Tuesday, March 12, 2013

History Repeats Itself (Again!)

A beautiful room -- but was it ever used?

A pleasant walk from our home is the Pittock Mansion, a 22-room estate built in 1909 that is now owned by the Portland City Parks and Recreation Bureau. I have toured the restored interior several times with my family and am always impressed with the regal manner of decoration.

As with any large house, there are walk in pantries and closets, multi-sectioned bathrooms, a Turkish smoking alcove, and, of course, the actual place where the household of twelve ate breakfast each morning. This room, however, is miniscule, which makes me feel that the family was much like my own (unfortunately I didn't take a picture, owing to extreme ordinariness).

We, too, eat most of our meals around a modest table, and the family rarely spreads out to take advantage of all the space. We have a larger table which we only use several times a year for dining or complicated craft projects.

I might tell a child to get out of my bed, or yell encouragement to go play in the "playroom," but ultimately we exist in our own beds and in the family room, which includes the kitchen, couch-TV setup, and the daily dining table. 

I like it this way, and feel supported by history that this is how one should live. Now just need to have full-time staff to pick up all the crap in these high-use areas.

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