“The pieces I chose were based on one thing only — a gasp of delight. Isn’t that the only way to curate a life?” 

Today is such a contrast to yesterday. We have jumped from summer back to spring. The sky is both grey and sunny, a wind is blowing and it is only 61˚. Where did I put that sweatshirt?

I have a list, a long list of groceries to buy. I also have a list of chores. I’m getting ready for company. Today I’m shopping, washing the paw prints off the kitchen floor, vacuuming the hall, the depository of dog fur, and just generally neatening up the house. I’ll be ready in time.

The other day I cut the skinny ends off one of my plants. They are rooting in a milk bottle. I also cut a few babies off my spider plant and put them in a different milk bottle to root. While I was doing that, I got to thinking about the spider plant. The original plant was a gift in 1977 when I bought my house. My friends Rick and Joan had come to dinner, my very first guests, just after I moved into the house. We sat on the living room floor to eat. I had no furniture. My aunt had given me a set of two pans and a frying pan, in avocado green, so I was able to cook our dinner, not a fancy dinner but a tasty one nonetheless. The spider plant was a gift, a hostess gift. Now, three spider plants still hang near the windows in my dining room. The last time these friends came to dinner Joan mentioned her spider plant had died. I gave her one of mine, a great, great, great granddaughter of the original.

Memories abound in this house. I have some things from my mother’s house including Belleek I bought her in Ireland one year. I have a wine glass with a tinge of color. My father brought that, and three others, home from Belgium during World War II. Each of my siblings has one of the glasses. On my fireplace screen are tassels from Morocco. I bought them for the Christmas tree. Pottery platters in two sizes are in my dining room on the side table. They came from Lisbon. My mother and I shopped on Easter Sunday and had the pottery sent. A giant pine cone is on a small shelf. It came from the Forum in Rome. A tiny, round, gaudy souvenir of Christ of Corcovado Mountain is hanging in the den. But most of my souvenirs, my memories, are from Ghana. I have baskets, a drum, cloth, wooden statues, metal figures, gourds, a huge painting, smaller paintings and one yellow beaded giraffe.

Friends have called my house a museum. I suppose it is in a way, but I think of it more as a repository of memories. I think of Rome and traveling with my mother, Rio, at the end of an eight week trip with a friend, living in and going back to Ghana, my solo trip to Morocco, trips to Europe and a trip to Iceland with my mother and my sister. This house is not a museum. It is a house filled with memories.

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