Home. Though big and beautiful, my childhood house was an abusive place. When I married PAH, I discovered I could create friendly places at little cost that would be welcoming.
The first free sofa and chair were white and set the tone I use today. The first coffee table was a cut down dining room table that had seen better days. The first bed was free as was almost everything else. I remember joyously buying my first set of dishes from a factory in Virginia and the first stainless from some store in LA. These were mine….they were belongings not tainted by anger, alcohol, or abuse.
I was a very young, new mother with a very simple mind.
Rental homes in LA, Chula Vista, and Imperial Beach devolved into drug addiction, alcoholism, then homelessness. Only slowly over the years did life improved again. From living in an old Victorian home as a caretaker, a studio apartment with two kids, I moved to the beach and lived in an infinite variety of places just blocks from the surf.
There a sofa, a chair or two if they fit, and two kids on occasion. Sometimes I slept on the sofa, sometimes the sofa was my bed. I always made it as nice as I could with paintings from friends, furniture from the alley’s, and an old oriental rug on the floor. By the time I met the Great G and got sober, I was living in rented, beyond tiny, Sear’s pre-fab beach cottage and owned the Datsun of Ten Colors. The kids were grown and gone, and there wasn’t a lot of decorating to be done with a Harvest gold sofa and my grandfather’s old Morris Chair inside a tiny knotty pine box.
Today I mix things from the two sides of my family, my mother, my stepfather Bob, Geezers mom and dad all stirred up like a pot of oatmeal. The result is book heavy and hard to keep simple, but I try. Today while G caulks and touches up the new crown moldings and touches up the paint in the bedroom, I continue my struggle to simplify the living room. I’m boxing photo albums and banishing books to make more room. I’ll move out the one too many pieces of furniture in the room. All this like a balanced jig-saw.
Creating a home is an art form. Creating a home is memory. I can see my grandfather when I sit in his chair. I use my grandma’s dressers and can see her again with great love. Today most things in our home once belonged to family. For me, this combining generations of things creates a home made in love.
Sometimes, love is all I can do.
- Himself: Brought the ladders up. Worked while the carpenter hammered. Had a good day then watched the Olympics.
- Herself: Pool, back room sorted and got some books out on the shelves. Posted work shots to Facebook, hamburger, and a meeting by the bay before the Olympics.
- Reading: More like the skimming of Good Housekeeping.
- Balance: A Friday meeting by side of Mission Bay.
- Olympics: http://www.nbcolympics.com/ Started nodding off at ten as usual, but managed to stay awake through the women’s relay.