When I am in town, I stay with Mom and she has a great house. Its rather different than Dad's. Where Dad has a great sprawling place where my neo cat, Gooberface, lives, Mom has a tall tower.
My Dad's house that would remind you of a cross between a Hobbit Hole, Rivendell and, well, nature. If nature was on Earth. It looks like the walls and furniture were grown rather than made.
Mom's tower is very different. It's fanciful and intricate. It would herald from Victorian times with its furniture. It would remind you of Victorian architecture, but with all sorts of little details. It is very fancy. It looks like a Queen should live there. In a way, she does! There are three parts of the house I really, really love.
The first one is simple. The clock. Mom has this gorgeous clock that is both complicated and mechanical. There are no parts that are electronic. No batteries. No computers. It just ticks with the time with wheels of brass and bronze and steel. At noon, it bongs like it is heralding the end of the world. It's gorgeous and all hand made: no bots involved. She says she imported it from Earth, from Europe. I cannot imagine how expensive it is.
The second part is the Observatorium. Mom's house is five stories tall. Its the tallest house in town. There are a handful of taller buildings, but they are all official, government buildings. Why build tall? because the space within the walls is limited! Mom got smart and bought a piece of land at the edge of the wall. She also paid more to be able to build as tall as she wanted. This was before the town was full. No one thought it would matter any time soon and if some lady wanted to pay extra for being able to build tall, let her! Well, she did and the top floor of her house is on the fifth floor. One side is her bedroom. The other side is the Observatorium. It's really like a giant greenhouse, all glass looking out into the world above the wall. You can see over 17 kilometers (11 miles, Earther!) She decorated the glass room with tropical earth plants and a decorative telescope. The telescope is an old refractor made of brass. Also from Earth.
The last room is the Not-So-Secret Room! Its actually Mom's office, but she decided to embellish the room. She had a huge vault door with a wooden veneer put on it. The theme is very Steam Punk. I love it. It has its own library and sitting room and even a small kitchen. Mom actually set it up also as a disaster shelter as well as her office. We're allowed in so long as we don't go into the office proper.
Its time for dinner. Tonight its borscht, bread and salad. Mom is an excellent cook and her borscht is legendary. My brother and I poke fun at each other over dinner. We always do. He's a good kid even if I find him a touch annoying. I am just hitting that age, my Dad says, but I will always be there for my brother. He's one of my favorite people.
Mom makes her borscht different than any other borscht I’ve ever had. She first fries all the veggies -except the cabbage you silly! – before she adds them to the broth. Carrots, beets, onions and pureed tomatoes fried in the fat cut from the meat used for the broth. Everything is made from scratch or naturally grown. Then spiced at the END. And its not sweet! Don’t use sweet beets! Yuck!
After dinner, we do homework. Yuck! Who likes it! But! Needs to be done, so done it gets. I’ve gotten much better at getting it done without being told. I ask for help, but mostly I just need to work my way through. Augmented reality makes homework more interesting and less paper involved than what it used to be.
Then it is time to talk with Mom. She wants to know everything that happened that day. We talk about my friends and boys and school and everything. She's very sympathetic and a good listener. We converse in Russian because that was her first language and wants us to be able to speak it. Dad agrees with that even though he can't speak it better than a two year old. It is actually funny.
Then it’s to bed.
My room is great and has a study of its own. My brother and I live on the fourth floor. Mom won't let us use the elevator up. She says we need to stay in shape. Like we have a problem with that anyways, but Mom is Mom and she's the boss in her house.
Fortunately, today we didn't have music (I play my violin) or dance. Mom insists I learn to dance, both formal and fun. My brother is in gymnastics and pays the piano. Some days I'm really, really tired, and walking up those stairs is too much.
I tuck myself in and go to sleep. There's no Gooberface here to harass me before I sleep. or give me purry kisses either. Mom strongly believes animals are not meant to be inside the house.
So, then, to sleep and tomorrow...