When I asked my husband about his favorite room at 511 Chesnut, he immediately answered “the den.” After thinking about it, I realized that it’s probably mine too. When the house was the parsonage for FBC, this room was used as a dining room (or so we’ve been told), but my family always used it as a family room. Maybe that’s why I think of it as the heart of the home, its location and its use.
It has double windows that face west and get the full impact of the afternoon sun. On January afternoons, this is great, but in June…well, that’s another story. On one wall, there are built in bookcases and cabinets that were constructed around what used to be a fireplace. There are three doors going into the room, all beautiful and heavy and old, and yet they make furniture and picture placement a bit of a challenge. My favorite door is the swinging one that leads into the breakfast room. Hmm. Maybe not. Maybe the one leading into the hall is my favorite; it has a transom window above it that adds just the right bit of character.
Although the den wasn’t the room where the loud and sometimes boisterous celebratory events took place, it was the location of the day-to-day quieter moments—moments of quietly watching television with the programs invariably being punctuated with conversation; moments of watching the grandchildren play all sorts of board and card games as they learned lessons of interaction and negotiation; moments of reading, reading and more reading; moments of my father lying on the floor watching t.v. with Gretchen, the little Dachshund, beside him; moments where important questions were asked and answered such as Allen asking Daddy for his consent to marry Ann and decades later Charlie asking Otis the same question about Lauren; and moments of shelling peas (yes, it’s a definite memory!).
I’m wondering about my sibs, children, nieces, nephews, etc. Was this your favorite room too?