I’ve always loved screen doors.
Growing up in a house in Queens, my family had screen doors on both the front and back doors. When I was little, they were huge, and served as a sort of protection from the outside world. There were different screens for each season, with the spring/summer screens allowing the air in, and the fall/winter screens keeping the air out. Changing them let us know when the seasons were changing, just like bringing down the winter clothes from the attic, or making sure your car tires had enough air after a busy summer. I love screen doors. I look for them every time I pass a house, or watch an old school movie or television show. They’re just a part of who I was growing up.
I said all that to say, well I really don’t know why, except to reminisce on our old house and to share that, for me it’s the simple things. The little things. The things that most would take for granted are the things that mean the most for me. Like how my niece’s laugh can fill an entire house and hearing her experience joy makes me smile. Or how my lady–no matter what kind of day she’s had–will ALWAYS greet her daughter with a smile in her voice every time she comes home, and how that constant, deliberate act of kindness causes me to not only love her, but LIKE her even more.
Last week while in Los Angeles, we were with another couple and began reminiscing on the place we called our ‘Cheers’ (IYKYK), the spot where we gathered to eat, drink and socialize, and I shared how the place’s owner, who I bonded with because of our shared love of New York, gifted me a portrait I’d admired since the first day I stumbled into his establishment. It was a portrait that reminded me of home. He noticed that, and never forgot. Five years later, when the place was closing, he signed it, and gifted it to me. Not sure if anyone caught it that night last week, but sharing that story got me all choked up. It was probably a little thing to them. To me, it meant everything.
Maybe it’s because it’s raining outside today that I’m thinking about those things. Or maybe it’s because I’ll be a half a century old in a few weeks and refuse to ever take anything for granted anymore. Honestly, it’s probably both of those things, the little things that make up my life and will always be something big. Like those screen doors on that house in Queens that were huge when I was little, and now spark off a little bit of nostalgia. And will always mean a lot.