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Friday, January 18, 2013


In my present home, as in all the others, walls are not just a necessity for obvious reasons, but for hanging pictures. Or some of my clay sculpted faces. Or for mirrors. Or clocks. Or even one 3/4 size violin, (Katie's I'm keeping for when she gets a more permanent home.) I could write a piece about any one of my wall art treasures, where I got it, who was with me then, what stories go with it that are known only to me. I call my wall treasures my "Gallery of Good."

Much as I enjoy viewing model homes, watching the House & Gardens channel on TV, and paging through magazines that show me how beautifully simple wall art can be, I could never live without my egregiously crowded walls. No, if my walls look like artistic overload to most, to me they are simply a collection of sweet memories too precious to be buried in a store room. My only problem is to find time in my busy days to give each one the few minutes of focused appreciation it deserves.

In the 1990's I built my dream home. It was located on a hillside south of the village of Preston, Minnesota where I went to school in the '30's and 40's. The view of my small hometown nestled down by the Root River was charming. So, of course, I planned that long wall with a bank of windows. No room for pictures there. My aim was to have a one-room look and feel to this house. The only inside walls beside the outer ones, were those that enclosed a 12' x 12' bathroom. These were my gallery walls. I called the house "Rambler's Roost" because I figured I'd live there forever.

Somehow life hasn't followed through with a "last" home for me. I always find reasons to move on. It's as if there are no walls strong enough to enclose me that long, no matter how much I think they will. This Quail Creek paradise would satisfy me just fine, but it has no store room and so I'm needing to pare down. I'm doing all right, except for the walls. No walls of mine seem to tolerate large open spaces. They beg for eclectic and random display of all that is precious to me. They are fragments of a mostly happy life. It's strange to think that some in my collection will be like unwanted children and end up in thrift shops or even the dumpster. I do wish I could take them with me!

But where will walls factor into the hereafter? I'd think there must be some good use for them, even in Heaven. For shelter? For privacy? For a place to hang memories? These are some of the myriad questions that come up in one's late 80's. If I live as long as my friend Susie I have fourteen years and more to figure out all the answers.

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