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Over the holiday I was lucky enough to visit my beloved home in Western Montana. The home I often find myself inspired by when creating. It was so wonderful to see my ever growing family and to visit a few favorite places from my childhood.

My widowed great grandfather lives on a farm outside a very small town. They used to hold Sunday service in their living room while us kids would have bible study in the basement. It was a place of total excitement and ultimate mystery. I remember nervously running down the creaking stairs, past the rumbling wood burning stove to get to the room my great grandmother would teach in. We would learn from felt characters and earn star stickers if we completed our assignments correctly. If we were really good we were allowed to choose one, and not a drop more, schwan ice cream bar from the huge stash in the stand alone freezer. There were so many rooms tucked in that basement, us kids never really knew what each held. After our lesson we were directed back up to the living room for hymns and the door at the top of the stairs was shut, for good. We often found ourselves tempted to sneak back down and snoop about each room but knew if we did, we would be in huge trouble.

As we pulled into the driveway this Christmas I immediately felt anxious to get in that basement. It was the first time I had returned since my great grandmother, the keeper of all rooms, had passed. After a short visit with my grandfather I found myself at the top of the stairs. With 3 cameras in hand, it was time to return. I slowly crept down while snapping shots of the old sardine cans, cantines and hand dusters lining the walls. The old wood stove met me at the last step and my heart began thumping. All of my fears of getting in trouble immediately returned. I found myself ducking about and quietly taking each step as not to let on that anyone was down there. 

It was a gold mine of left over toys and fabrics and maps and vintage freezers. A battlefield of cob webs and dusty canning jars. It was absolute heaven. I had finally conquered the eerie piece of home that still lived in my curiosity bank, 18 years later.