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Dream Home

by Benny Shlesinger 2 years ago in house
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A Brief Tour

What is a dream home? Is it a lakeside structure with a veranda peaking over waters that gently lap rocky shores? Is it an open-air cabana on sandy beach, so close to the ocean the waves lull you to sleep? Is it a mountain cabin, tucked away in green forest and soundtracked by birds and bees?

I used to think so.

House and home seem so similar. The words appear similar, as do the images they conjure up in one's mind. Today, I think they are very different. That being said, I have found key elements of a dream home - elements I've come to understand as fundamental to a home.

What makes a house a home? Let's start with the family room. This way, please...

Upon entering this informal space, you are greeted by several comfortable couches, a coffee table, and perhaps a fireplace. Above the mantle of a small, burbling fire hangs a family portrait. These are common items and the portrait may be insignificant to passing guests. "What a lovely family," they say, before remarking on their own family portrait sitting in their own family room in their own dream home.

What is insignificant to them, in all honesty, is the most important artifact in the room. The fancy vase on a white pedestal is delightfully ornate and the particularly arranged flowers within are vibrant with life and color. Still, neither of these invoke the emotion I feel when I look up at that family portrait. The few faces there, smiling or not, are those closest to me. I see these faces when I close my eyes to conjure up fond memories. They make this family room in my house a dream family room. The family is not by any means dreamlike or perfect, the portrait fills me with more warmth than any fire in the perfect fireplace ever could.

If you would follow me into the hallway, I'll gladly show you the kitchen. Yes, this way... step quickly now. Good. On with the tour...

The kitchen is simple. A four-burner stovetop sits across from the kitchen island, waiting patiently to prepare omelets, heat a kettle for bedtime tea, or heat leftovers from the potlucks hosted the night before. The fridge buzzes quietly, busily keeping your oat milk cold and your butter firm. Somehow, all deep and meaningful conversations find their way to this dream kitchen. Here we nourish our bodies with nutrients and our souls with good conversation, but the meals are so much more than that. Love is baked, whisked, sautéed, and flambéed in this kitchen. It is kneaded into the challah dough, now rising for tonight's community Shabbat dinner. To cook for someone else is to feed their bodies and souls, to show them how much we care for them with so much more than our words. In this dream kitchen, small as it may be, we proclaim our love for one another and revel in the companionable silence punctuated with satisfied “mmms".

Is your mouth watering? Here, have an apple… Satisfied? Excellent. On to the bedroom!

A queen-size bed sits in a simple bedroom below a simple window. In the morning, sunlight will peek through the blinds to see whether or not the room’s occupants are awake or not. It appears they are! A nice, young couple appears to be in this room. Strangely, this room is absent a television. There is a wardrobe and closet each housing clothing for work or leisure, but other than a small bookcase in the corner there’s not much else to the room. What on earth do people do here? Sleep, certainly. Perhaps we might ask the nice young couple. They seem to be dancing in bed or- oh! OH.

Quickly, this way, please. Let’s leave them to their… extracurriculars. Ahem. Have we shown you the living room yet? No?? This way, if you please.

The living room houses a television, surrounded by several more couches similar to those in the family room. Thursday nights, movies will play in this room. Laughter, tears, and the occasional gasp of horror have seeped into these walls. The emotion of the stories witnessed on the magic moving screen may be fabricated, but the reactions elicited in the snuggling individuals on the couch are authentic. Personally, I prefer the recliner, its footrest supporting my feet that ache from my earlier run along the river just down the way. Oh and look! There in the corner is that white, fluffy Samoyed that I ran with. Oh goodness, he's begging for a treat... Here, you go ahead... Oh, he certainly likes you now. Here in this room with my friends, family, and pets I watch romance, adventure, drama, and betrayal. The best of us and the worst of us play out in the stories we watch - our humanity exposed.

Lastly, allow me to show you the study.

My study is small. It houses a sturdy desk, built from solid wood designed to prop up the heaviness of some stories that may pass across it. A high backed chair is scooted up to the edge of the desk. It has comfortable cushioning and supports my back, which now aches from having sat too long. I know it is a bit pretentious to have a high backed chair, but I use it to show myself that I am the captain of my own ship. Much like the lives I live in the pages I write, I am the author of my own life. This is what the room means to me. This room is where my ego comes to die and my soul comes to life. It is a very special place.

That’s it!

Despite the simplicity, I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief tour through my dream home. It isn’t much, only everything I hold dear. And that, I have found, is quite enough for me.


About the author

Benny Shlesinger

Amateur philosopher, avid keyboard pitter-patterer

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