Calico cat looks up all fuzzy, sleepy eyes from the corner chair. The heat clicks on with a gentle tick-tick-tick as the furnace fires up. It’s cold outside. At the end of each day, the house greets with a blessed quiet. A place to escape from too many voices and so many demands. All is safe here.
When the trees give up their leaves, from the kitchen window, I can see sunlight glittering on the Quaboag River. Mice scratch in the attic and sometimes find a way inside. The favorite nesting place is under the bathroom sink. How many have I rescued? How lazy can my cat be! There is something sacred about a tiny deer mouse released from a have-a-heart trap, shaking all over, then dashing off to find a safe place to rest.
These four walls know everything. They remember all the sleepless nights, moments of doubt and when we didn’t have enough. They knew all the cats and shared our adventures inside and out. The crack at 4 a.m. of Houdini breaking the pet door just cause he could. The realization that Poncho was not lying on my legs one night and finding him waiting patiently under the rhododendron for the door to open. Gigi wandering out to touch the warm grass. The wide-eyed appalled and disgusted expression from Sweetie at the scent of horses on the boots.
The best place to be is the sun porch on a lovely warm afternoon. We will always remember that day in June when the tornado was over the hillside in Brimfield. The winter of 2010-11 was a doozy. The snow kept piling on until the house became an igloo. The mounds cleared off the roof that cold day in February lay all around the house. In this moment, the house was named: Little Atlas. How on earth did it hold up all the snow.
This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for my home. After all these years, it is a fine place to be.
by Frances Ann Wychorski
Published: Spencer New Leader, November 22, 2o17