The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.


on August 27, 2012


I love to explore in general – byways, off-beat shops, antique malls – but I most enjoy exploring someone’s home. I’ve learned a sharp eye can tell me a great deal about someone; particularly someone I don’t know well. What’s on his refrigerator gives me a clue as to what he deems important. His bookshelves tell me whether he’s into history, philosophy, religion or fiction – and what kind.


Take a tour with me. The kitchen will tell us if he lives on TV dinners or cooks.  The pantry will tell us if he prefers chocolate to oatmeal. Is his spice rack adequate for Paella? Does he use paper or linen napkins? Are there flowers on the table? Is the sink clean or does it contain yesterday’s dirty dishes?


Enter the bedroom. Check the night stand next to his bed. Will we find a book or two, a flashlight, paper and pen or is it devoid of anything that might keep him awake? Open a few of his dresser drawers. Look here. A U of Iowa sweatshirt and a tee-shirt with an airplane on it. Does he fly? How well organized is his closet? Is he content with 3 suits or does he have 20? This sports jacket dates from the 16th century? Is he cheap or simply nostalgic.


Is the living room warm and inviting?  Are there comfy chairs, bright colored pillows, footstools? What magazines are on the coffee table?  Biblical Archaeology Review, National Geographic or People and Reader’s Digest? Are there drapes drawn or open to light? Oh my, look at that aquarium!

          There’s more. Are there plants scattered throughout the house; vines trailing around windows? He surely loves gardens. Does a cat come snaking around your feet; a puppy gleefully greet you? He hates cages he does. Is his garage a hodgepodge of unusable stuff, a shelter for nothing but cars and bikes, or a well-ordered workshop; everything labeled and shelved?

Here’s a bit more about this:



Open the door, I’m coming in.

Step aside while I glance at your books.

Do you prefer mystery or romance?

Sci-Fi, history or bios?


First, the kitchen.

Are there herbs on the windowsill?

Does the pantry house chocolate or oatmeal?

Do you have spices for Zim Zim Chicken

Or nothing but salt and pepper?

Looks like you prefer wine to orange juice.


What’s this on the refrigerator door?

Three appointments with your dentist?

Are you having your teeth pulled?

Going to a symphony concert, huh?

Will you use this  pass to the Botanic Gardens;

Accept this invitation to a dinner party?

And who are these three adorable children?


Move – I’m into the bedroom.

Will I find candles, down pillows, incense;

Cologne or sleeping pills on the dresser?

One book, none, or many on your nightstand?

Do your drawers hold pajamas

Or do you sleep nude?

Is your closet well organized?

Three pair of shoes or thirty?

Gucci or WalMart?


What will I see on your desk?

Files alphabetized, pens red and yellow?

Unpaid bills, letters unanswered?

The beginning of a short story, a poem,

Your autobiography?


Down to the basement.

I’ll discover you’re a pack-rat or not.

Are your nails stored in little glass jars?

Will I find a pool table, skis,

A pin-ball machine?

A bike, weights, an exercise mat?

You’re an exercise freak or you’re not


I’m stepping outside.

Is there a single chair on your patio

Or a table for eight?

Hanging vines or no flora at all?

Is there a bird feeder in the yard?

Look at that – a tomato garden!


I’ve learned a bit about you

I want to know more.

Turn down the lights,

Light a fire. close the door,

Hold my hand, talk to me.

And may I please have one of those tomatoes?

I admit to being a snoop. If it wasn’t illegal I’d probably open his mail.

What’s on your refrigerator or do you neatly file such things so visitors are unable to pick up a single clue about you?

Post a comment

Julie Rose


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