Frank Schwa

“Can I rearrange this room?” “Fred” asked a couple of days before Christmas.

“Sure,” I said. “What do you want to do?”

“I want to move the Christmas tree,” he said, “and, I don’t know, I need to think about it. But the feng shui in this room is all wrong.”

“You can’t move the Christmas tree,” I said. “It stays by the sliding door so people driving past the house can see the lights.”

I told Bud about it later.

“Who’s Frank Schwa?” he asked.

How do I explain feng shui, the harmony in a room, to man who had hoed out so much junk just to make this room usable?

The family room, as we called it, had become a depository — first for the boxes that we moved out of my brother’s apartment after he passed away, then for the boxes and furniture we moved when we rearranged to make space for a downstairs bedroom and bathroom for my father, and finally for the boxes that we moved home from the nursing home after my mother passed away.

Maybe the feng shui was all wrong.

Maybe the “flow” didn’t work.

But there’s a level of comfort in that same orange loveseat being in the same spot through the years.

1979

My grandparents — Christmas 1979

1999

Christmas 1999

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2009

I confess — we moved it this year, though. Not because of feng shui, but to make room for a smart TV.

The focal point still is, and always has been, the fireplace.

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I think Frank Schwa would approve.

The ambience, the aesthetic appeal — both are present in its friendly warmth.

Even more important to me, though, are the people who fill the room.

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Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016

Frank Schwa may or may not be among them.

To me, he’s the least important guest.

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4 thoughts on “Frank Schwa

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