Place Where You Live:

Ballwin, Missouri

Nestled in between the shadows of great oak trees lies a little sky blue home, an American flag hanging from the porch. The sun peeks its way through the trees casting odd shapes on the sidewalk. An older woman opens the door with a kind face and loving eyes. She opens the door to reveal the entryway where a curio cabinet stands holding mementos from a lifetime. A rose patterned armchair, complete with sleeve covers, stands in the corner with children’s’ shoes tucked behind it. A man in an olive recliner in the living room sits with a black puffball on his lap. It meows as it licks a dinner plate clean. Opposite him sits an identical recliner. The two chairs rest like thrones, perpendicular to the fireplace at the head of the living room. Alongside the wall the sofa remains after the material has torn to shreds by felines. Great-grandmother claimed the end of the couch, always with her striped cane leaving little circles on the carpet.

Smells from the kitchen waft into the living room. The kitchen has a slick linoleum floor all the grandkids slide across. As it filled the kitchen with warmth, the oven cooked various goodies. Similarly, the stove never shut off; I constantly begged Grandma for her renowned mashed potatoes. A polygon of wood sat in the kitchen serving as more of a third counter than a kitchen table. The exposed wood, covered with a plastic tablecloth, a blue one to match the rest of the house. Wheeled chairs surrounded it making the kitchen more dangerous.

The faded pink dining room is where we all ate every holiday, simply because it was the largest table available. A variety of chairs would assemble around the table. We’d say grace and dig into the feast before us, made all by grandmother. There would be a cat under the table, the youngest Gomez, who tickled our ankles and begged for food. We would retire into the living room to talk until tiredness won. Then, one by one we would depart after making plans to meet again.