Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Quietly Retreating To My Guest's Retreat

     One of my favorite times of the day is the early, very early morning.  It tends to be a peace filled time for me.
     My a.m. routine consists of putting the kettle on, letting Rico out, waiting for the whistle and then the brew.
     Once my mug is filled with hot green tea, a touch of milk, no sugar, I softly scuffle down the hall to my quiet room, my retreat.  It's where I go to write, knit, read, and lately struggle with trying my hand at drawing.
     My quiet room has gone through many transitions since we moved into our house, 10 years ago.
     At first it was the "guest room".  The accommodations included a queen size bed, a crib, because our guests usually brought or dropped off a little person, an empty chest for the guests' belongings, a TV for the guests' viewing pleasure, and a comfy chair.  One half of the double closet was filled with things to amuse the little guests.  After a quick "Hi Grandma," they would immediately make a bee line for that closet.  The amusing things would then be pulled out of the closet and carried or dragged into the sun room.  Eventually I figured out that I should just move the toys out of the guest closet and into a toy chest in the sunroom.
     Over the next seven years, at one time or another, the room would sleep one to four of my daughter's family.  The guest room was used by a cousin visiting from across the other coast, friends visiting from down the coast, Mom visiting from an hour away and Myra visiting from the city.
Joe and Anne once used the room as an overnight pit stop on the way to the airport.
Joan and Ryan needed a place to stay as the four of us went back and forth into the city to put Myra's affairs in order and Myra to rest.
     The guest room stayed the guest room until late summer of 2009 when we were told that Mom would need hospice care. That is when the room became Mom's room.  A hospital bed, an over the bed food tray and portable commode replaced the crib and queen bed.  Four comfortable chairs were moved into the room for Mom's many visitors.  The closet was filled with night gowns and robes.  The chest became storage for warm socks, bandages, morphine patches and a hospice comfort kit.
     Then one early, very early morning, as I padded down the hall to check on my guest,  I was struck by the overwhelming silence I noticed as I approached the room.  In the next hours in a flurry of activity the kind Hospice caregivers compassionately helped us turn Mom's room back into the guest room. The hospital bed and all of the paraphernalia was moved out and the queen size bed moved back in.
     Even though the room was once again a comfortable place for overnight visitors, I found it difficult to even venture into that part of the house.
     Then one early, very early morning, I impulsively and compulsively began to dismantle the guest room once again.  I single handedly took apart the queen bed. I moved the frame, queen mattress and box spring into the garage.  I took the crib down and also put that into the garage.  I emptied out the chest and the closet.   I moved a very heavy futon sofa from the den and into the old guest room.  To complete the room, I picked up an old white painted desk at the consignment shop.
     For me, the renovations changed the room from a sick room, in which my Mom died a painful death, into a sun filled retreat.  I remember the first time I sat in the new room.  Oddly enough, even though I still felt my Mom's presence in the room, it was now a peaceful and comforting presence.
     Although I call it "My Room",  Rico is always at my feet, Ross usually visits and of course guests are still welcome to sleep on the futon.

Sleepy Bella

I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.

Here are yesterday's and today's entry from Anna's diary:
Tues. May 28, 1929
Drove Elsie to her sister Flossies' for lunch.  Went to Mrs. Naps at four and then went to Cemetery to plant flowers on grave.  Took about two hours.  Rained.  Home-wet.
Wed. May 29, 1929
Very warm.  Baby to 360.  Belleville Club.  Went to N.Y. to see "Follow Thru."  Very good.  Dinner at Lorbers after show and we all took bus ride up 5th Ave. Riverside Drive.


  1. Love the Sleepy Bella picture. And I love that Domani and I were able to use the room for an overnight stay last week. I know what you mean about the urge to transform the room - as you know I did that myself with our bedroom after Joe passed there. I do still feel his presence and from time to time I come across something in the room that especially makes me think of him. I'm grateful for that connection even if it isn't exactly the "same" room- just as I'm happy for the love I feel in your room, knowing all the history that lies therein.

  2. You know it's interesting.  When we first moved into this house, I thought it would be temporary.  But somehow, here it is 10 years later and like it or not, the house has become a home filled with many memories.
    Bella was here on Monday for an overnight.  One of the things she likes to do is go on our "secret walk".  We have been doing that since she was probably 3 or 4.  Yep, like it or not, I guess I live in Grandma's house :)

  3. Having that space to yourself for quiet times, is so important, for me! I love sleeping photos! I have taken several of my husband in the past. He always wonders why I do that!