This is the first thing you see upon entering my parents' house. A wood-burning stove with my father's marathon-running trophies (ribbons, plaques, etc.) arranged around the top of the bricks. His Fathers' Day presents are piled in front of the stove. To the left of the stove are the TV and stereo, and further left than those is the piano, with an irritatingly patriotic quilt hanging above it. The squirt bottle on the coffee table in the middle of the room is there for the purpose of squirting the one-year-old cat, Molly, when she starts stalking the seventeen-year-old cat, Daisy - the water helped scare Molly away from hastening Daisy's demise. However, now that Daisy's newly deceased, I don't think Molly will be getting squirted much anymore.
If you go into the living room and then turn around to look back at the front door, this is what you will see. For some reason, my mother's tennis shoes under the chair reflect far more light than the mirror hanging above the chair.
Above the front door is a really high window. The doorway just to the left of the front door leads to the kitchen. Walking toward the front door is my mother! She is carrying a photo album, in order to show me the photographs of herself and my father and my Aunt Kitty and my Uncle Neil at Yosemite a week ago. Also, see that air conditioning vent waaaaaaay up high on the wall, to the right of the really high window? Every three months, my parents have to climb up a huge tall ladder to get to that vent and change the air conditioning filter. I can't believe that when they bought this house to be their retirement home, they thought it would be a good idea to be climbing huge ladders 15 feet off the ground on a regular basis in their old age.
This is the kitchen. On top of one of the cupboards is a plate my brother made when he was in elementary school. On top of the bookcase is a photo of my maternal grandparents. Next to that is a photo of me graduating from college, but all you can see of it here is one of my English professors with his back turned. He's reaching out to shake hands with me. There's also a photograph on top of that bookcase that shows my brother graduating from either high school or college, I forget which one. But that photograph's not visible here anyway.
Here's that college graduation photo of mine . . . it is the only time you will ever, ever, ever see me wearing black. This particular photograph turned out surprisingly decently, but in person, wearing black clothes tends to make my skin look so pale by contrast that people start mistaking me for a corpse. See how the English professor I'm shaking hands with has actual color in his skin, and I don't? He's Caucasian. I'm something else that's even paler.
In front of that bookcase are a little wicker loveseat and matching wicker table. At the foot of the bookcase is Molly's food dish. This is Molly on her way to it.
But then she realized I was trying to take her picture, and promptly abandoned the food dish to stretch out here and pose for the camera. Posing here was entirely her idea: I would have been perfectly happy to just photograph her eating, but she had loftier ideas. I think she has a career in showbiz awaiting her.
Over here is the dining room, as seen from the living room. The painting on the wall there is not mine; it's one my mother bought long ago, before I was born. But the plate that's sitting in the bottom shelf of the bookcase, next to the heart-shaped thing, is the plate I painted for my mother's birthday this spring.
However, these two paintings are ones I painted when I was in high school. They're hanging on the dining room wall that faces the sliding glass doors. rekraft, I know these aren't the only two paintings of mine that I told you about, but they're the only two that my parents still have hanging in their house anymore. The others I told you about are stashed away in the garage now, and I did in fact take them out of the garage and photograph them, but I'm saving those photographs to post in an entry devoted entirely to my art, rather than in one about my parents' house.
In the corner of the dining room is my mother's very large black telescope. Meanwhile, my mother is setting the table and wishing the sun would hurry up and go down so she could take the telescope outside and go stare at the stars some more.
This is my dear bratty almost-25-year-old little brother, attempting to get Molly to sit on his lap. He is not having much success. Molly is perfectly happy to sit on laps whenever she feels like sitting still at all, but most of the time she would much rather dash around the house at top speed, bouncing off the walls and jumping on everything in sight.
This is my brother giving up on trying to get Molly to sit still.
These are my parents! In nearly every photograph ever taken of my father in his whole entire life, he is holding his hand in front of his face to block it from the camera's view. In this picture, he is making his usual protest against being photographed, and my mother is making her usual comment that a hundred years from now, everyone who looks at our family pictures will think my father suffered from some strange disease that cause him to continually hold his arms out for no apparent reason.
Down the hall is my parents' bedroom, which looks like this. The butterfly wall hanging above the bed is a latchhook rug my mother made when I was about ten years old, after my father's mother taught me how to make latchhook rugs, and I in turn taught my mother how to make them.
This completes your tour of my parents' house. You may now commence expressing envy of its gorgeous architecture - and I will understand perfectly, because the house I grew up in was not anywhere near as ostentatious as this one is.