|Tiger lamps! And a window covered with furniture!|
|NEVER cover a window!|
Months before the old house sold, I had planned and paid for a trip to Maine with my friends. As it happened, the trip ended up being less than 14 hours after I made settlement on my new home. As my sons and friends were unpacking the truck, I was literally rifling through boxes for clothes to pack into a suitcase. In practicality, the timing couldn't have been worse. In reality, the timing couldn't have been better. Climbing into a car full of friends for seven days of laughter, lobster and wine was apparently just what I needed. Like an astronaut looking back on an earth getting smaller, distance gave me the perspective I needed to let go of the pain, the worry, the anger...and to exhale.
|My home, my colors!|
|Wallpaper, linoleum floor, old appliances...all had to go!|
Now, I'm an earth tone kind of girl. Always have been, always will be. So, first order of business was to get busy with the warm hues of creams and taupe, hardwood floors, and oriental carpeting. I'm not a designer, but I knew what would be me happy. And more importantly, make me content.
And with all that needed to be done, what surprised me the most was my ability to do things that I never thought I could do. I think there is an undiscovered ability in all of us that lies dormant until necessity calls for it. And trust me, it was called for! First off, to get rid of the house-wide jungle motif, every room had to be painted, and I hate painting. I tend to do it fast so I'll finish quickly. The end result is never good, and I end up looking like I had painted the Sistine Chapel. But, I learned to take my time and just get through it. My sister Betty, who has a very steady hand, painstakingly did all the trim work while instructing me to slow down on the walls. (Keeping her quiet was my other motivation to do it right!)
|Wall down, granite countertops, tiled backsplash! Home!|
The cost of renovation was quickly eroding my portion of the equity from the house we sold, and I had to learn the "how-to''s of home ownership best I could. I took a few carpentry classes at Home Depot and hired contractors only when I absolutely needed to (such as anything to do with electric). There is still work to be done, but it is mostly limited to bathrooms that not many see, and I need to replenish my funds before I continue.
Looking back, my need, my almost obsessiveness, with working day and night to get this place to reflect my taste, probably had more to do with me, then making it appealing for my family and friends. I'm sure of it now. I had to leave a home I loved, and I just couldn't live in one that I didn't. And now I do. Actually, I may be too comfortable here. Sometimes, I find myself making excuses to stay in. With so much help from family and friends, several gallons of paint, the warmth of wood flooring, and a kitchen I can really cook in, I'm home. I am grateful for this in every way possible.
Now, this next year will be all about breaking out! I have always told my boys to trust their instincts. That 99% of the time, that special inner being is right. Well, my instincts are telling me that there is something on the horizon. Something just outside of my comfort zone! Something that will force me to inhale, catch my breath, and whisper the two words that got me here.