There is one bright spot in this cold, drear winter. It is the place where I go, to get warm, to rest my bones---the loft area located at the top of the house. A staircase to the right of the front door leads up to an open space above the bedrooms. It's a spacious room, but also cozy and woodsy. The roof slants overhead so that you can't stand up all the way. The floor and the surrounding base boards and trim are a deep, rich wood. The bannister that runs along the edge of the room, sparing you a nasty plunge down the stairs, is constructed with thick, solid planks of the same dark wood. So I like to go up there and imagine that I'm in a rustic log cabin.
Except this cabin has technological amenities, like TV and wifi. Quiet and tucked away from the rest of the house, it is a perfect retreat for watching a movie or doing some work on my lap-top. There is a large carpet piece on the floor, and two twin mattresses, covered with blankets, for lounging. A foam mini-couch that mom bought the girls when they were little still works well as a good neck and shoulder rest. Two video gaming chairs donated to us by Cody and Wacy fit in perfectly with the "low to the ground" seating theme. There are no overhead bulbs, only two lamps that sit on the floor. They provide subdued lighting, the perfect effect to make my hippie hang complete.
My favorite feature of all, is the wonderful, wonderful big square heat vent in the floor. When I lie on the heat vent, I am on the beach --my back pressed against the white sands of Acapulco. I don't know much about Acapulco, but when I was a kid, Acapulco was one of those travel destinations they gave away on the Price is Right, so it's the first thing that comes to mind.
So in these cold winter months, this is the highlight of my day. As I shiver and see my breath rise up in the frigid air, this is what I'm thinking about: the heat vent. Getting back to that beach. I wait for that golden moment, when no one needs me and no one will miss me. I head off for the stairs. The steps are nice and solid --dark dark brown coffee-colored--and they make a satisfying thunk as I climb them. The higher I get up the staircase, the warmer it gets, and I feel my whole self relaxing. The upstairs loft is always warmer than the rest of the house, and though this makes it unliveable in the summer, in the wintertime, this ambient warmth is a relief, and a delight.
My favorite thing is to go up there when no one else is up there, and just lie on the floor. I soak up the warmth, I soak up the serenity, for there is a peacefulness to the loft that is separate and apart from the rest of the house. I shake off the cold, goose-bumpy feeling I've been carrying around all day, and feel truly warm for the first time. Eventually as I lie there, the heat kicks on, and the surge of sweet heat blasts my skin. I close my eyes, and I'm melting into the sand, of my own private beach in my log cabin. In Acapulco.