It’s only glass. Cobalt blue glass wine bottles – empty, of course, with bright yellow labels, from a Riesling that I served with wild-caught salmon, and crisp Casesar salads or baby spinach with feta and strawberries. It wasn’t a particularly good wine, it just offered a lovely complement to the seafood dinners.
They line the windowsill over the kitchen sink like wee soldiers in blue. Each one holds a spear of Baby’s Breath, or German statis. Their intrinsic value is zero. Their worth to me? I’m not sure if there is any. All I know is that I’m having a difficult time throwing them away.
They were the one thing in this rented house that was my imprint, that reminded me of the Tuscan/Old World décor in our home in Nevada. I won’t be moving them to Uganda. I certainly won’t be taking them to Nevada. But I’m struggling with removing the bright blue glass with the smiling sun labels. They greeted me every morning as I began my day in the kitchen. The blue became royal as the sun began to set each day and pour into the window and through the bottles. There was a wonderful European feeling as I prepared the evening meal, the fragrance of herbes de Provence and onions and wine and the voice of Andrea Bocelli to nudge me on.
Even though we’ve lived here more than a year, the house has never felt like mine,with the exception of the kitchen sink area. Where I peeled the potatoes, and crushed the garlic, and seasoned the filets, tore the romaine and stared at the trees in the front yard and wondered how my mulberry trees were at home, and was anybody lighting my candles nestled in the rosemary that drips over the wall, and is the mint growing, and what of the basil?
I did try in the beginning to mold it around me. I found a large framed print of a table with a striped cloth and a bunch of peonies in a cobalt vase with tall taper holders, a floral teacup, and a porcelain plate of pears. I hung it in the dining room and tried to recreate the tablescape to echo the print. After driving miles and miles going to three different stores, we found fabric that was similar to the cloth in the picture. The other ecoutrements were easy to find. The print became an abstract reflection of the table.
I ventured into a second-hand store and purchased two brass shell sconces. I hung them next to the gold frame on each side. An antique store turned up two crystal peglights or votive holders that fit beautifully into the sconces. When the votives are twinkling in the sconces, and the tapers are lit. It feels better. It looks warm. But I feel like I’m looking into a window of someone else’s house.
Maybe it was protection, not getting too comfortable. Because I’m getting ready to move again. The bed and the dresser and one table and two lamps along with the TV and the desk will go with us to Nevada. The rest will remain behind – gifted to whomever wants.
Very little will go with us to Uganda. The house will be furnished. It will be our home for at least two years. I’ve been told it will be new furniture. I’ve been told I can plant a garden in the back yard. The book cases and all my books will be shipped along with the dishes and my cookware. I will bring a few candles, and some of my music, and mosquito nets. I won’t have my own things for three or four months. We will use theirs. I’ll have to wait that long for my paintings, and the occasional table that holds a "happy lamp". The bronze lamp has four arms with candle-lights, and tiny crimson shades, lined in gold, and is dripping with amber prisms. It makes me "happy" just to look at it.
Perhaps if I can plant a pot of basil, or some mint, it will feel more like home.
I painted fake windows in my dining room in Nevada that I never tire of. They are arched and look out to the mountains of Nevada, while ivy and grapevines "grow" close to the sills. My glass and wrought iron table is centered in front of it lit by the antique tolle chandelier of painted white roses and green leaves and vines.
It is 2:20 and my heart is beating rapidly. I must quit for awhile. But I shall resume.