to the nastalga of things like the tac ;) Well written piece.
Val Clark01/24/06
A beautiful insight into your heart and your home. There are a lot of things more important than living in a showpiece, thanks for the reminder. Yeggy