It’s surprising how the mundane tasks, performed regularly in everyday life, can give you inspiration for writing. It happened to me today, whilst dusting and vacuuming….
I have a favourite room in my house. It didn’t start out by being my favourite, it evolved into the status. Over the years, with four children growing up in this house, what with toys scattered, crumbs dropped, drinks spilled, television and CD’s blaring, homework books covering tables, shoes left willy-nilly in the entry hallway, I found it necessary, no, make that essential, to have one room in the house for me.
The idea of being banished to my bedroom, like a naughty child, did not appeal to me one bit. Not that I have ever been the “go to your room!” kind of mum, but I hear that some mum’s do that, hence my impression.
At the front of the house we have a large room, the lounge/dining room, where all of our “good” furniture lives. It also just happens to be the room with a wall devoted to floor to ceiling book shelves. When my piano and I found each other, the perfect home for it was, you guessed it, in the lounge room.
My room is not in the thoroughfare of the house either, just one door in and out. There’s no television, no music (other than the piano), no food allowed. My favourite and most well-loved couch lives in the room, recovered in burgundy fabric about five years ago when the old fabric wore thin. The colour scheme is all deep pinks and burgundy tones, again my favourites.
When I refer to this room, it is “My Quiet Room”. When my eldest daughter calls in for a quick visit and a herbal tea, we sit in my quiet room. It is a special room; everyone knows the rules and no one dares to break them!
So, back to today. As I lovingly dusted each precious ornament, I also thought of the significance of the items in my room. We all know about “comfort food”; my special room contains my “comfort items”. These are my priceless objects of affection, although value-less to anyone else.
For example, the little wooden bookshelf, made by my father when he was still at primary school, therefore he was less than twelve years of age. I treasure that little shelf and it holds part of a series of my all-time favourite novels, by Diana Gabaldon.
On top of a cabinet near the built-in book shelves is a collection of old family photos, along with a flat brass dish, which had once belonged to my maternal grandmother.
Next to the photos and dish sits another collection; pots made by my husband for his final school exams. He used to enjoy pottery. He has a kiln and two pottery wheels, waiting for him to set up, “one day when he has the time”.
There’s the cute little cat ornament, given to me when I was a child, by an American neighbour who lived just down the road from us. She was an old lady and I enjoyed visiting her. We shared a common love for cats and she named one of her cats “Jo”, after me. When my family moved away from the area, she and I wrote letters to each other for years after.
Inside a glass-fronted bookcase I have a collection of extremely old books, some once belonging to my parents and others my grandfather owned. In amongst the books is a dictionary, the one I used as a child when doing my homework. The spine has fallen off the book and is presently sticky-taped on…Reminder To Self ~ I really must find a book doctor and have that dictionary repaired!
These items are all so very precious to me. They are reminders of friends and family whom I have loved in my life, and have loved me. And yes, I have other treasures in other rooms around the house. They just seem to monopolise my quiet room.
Enjoying my treasures, whilst dusting and vacuuming, actually made the chore more pleasurable! 🙂
Look around your own home. What priceless treasures do you have, which bring a warm glow to your heart when you see them?