Circles

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When I was a kid, both my sets of grandparents had circles in their
houses.  At my mom’s parents’ house, you’d walk in the front door and
take a right to the hallway.  Then left down to the end of the hall,
left through the kitchen and dining room, and left again to the living
room and you were back at the front door.  At my dad’s parents’ house
there are three circles: the front room, dining room, kitchen, entryway
one; the study, entryway, tv room one, and the hall to bedroom one. 
That house has pocket doors, and the study and bedroom both have two
doors each.  My brother and cousins and I spent a lot of time running in
circles, or, when we were supposed to be quiet, sneaking in circles
through the rooms.  I’m sure my dad and his two brothers and two sisters
did, too. 

As much as I gripe about not liking (at all) where
we live now, this house does have a circle.  Ours is living room, dining
room, kitchen, entryway, living room.  When the kids were little they’d
chase each other and play tag, running and running and running through
the rooms. 

I think one of the reasons my dad and stepmom bought
the house they did in Houston was that there is a big fireplace in the
middle of it, separating the living room from the dining room and making
a circle.  My dad always says that houses need to have circles. 

I
remember that forever ago, not too long after my parents divorced, my
dad had an apartment in Garland.  This was the place where he amazed us
by snapping cockroaches with dishtowels and where my brother and I
roller skated down some steps (on purpose, no helmets or pads of
course).  It was also the place where I blew out a candle burning in the
windowsill a little too hard and got wax all over the place, including
the carpet.  The apartment only had one bedroom.  My brother and I slept
on the black and white houndstooth foldout couch every weekend.  But
there was a patio, and there was a sliding glass door in the dining room
that led to the patio and there was a very low, like, on the ground,
window in my dad’s bedroom that looked out onto the patio.  One day my
dad decided we needed a circle, so he opened the window and took out the
screen and he opened the patio door and moved the dining table over. 
And my brother and I spent the afternoon chasing each other in circles.

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