This past week I returned to Nantucket for a few days. Yes, it is the land of the rich, famous and beautiful. But that’s not what took me there. My mission was to wrestle down the wisteria vine that has begun to swallow (and I am not exaggerating here!) my mother’s house. The vine has been running up the south side of the house since we moved in forty-something years ago. It’s been allowed to run wild and rampant for the past few years and a serious pruning was in order. But before I could get started with the pruning shears, my first assignment was to ready my childhood bedroom for the arrival of a special houseguest.
Our house is over 300 years old and full of interesting angles, corners, nooks and crannies. The doorway into my old bedroom is a step 14″ high. There’s a single window with the infamous wisteria waving and winding on the other side of the glass. Horsehair plaster walls. The room is shaped like a pie wedge with the tip cut off. And at the wider end there are two cubbyholes in which I used to stash important possessions.
So while cleaning, I took a gander into the cubbies and came up with a most unexpected treasure: favorite books from my childhood and my 5th grade report card! Fine reward for domestic obligations, for sure. What a treat! There were books I’d received for birthdays, books I’d purchased at the hospital thrift shop, and even a book I’d been awarded for academic work well-done … in the 1st grade. Old friends all.