My maternal Grandparents’ home in Colorado is this lumbering estate in my head, but I imagine that’s mostly because I haven’t been there since I was very young. When I think of it, I remember it being in the crook of a mountain, with woods all around where we used to hunt for toads and make videos of adventure stories with our cousins. There was a large wood porch around the second storey of the house, overlooking the woods and the mountains, from which I’d always get splinters. I remember Grandfather’s library, mostly histories and volumes on various wars, his German Shepherds (which responded to commands only in German), Grandmother’s Siamese cats (which responded to no commands whatsoever), the sink where we gutted and cleaned the fish we caught, and the music box. Mostly I remember the music box.
It was on the ground floor, in a room I always thought of as the “ballroom,” although it wasn’t a ballroom and the only reason I thought of it that way was because of the music that the music box played. The music box is as tall as I was, or taller–a free-standing, larger piece of furniture that looks like an armoire or something, with a crank on the outside. Its body opens to dividing wooden slots in which are stored vinyl-record-sized metal disks with small rectangular holes in them. The top of the box opens like a record player’s top, and you lift a brass arm to set the disk into place, and then lower the arm and wind it up. I spent entire vacations, it felt like, examining the metal disks, picking out songs, winding up the device inside the box, and listening to music.
The songs were mostly popular songs from the late 19th/early 20th century, or classical works, but no matter which disks you played, all the music sounded like movements in one metallic symphony.
I thought of it this morning, because I am going here a week from today. I don’t know how much of the place I’ll get to see, but I hope to be able to explore the Music Room, with its various musical devices.