March 10, 2016

Slept On The Floor

I think I was three when I started bringing my blanket to the kitchen to wait for Dad to come home. He worked late and when the house was quiet I'd sneak out of bed and go lay down in front of the refrigerator.

The fridge had a couple of things going for it. First, there was a vent under the door that blew out warm air for a few minutes several times each hour.

Second and equally important, the fridge is located in the path of the back door, so when Dad got home, if he didn't see me, he would sometimes trip over my feet when coming into the house.

I'm not sure what I liked more, waiting on a chilly night with warm air blowing on me or the snippets of time with my Dad before he carried me to bed.

Sometimes my siblings would want in on the action. I didn't like sharing my space. Sharing meant I wouldn't always get to be right next to the vent. And the comfort seeker part of me craves that warmth. 

One day we got a new fridge. I'd never been so disappointed in my short life. The new fridge blew out cold air. What?! If I were making a fridge purchase at that age, a warm air vent would be first on my list of necessary features. I tried to not let the cold air bother me. I tried bringing extra blankets. I tried to like being cold. I just couldn't. My days in front of the fridge waiting up for Dad were over. 

Some people say that when God closes one door, he opens another. I'm my case God one upped the fridge with the furnace. This grate can fit four feet touching it. It has a better and longer lasting air flow. It's perfect, really. 

Making the discovery that our dining room furnace vent easily adjusts so a blanket can be attached to the top of it changed my life. No longer was it necessary to hold my blanket over the vent, which can get tiring. But in this new situation I could hunker down, pull the blanket in close around me and still see the blanket billow around my direct line of the pure unadulterated free flowing warm air. I'm pretty sure this is what's it's going to be like in my comfort seeker's heaven.

In high school, the dining room vent became my go to spot for after school naps. And for those days when I was in the despairs of menstrual cramps, the vent would assuage my pain while I waited for ibuprofen to kick in. It inspired many a homework assignment and numberless books were consumed next to it.

I slept on the floor last night. By choice. In the dining room of my childhood home.

I slept on the floor last night. I'm not stiff and my back doesn't hurt.

I slept on the floor last night in the clothes I’d put on the day before in São Paulo. Because the thought of removing them sent shivers down my spine.

I slept on the floor last night. With an afghan, a comforter and a quilt trapping the furnace's warm offering.

I slept on the floor last night. With warmth and comfort and memories, my inner-child in the old family home.

I slept on the floor last night snuggling with the dining room furnace vent.

1 Riveting COMMENTS:

  1. This was a touching memory, darling Bridget. I used to come home at night with you four kids sitting on the couch with Mom reading to you. I would sing the Primary Song, "I'm So Glad When Daddy Get's Home," and you kids would come running and hug and play with me. All this after Pat had spent, sometimes, hours calming you all down so you would go to sleep soon.

    My fondest memory, though, was of coming in late after that bedtime Pat prepared you all so well for and finding my little Bridget sleeping in front of the fridge waiting for me to spend some cuddle time and some carry-you-to-your-room time.

    I knew you liked the dining room furnace vent, but I don't remember it was a "graduation" from the old refrigerator (I had thought that was progress). I knew nothing of menstrual cramps. Dad's can be so out of it, can't they!

    Thanks for the memories.


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