Model homes

It just felt weird. Probably because it was such a stark contrast to how we lived. My mother had such an antiseptic, minimalist method of homemaking… no curios; horizontal surfaces easy to dust, lightly colored tones. I wonder how I was molded by my parents’ detail-oriented philosophy. I guess everyone grows up through the filter of their environment; unless they’re exceptionally unimpressive.

Living in another country is like sleeping over at a friend’s house with strange parents everyday. Some procedures and personalities are similar, but there is some part of you that is constantly at work; some fraction of my energy is continually being diverted, listening to speech I only partially understand. Dealing with textures, smells, and contrasts off-kilter from what is ingrained in your mind.

I miss model homes. When I was about nine or ten years old, my parents decided they wanted a bigger house. It seems like it took about two years before they decided on a place. Every weekend and sometimes evenings, my brother and I had to get in the car and trek out to some new neighborhood and another house with a strange set of smells. I hated the forced nature of it, but at the same time it wasn’t so bad. There were plenty of cupboards and closets to hide in. Strange knick knacks and brands of cereal my mother would never buy. I remember one house, in a style I guess you’d call a rancher. 1960s, all the wood moulding was dark walnut, the appliance and range a campy sun bleached blue and orange. Everything smelled musty, like my grandfather’s garage, I guess they never opened a window or anything. The house was out in one of those seedy rural areas, dark, lots of weeds, buried under trees with low boughs.

today the Sky Is Blue and Has a Spectacular View.

Time moves on whether you like it or not. Suns rise and set, the days go by and you do your best living. There is progress whether you choose to be conscious of it or not. Perhaps it’s the simple idea of things progressing naturally that’s reassuring. As humans we are inclined to feel a need for control, that we can stop the car whenever we want. But there’s a special peace of mind that comes from the expected, even if it’s out of our control. The plants will grow, the birds will sing, and time will go on, giving us an infinite array of moments to experience, savor, and smile upon.

I have big plans, and sometimes when they don’t go how I envision them it bothers me. But as time goes by things not going as you plan comes to have it’s own appeal. You’d think that as experience grows you would become jaded and accustomed to the world. But it’s not like that. You can be surprised every day of your life if you just give yourself the chance. I’m enjoying it.

People come and go, meeting only for a moment or joining hands for the rest of their lives. And all of them are special, unique, and to be treasured. From the girl you catch a smile from on a crowded train to family member who will be with you until the end. In the world there is so much chaos and unpredictability, but that’s not a challenge, it’s a blessing.