Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I am sitting now in the room that was once my formal living room, recently converted into the man-cave. I think we'll call it the media room, though. Sounds better. Big TV, recliner, all that loveliness. There are a few traces of the old room left here though, mostly on the walls. But I love these walls.

When we bought this house, we tried to devise themes for each space. Our room is a chocolate brown and aqua retreat. I tried to make it like a spa, at least as much as possible anyway. The colors are warm, but crisp. The wall decor in there is inspired by the places that we dream of visiting one day. The places we haven't yet been, since life got too harried, complicated and full of other things to do. Paris. Venice. Long angled lens pictures of the Seine and the canals of Italy. A bedroom is a good place to be filled with dreams.

The former office is filled with pieces of the places we loved the most in California. Old postcards I collected, all with artistic renderings of the locations. PCH highway, the Coliseum, Balboa Park and more. I found copies of the plat maps from the city of San Diego and hung them in there. Reminders of the places we had been and loved.

The formal living room turned media room has another theme. Our past. Our families. I filled picture frame after picture frame with some of the most cherished family photographs. Some date back to the 1940s. We had been given boxes of old pictures for safe keeping, and I knew that I could do more than that.

There are pictures of our parents as precocious children. Pictures of our grandparents, young and full of life. Probably my favorite picture is of my Grandma Doll throwing back a flask, posing with her hand on her hip. She looks to be about 20. There is a picture of Grandma Kathi as an infant, looking at the camera between her legs, just like AJ does now. A series of photographs with Tom. First with his father and grandfather as a baby, wedged between them, then cutting down a Christmas tree with Papa, then cutting down a tree with Aidan. Wedding pictures, some with crushed velvet tuxedos. Grandma Judy and Grandpa's prom picture. Senior pictures. Pictures of family trips. Pictures of leisure suits and platform boots, neatly lined up along Grandma Helen and Grandpa's ivy wall. Pictures my grandfather took at sea in the Navy.

This is our family. This is our history. Some are faded. Some are torn. But they belong on a wall, not in a box. They should be admired. They should be remembered. And even though this room has changed, those pictures aren't going anywhere.

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