a haven of childhood dreams; where sick days feel like snow days and the comforting ease of a weighted, worn blanket is always just around the corner. still spinning bike tires and dirt caked toys lay discarded and dozing on a generous green lawn. a devoted dog, collared and quiet, sleeps soundly in the sunny haze of a front bay window. the family name: ‘the brinks’ is scrawled happily to the left of a heavy, pale blue front door. three young daughters and a son live here with parents who get along, who all fit together; easy and natural. eyes shine, smiles flash, recognition and wonder, an understanding: home isn’t just the walls and floors, it’s the people, it’s people, it’s always the people. lunch is served on solid brown tupperware plates: perfectly grilled cheese sandwiches sit stuffed and spilling oozy slices of kraft american cheese from bread that is soft in the middle and seared crispy and hot at its edges; butter and salt course all the way through. beside the sandwich there is a crunchy pile of funyuns chips and a cold cup of apple juice the size of a child’s hand. they eat lunch together like this, at a large dining room table, plush beige carpeting beneath her dangling socked feet. mary poppin’s sugared spoonfuls spill softly from the next room, the “family room” they call it..
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