Sometimes I walk up the steps to our old apartment building and I wonder about its history. It was built in the 20’s and has probably housed dozens of residents- young and old, singles and families. I wonder what color they pained the walls and what kind of furniture they had. It’s spanned almost a century, this building, and endured many a decorating fad, probably including shag carpet and fluffy, lacey drapes. I think about the milk that was dropped off at the kitchen window and the air that blew through the vents in the front door. Sometimes I wonder about its history, and sometimes I wonder about its future.
This building is more sturdy than many apartments built in the 1990’s. The plaster walls hardly soften themselves enough to allow nails for wall hangings, and would probably withstand a tornado. The wood floors have so many little scratches that it’s hard to tell which ones are new and which ones happened in 1968. Yet as I walk up to the front door, I can’t help but notice the shingles starting to fall, the broken windowsills, and the little cracks in the foundation. I wonder if we’ll be able to drive our kids by here when they’re 12 or 16 and show them where our family first began.
Part of me really wants that. Part of me thinks it might never happen, even if the building still stood in 20 years. And part of me knows that it doesn’t really matter. Our foundation rests beyond the grey paint and the red door. It runs deeper than the dirt embedded in our rugs from all the walking around in the world and bringing it back home. Someday I’ll tell our kids to close their eyes and imagine all of these things. I’ll tell them about how we filled the hallways with laughter and how long we debated on what color to paint the living room. They won’t listen because they’ll be wrapped up in music and books and friends, but I’ll wink at Kyle and we’ll remember the smells and the colors and the culinary disasters. We’ll comment on how fast time flies and wonder how we kept four babies alive and raised them to be almost adults. And our world will spin on and on. He and I and me and him.
My favorite era is the 20s, what’s yours?
Also, check out the story we posted yesterday about our secret wedding!