Lilting laughter in the center hall,
I looked over the railing,
framed by a sea of white spindles,
my toddler brother and sister twirled like tops,
their arms and eyes wide open,
heads back, giggling, probing possibilities
of this newfound space.

That summer day in 1961,
we moved into our new home.
Skipping up the walkway,
I kicked pebbles into the grass,
delighted about the white frame house.
To view the height of three stories,
I leaned back, shaded my eyes from the sun
with my hand, noticing floating cotton clouds.

The ceiling of the wraparound porch was pink,
like the first geraniums in spring.
Front door ajar, beckoned like a new friend,
revealing hidden stairways, dark closets,
stories of ghosts in the basement.
Like an explorer I ventured upstairs,
hand on the smooth wooden banister,
climbed to the second floor,
first sight of my new bedroom.

I remember the musty smell,
Echoes in empty rooms,
Soon there would be painters, cleaners,
Movers hauling in furniture,
Screens placed in open windows,
allowing the breeze to flutter drapes,
aromas of cookies baking,
family filling up this home
and our hearts with
a lifetime of delicious memories.