Inch by inch


So, yesterday was the final day our friend/carpenter was here and today we have just a bit of painting to do and then we will be done with updating our 20 year old house. In all the years we each have lived, neither one of us has ever lived in one place this long. In the years since Al and I have been married, we have moved 9 times. I had at least 10 moves under my belt by the time we got married, so basically had developed a “love ’em and leave ’em” relationship with my homes.

We love our home…and we love how long we have lived here…our home has become our dear friend where we retreat from the world, where we invite our friends to break bread with us, where we celebrate family, and where we find comfort in just “being”. It is said that a mans castle is his home….but so too is this true for the woman of the house.

That being said, our castle was in need of a face lift. 20 years ago we moved in and thoroughly personalized our home with deep, rich and vibrant colors and have thoroughly enjoyed our surroundings. Now, however, as we face the final chapters in our life, however many that might be, we decided to neutralize the colors in our home to make it sale ready. Down came the beautiful custom red drapes, down came our wall of deep blue matted prints that we have loved so long. Out with the old, in with the new. Less IS more for us these days, and we are still walking “things” out our door. Inch by inch it is a cinch, they say, and it is so true!

Down came another wall of pictures, only this time it was large framed professional photos of the kids. Al hand delivered most of them to the kids as they cast surprised, slightly offended looks his way. He told them we are doing them a favor by getting this done now so THEY don’t have an enormous undertaking when we make our next move.

I am surprised by how well I like the look. Despite the neutral backgrounds and curtains, we still have plenty of detail going on with our remaining “stuff” and some of that Al will be walking out the door as well. This brings to mind a comment a friend made to me many years ago…She said, “Isn’t it interesting how we spend the first half of our lives accumulating things and the second half getting rid of it?” Seems to me we could have saved ourselves a whole lot of trouble.

On the last two visits, our son and family from the north chose to stay at his brother’s home because there is more space there for the grand girls. This means we essentially have had all our excuses for not downsizing removed. They will still come to Texas for visits and whatever our home size is will be of no consequence. So that invites us to do some exploring of options.

We have no immediate plans…we will see what the future will bring and that will determine how long we live here. I am a nester of the first order, so I have always needed my own nest. My next nest may be a smaller home, a room in an old folks home, or my mansion in heaven. We just don’t know. But, we are making progress with separating ourselves from our things. I find it interesting how, when I look at something I felt a huge need to purchase years ago, I now wonder what the pull was at the time. Most things become…..just things. It is in the love relationships of our lives where we find our true identity.

O.k… cup is empty and there is some woodwork begging to be painted. Hopefully, by tonight our work will be done and we can sip some single malt scotch that was gifted to Al by our daughter. It is his favorite night cap, and wifey has come to enjoy it too!

Blessings to all. Live your most authentic self…which happens to be custom made by God! Love being sent to you from Austin Texas…our favorite place in the whole world!

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