I just played bartender for a friend while her home was on a historic tour of homes in the oldest neighborhood in the city. She’s been prepping for the tour for two months. She bought a rundown cottage 14 years ago, so she’s really been preparing for 14 years.
If you toured it last night you would never believe that not long after she moved in, she allowed my young and wild Girl Scout troop to have a slumber party there. It was in the first stage of renovation and we knew there was nothing they could destroy. She taught them how to climb out of its windows. Last night with it’s candlelight and perfection and Zen monastic music setting the mood you would not recognize it as the same house where 8-year-olds sang Spice Girls on a karaoke machine.
She told me that she has come to view her home as a work of art. Indeed it is, it could grace the pages of any glossy magazine.
My home will never grace the pages of any magazine. But it is my creative oasis. I just finished painting every room in my little house. It’s only taken me four years. My ex and I bought this little starter home in the burbs more than 25 years ago. My biggest challenge living here was the decision to remain post divorce. My ex and I always put our daughter first and even after we moved on, we both wanted her to stay in the only home she had ever known.
I remember the moment when I decided it was time to make the house mine. My ex had never put back up the house numbers after an exterior paint job. They sat on the porch rail for a few years waiting to be rehung. It slowly dawned on me that I couldn’t blame him any more. It was all up to me now. So before I hung them I decided to bejewel them. With each tiny sparkly jewel I glued in place I started to make this house my home.
I had half the house painted when my sweetie and I began our new chapter together. As my daughter grew up and moved out, my sweetie moved in. Now I was faced with a new challenge. It needed to be his home too; no longer what had become my girly house. So began the purge. In order for him to move in, I had to clean out. The more I cleaned out, the more old baggage I was still carrying around got thrown away.
My sweetie is an amazing craftsman. Over the years building furniture has been his hobby. Our home is now filled with his handcrafted furniture. The old studio is now our master bedroom. The old master bedroom is now the home of our brand new business, Greenview Designs. The favorite art from homes of his past now hang on the walls of our home. Things we have bought and built together are slowly filling the nooks and crannies as this continues to become our home.
We’ll put up a Christmas tree this weekend. On it will be ornaments that hung on my grandparent’s tree, handmade ornaments from my childhood and my daughter’s, and the beautiful Collectible White House ornaments that come from the decade my sweetie lived in Washington DC.
It’s not like my friend’s beautiful work-of-art home. Hers wouldn’t have the pooping Christmas toy collection. That’s perfectly OK; this creative oasis is our home.