Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Hundred Years From Now


My family and most of our friends enter our home through the breezeway, a 12’x15’ room sandwiched between the garage and the house.

When my kids were young, it was where they and their friends brushed sand from their shorts and stomped snow off their boots. The breezeway was the logical drop-off point for sweaty cleats and sweatshirts, bright orange vests and camouflage coats, and wet swimsuits and beach towels. It was home for roller blades, squirt guns, whatever ball was in season, and Spots, our calico cat.

We remodeled the breezeway a few years ago because I wanted it to be more grown-up, more welcoming to the adults and our young-adult children and their friends who were walking through it. Spots still claims a corner, but I replaced concrete with linoleum and toys with potpourri, books, and magazines. 

The item I think best made its relocation to the breezeway, however, is a picture frame. It’s one of those popular laser-engraved frames and was given to me years ago by my then-single brother. 


I use it to showcase a family memory and think it’s fitting that in this time of holiday hustle and bustle--when I’m tempted to purchase one more gift, add one more ornament to the tree, and bake one more batch of cookies in an effort to create the perfect holiday—that I walk by these words every time I enter the breezeway.


"A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child."


These are the last lines from "Within My Power," an essay written by Boy Scout administrator Forest E. Witcraft and published in the October 1950 issue of Scouting magazine. The quote has been adapted somewhat -- he used the word “boy” instead of “child.”