Aerin is working away on college essays (working well to deadline, as we say in this family) all of which are due before midnight December 31st. She started writing about the hole in the ceiling of the kitchen, and the more we talked about it, the more I realized it was a connection between the important parts of my life, as well as a kind of magic portal in hers.
This hole is there by design, not accident. It is meant to let heat rise into the second floor, from an era when there were no radiators there. It has provided the children years of pleasurable gravity testing, dropping things on my head, or onto the floor to be retrieved and dropped again. (The pompoms were substantially less painful than the rain of legos.) It allowed me to talk to Alice, when she inhabited that room, and I was required in the kitchen to produce food.
But now it connects my art space with my cooking space. I can put something in the oven and retreat upstairs sure in the knowledge that the smells coming through the hole will warn me when it is done. I can eavesdrop on people in the kitchen, which I tend not to do except to listen for tone of voice. People there can ask questions of me while I work on my art, and I can answer them without leaving a particularly finicky bit of stitching.
The hole in the ceiling connects the two most important parts of the house where I work; the kitchen, where I work for the health and amusement of the family, and my studio, where I work for my pleasure and sanity.