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Split/Level: 2 loves, 2 homes

It’s a little freaky to walk into my prototypical 50’s split level house and see this silkscreen print of an almost-identical house over the fireplace. I imagined people would want to quickly run outside and check, or feel that they were in a Twilight Zone episode.

It’s spookier to know that the print was produced by my late husband, Kevin MacDonald, in his last year of life. That he loved this sort of house, in one of which I live with my second husband, and with my first husband’s child. And the 50s pottery. Kevin grew up in the 50s and the kitchen in our old house, the one we shared, had lovely postwar cabinets so we started to collect things that would complement it — in addition to the Harlequin china Kevin had been accumulating for 20-some-odd years.

All that stuff looks better in this house, though. The teak. The Harlequin. The Russell Wright.

In this house, where my second husband lived with his first wife and raised his two kids. This house, which didn’t really fit their overstuffed antiquey furniture very well. This house, which was built the year he was born.

Kevin would just have loved all of it — the second life, the ironic screen print, the house itself, our happiness. He would have laughed at some parts, sure. And he might not have approved of how I’ve decked the halls, or the white plastic tree, or the microwave… but it all works.

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