Monday, December 20, 2010

I share a nose with a dead woman.

I just re-lit the pilot light on the 60-some year old stove which my great-grandmother installed in her kitchen when she remodeled her then 20-some year old kitchen. The kitchen in the house of which she oversaw every single detail as it was being built. The house I now own and love, warts and all. (The house was not kept sparkly new in the latter years of my great-grandparents lives, mostly because they lived very long lives and 98-year-olds don't always have the wherewithal for plastering, painting and remodeling. Go figure... The good part, for a house geek like me, is that almost my entire house is original.)
I knew the pilot light had gone out because I could smell the gas which should be burning but was not. I smelled it from two rooms away, but I am the only person I know who can smell when our pilot light goes out. And I smell it almost immediately. The tiny amount of gas leaking in a not-airtight house isn't really dangerous, especially when you notice it within a few minutes of the pilot having gone out. Apparently my Nana had this weird unlit-pilot light ESP, too.
My Nana and I have a lot in common in many ways, both physically and personally, and sometimes I weirdly feel like I was destined to take over her beloved household in which I spent home-sick-from-school afternoons as a child. So it didn't surprise me when I was told that Nana always knew when the pilot light went out.
I have an afghan which was Nana and Grandpa's and it hangs in the back of my couch just as it hung over the back of theirs for my childhood. Not a day goes by that I don't look at the afghan as I sit down on my couch and feel a connection to the woman whose home--and nose--I share.

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