I'll never forget the paint color. It was called "Fresh Baked Bread" and it matched perfectly one of the terra cotta pots in the painting that I hung over the mantle of the fireplace. It was the color that I painted the living room after the flood.
I loved that color. I loved that living room. It was warm and inviting and we actually had people over. There was our couple's Bible study, my Bunco group, our Supper Club. We hosted birthday parties in the backyard -- and people came. We invited friends for Christmas brunch -- and families came. I still have the pictures (real, hold in your hand pictures -- not digital) to prove it.
Those were the days when I could wash, dry, fold, and put away all the laundry and actually be caught up. I woke up to clean dishes in the dishwasher everyday (best baby advice I ever got) and nothing in the sink. That was back when I was the last person to go to bed -- and the first person to wake up. There were casseroles in the freezer, cookies in the canister, and Peter Pan shadows hanging from the trees. I even managed to combine Darth Vader and Barbie for a happy, happy birthday party.
One friend dropped her son off to play with my daughter early one morning while she attended an all-day conference. My couch was full of clean clothes to be folded when they arrived. My washing machine was spinning and my dryer was whirring. Funny how that one day of so many sticks out in my mind. When she picked up her son, all my clothes were done. Every.last.item. AND I'd cooked a nutritiously fun lunch for the two little friends -- plus provided popsicles, creative outdoor play, and a nap.
Another time, a friend had to leave town unexpectedly and her little boy came to play. The house was clean that day with no laundry to be done so we were able to do shaving cream art, have an outdoor picnic, color, paint, and eat orange push ups. Weird how those specific days are etched in my mind in such vivid detail. They make me smile.
I remember writing Scripture on the concrete floors when the carpet was pulled up after the flood. The couch had to go. The chairs were ruined. There were swollen pieces of dog food everywhere. But I still have the blue and white checked couch that we purchased as replacement. Somewhere here in all my mess is the Noah's Ark flag that I hung outside to remind me to HOPE. I've tried to find the "Fresh Baked Bread" paint for years to no avail. I'm still looking.
I wonder what memories I'll look back on in 20 years. Will they be speaking to me then? Will the cacophony of furniture and the sunshine yellow paint bring smiles . . . or tears? Will there be HOPE hung outside and people invited to come and sit awhile? Will they come?
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