Friday, September 21, 2007
Drips, Drabs And Confessions
I know...I know...I have been a horrible blogger this week. Few posts and even fewer comments on YOUR blogs. I have been visiting but in drips and drabs or drabs and drips. I had neglected to mention (and only will now as explanation) that all of us have been ill. Just some wicked little virus that swept through and wrecked havoc on our sinuses and respiratory systems. And you all know what that does to little asthmatics like me. So, all is better on that front. No worries. And I know you understand that I have taking care of the little man (my nephew Boo) this week as well. His Mommy and Daddy have enjoyed a much deserved vacation but I know that he will tickled to see them and they, him. My little guy is a whirling dervish of energy so, I am sad to report this, almost 51 year old is pooped. I love being with him but I *am* pooped. Whew. Add in the fact that our air conditioner bit the dust..uh huh. Just 5 and a half years old, from a MAJOR manufacturer with a wonderful track record, and it is a goner. A *flukey* thing or so said the repairmen. Yup, I think that *flukey* is the professional term for it. Some costs will be picked up by the AC manufacturer/builder thankfully. Still, it had to be replaced. It is still very warm here and allergy levels sky high...sooo...have I complained enough yet? Okay... Then I got myself in a big funk and I really hate myself when I do that. It does not happen often but when it does...wham. I have worked through it, am over it, for the most part, but am also just so ashamed of myself. Heartfelt thanks to you dear Kari for the sweet emails...I will get back to you this weekend okay? So, here is the story, edited to protect you from boredom. What? Too late for that? Um...well, here goes anyway. I became terribly unhappy with my home. Uh huh. The home I really do love with all my heart. I began to fixate on all of the things that are wrong and nothing that is right. Every day I see how magical so many homes in blog land are and mine just began to seem so dull, so unimaginative, so plain. I began to fixate on every ding, every scratch, every minute wrong and fantasize that many of you live in sparkling clean, beautifully maintained homes that have every bell and whistle possible. See? Pretty awful isn't it? Then I ran into one of those, "so sickening sweet SAHMs that you could strangle her" that live across the way...the way being, "across the big road, you know, in the *nice* houses!". Uh huh...her definition. After hearing how *my* neighborhood has just the "cutesyish little places imaginable", I was also faced with her open mouth gape when I told her that no, we do not have granite counters or wood throughout or a whirlpool or a theater room or a 4 car garage or a custom designed closet and dressing room. I just do not know how I can face the dawn each day. I should be shot I guess. That was a joke you know...still, instead of laughing it all off as a very sad and superficial woman who will never know some of the pure joys that I have experienced, I let it get to me. Uh huh. Right between the ears and straight into the old ticker. No sarcastic comeback, no witty retort. I just turned tail. Turned and walked away, like a coward with tears in my eyes. I SHOULD be ashamed. Living in a small house (By typical US standards anymore) is what I chose. I like small. Really I do. But why am I valued less because I do? Are we perceived as having less money? That may not even be the case, evidenced by the high fore closure rate on those huge homes. When did we become a nation that judges one another in this manner? Maybe we always were. And I hate that. Detest that. But that ego crunch took on a life of it's own and I began to nitpick my dear Rabbit Run Cottage, finding fault with nearly everything within and outside of it's walls. I so want to add my personal stamp on this place, the tile, brick and wood floors. The stone counters, wonderful light fixtures, new paint, wallpapers, moulding, wainscoting...the little touches that add so much. I live in a standard home yet dream of living in a vine-covered 1940's Cape or a 1930's Tudor cottage. I used to be so proud of each little home I created over the years. I took unexceptional, typical box apartments, rental homes, condos & base housing and made it ours. Now, in a house that we OWN, I am still waiting to do so. Why? Simple enough, time and money. There is never enough is there? Spare time totally eludes me now and spare monies? It comes in drips and drabs now. Would I give up the adoption expenses, college fees, music/sewing/art lessons, school fees, school clothes, orthodontist visits, toys, games and all the other things that eat away at our extra funds? Not on your life! And I would not give up one second of the time I spend with my Mother, nephew, kids, family and friends to have more time to do what I passionately adore. Still, it eats at me occasionally. Gets inside and gnaws away... Now you see where the *I am so ashamed* part creeps in. I chose to be a stay at home Mommy and am so lucky to be able to do just that. For now, I am needed by this black haired beauty and my silly, spinning top of a nephew. I treasure the time I spend each week with my mother. Still, this choice does come with a price and that price is home remodeling. It will come, in those ubiquitous drips and drabs and I must be patient...patience having never been one of my steadfast virtues. For now, if the question of travel or home re-do is asked, I will choose the travel. My children (Yes, even the, not much of a child anymore, one too) deserve that. And I will remember that I have been so lucky to be able to make the choice of staying where I am most needed. I am lucky enough to be able to own my home and not to worry about from where the monies will come to pay for that privilege. My home may be cutesy and small and standard issue but it keeps us warm in the Winter, dry during rain storms and safe at night. There are no bombs exploding outside and we all have enough to eat. Safe and clean drinking water flows through our faucets and our school district is one of the best in the country. We have access to excellent medical care and yes, can afford to replace even an air conditioning system when needed. We have cars to drive and a good bus service when we choose not to. We have a nice washer and dryer and that alone is a luxury to me. I lived in apartments and base housing without one for years and became well acquainted with laundromats! Yes, my home now lacks granite counters and state of the art appliances but we do have a nice refrigerator, stove, microwave and dishwasher and I am well aware of the fact that the majority of the people in this world do not. My neighborhood is safe and filled with neighbors who know one another's names, wave, host get togethers and genuinely care about one another. My house is not exceptional and will never be featured in a book or magazine (And yes, that was always a dream of mine) but it does say "Glad to see you" each time I walk through it's doors. It embraces every part of my soul. It lets me be me and each member of the family (including the 4 legged ones) enjoy it and feel comfortable within it's walls. It is where we spend time as a family, celebrate holidays, order pizza, argue, cry, laugh, welcome friends and dream. It is our haven. Our standard issue, cutesy, tiny, unexceptional haven. Which, in itself, makes it pretty exceptional now doesn't it?