That I live in a small, four-room house with a tiny bathroom and a half-finished upstairs combo attic/bonus room. You walk up a small stone walkway through my tiny but lush yard, past the bottle tree, and up onto a brick-walled porch with small groupings of tables and chairs. Curtains are hung if you want the privacy, but are usually tied back to let air and light in. Open the front door into a wide center passage that runs the full depth of the house. And from the front door, you can either walk into any room you choose (all doors open into the passage) or you can join the rest of us on the back screened porch. Of course, the screened porch is also used occasionally for sleeping, so just be prepared for that.
If you choose to walk into the living room, you will make a left inside the door. On a rainy day, your umbrella will go into a big ceramic pot that probably looks like a cactus or something naturalistic Layla made for me in her after-school pottery class. You can hang your sweater on a hook in the wall. Feel free to throw your shoes off. Come in and browse the built-in bookshelves, flop down on a pile of big fluffy pillows on the floor and appreciate the atelier-style art arrangements, or lounge in the wide seat attached to the picture window with leaded panes.
After some time talking or watching a movie or listening to music, you will need sustenance, so I invite you to step on into my kitchen, which is through a small door in the back of the room. You probably almost missed the door because the bookcases go across the top of the door, and there are things hanging off of them. But the kitchen is through there, with checkerboard tile floors in white and black, and cool grey walls. You can sit at my red & white hoosier table while I fill the coffeepot from the enamel sink and I will tell you the story of the chair you are sitting on. It came from a Memphis brothel. If that creeps you out, you are welcome to move over to the faded green velour chaise. Make yourself at home. Please excuse the trashcans lining the back wall. Recycling doesn't come easy, sometimes. Nor does composting. Or cat care, for that matter.
We will drink much coffee, so just help yourself to the bathroom that opens off the central hallway. It is a little small, but the pedestal sink and tall linen cupboard in the corner help things fit more comfortably. The tile floors get cold in here, so I hope the fluffy bath rug will help.
I like a little private time in my office, so make yourself at home upstairs in the bonus room while I finish writing my masterpiece. The tiny windows at the front, sides, and rear of the big attic let in a little light, and you can see the moon and stars through them at night. But you will be very comfortable up here in the guest bed and you can put all your things away in the chifferobe. There is a record player up here, and records, so you will not be alone. Don't trip on the toys lying about that are supposed to be in the toybox and the dress-up bin. The nieces and nephews forget to put things away! Be careful on the stairs when you come down because they are wooden and quite steep. The original owner must have been shorter and skinnier and much stronger of leg than I am!
Join me in my office, and we'll talk and then go outside to enjoy a nice dinner around the fire pit. We'll watch the stars come out and the moon rise and watch the neighborhood kids catch fireflies. You can help me weed the flowerbeds, since I do a really bad job of it. In fact, I'll turn it all over to you if like. I get so ambitious and I like to have a nice view from the bedroom windows.
We will talk and laugh and discuss and reminisce and listen to music and eat and drink and be silent. Then we will go into the house and I will go to sleep in my bedroom where the bed is practically never made and clothes are hanging on the back of the vanity table chair. But the quilt above me is warm and snuggly and my family pictures are on the walls and a pile of books is on the nightstand waiting to be read. The cat's claws tap-tap on the wooden floors of the hallway and I hear him knock over some books that were sitting on a table. As long as he doesn't find the knitting and pull all the yarn off the needles--fine.