Every night on the way home from work I pass my old house - where we lived for 20 years. We moved in in 1981 - all excited - with interest rates at 17.5%, and barely two dimes to rub together after we put down 50% on on $80,000 house. We'd scraped and saved for 8 years to save up that money but there was no way we could have afforded the house payments without that high down payment. I loved the house for many years. It was old - about 1795 we think - and small- only 1400 square feet - but it fit us and we worked on it, worked the garden, fixed, painted, papered...there was always something to do. We also got Samson when we lived there, and our friends had babies who toddled around our wide pine floors. Sean and Brian would stay over when they were little and I'd have to bundle them up in the morning - cause the house was so cold.
Eventually, we realized that we had to sell the house - it needed a major overhaul and no matter what you did to it, it would always be on a busy road. Health issues precluded taking on such a big job and practically, we felt a newly built house would be better and easier for us. And it has been. I didn't realize how hard I worked in that old house, the old garden was almost overwhelming - the house walls were crooked, the floor tilted, the windows were a joke. In the summer we had to put in the air conditioners and take them down in the winter (and we only had one in the bedroom and one in the tiny studio that DH had). I had no dishwasher, and the washer and dryer were in a damp and dank cellar. Don't get me wrong...I knew we were very rich - we had our own house for goodness sake....but this house was alot of work.
So we moved to our newly built house and after I got over my homesickness - I began to love it - and I still do. I love the ease of it, I love having garage doors and central air and walls and ceilings that meet at right angles. I love the fact that my 6'4" nephew can walk thru the rooms without hitting his head on the ceiling and can walk up the stairs without crouching.
But the other day - as I drove past the old house - I had an almost overwhelming urge to walk up to the front door, and walk back into my life 20 years ago. I felt that if I just knocked on the door, I could step in time - no questions asked. I wanted so badly to be back there with everyone alive again, and so many old friends nearby. I had to keep my hands on the steering wheel - I really did and just keep driving. Of course by the time I got home to this house, I'd convinced myself that I didn't want to go back 20 years...I can't imagine a world without my nephews and my beautiful niece but the thought has haunted me for the past few nights.
I think it's simply the season - it's a time for nostalgia and family. I miss the hustle and bustle of buying presents for kids and watching them open them, and then tossing the paper into the roaring fireplace. I miss the wood smoke smell, and Samson with his funny antlers on.
It'll pass. The season is a tough one this year - my close aunt as well as my MIL died last year in December and I miss them both. I miss my dad, and my dear friend Isabel (who did Christmas like no one else) and I miss my SIL (who always hated every present that we gave her). I miss having my parents live only a few hours away, and family gatherings that were spontaneous. I also know that I didn't appreciate everything and everyone when I did have them, and I feel badly about that. Do you know the play "Our Town"? When the main character has a chance to relive one day in her life? I feel like that right now - like I want to relive a day but know that I really want to embrace the moment, enjoy my friends and family, hug my pooch again.
Oh dear - I didn't mean to go on and on. I do love my life now, and am thankful everyday for friends and family and health - it's just nostalgia...that's all.
That's what I am doing. I am throwing up my hands in the air as I quietly give up trying to keep up. I've had two new projects at work this week.....and it's only Monday isn't it?
Why oh why did I promise to make a quilt for a friend who is having a new grandniece. Because I love her and she is a good friend? Probably...but really...what WAS I thinking. And then I picked a pattern that is somewhat complicated. During Christmas season. Really...what was I thinking? So making this quilt and getting it finished by this weekend is taking over my life. We don't usually do much about Christmas around this house - it's DH's holiday altho I like the season. But not having a tree or anything doesn't bother me at all. But there are obligations at work, and to the wonderful children in my life...and I've done virtually nothing.
So I figure if I walk around with my hands in the air - everyone will think I'm batty or have arm problems...and won't expect anything. No cards. No Animal Wednesday. No presents this week.
I like it- I think it's going to be an effective approach - do you agree?
As usual, as I try to clean up my work space....I start finding a few things to fool around with. I had some canvases that had horrible attempts at painting on them, so I painted them black or sepia and scribbled with paint and marker. Took me only a short time, I felt like I had accomplished something and yes...I still have to clean up the studio.
I've been cleaning my basement studio because I got this great new set of flat files - actually NOT new, but old. Got them for $100.00 from an architectural firm and had to pick them up by myself. It wasn't too hard actually, and I love them. I've put all my paper and flat paintings and pads of paper in here. I realize that I shouldn't have to buy paper or pads for another 100 years...I'm all set!!!
I had my last sculpture class on Friday night. I actually ended up liking this class - mostly because the instructor was so open and friendly and sincere. I remember the first night where we walked around the museum and I was tired...I thought I'd hate the class. But everyone was so friendly and open...I learned so much and not only about power tools. I learned more about planning an art piece, and how to look at something from more than one angle and to read meaning into a piece. That last part was the hardest for me, but as I listened to people critiquing my work, I began to realize that yes..I did mean that, and yes...perhaps it shows. This last night was to be a pizza night and a final critique - so I didn't think I'd do much. But sitting around waiting is not my cup of tea, so I started fooling around with clay, and developed this little piece. Of course, there was all kinds of talk about closing off, and opening up, and fences and walls and for the first time I simply opened up to the discussion and listened with an open mind.
Everything held together while the clay was wet but as it dried, it began to fall apart. So yesterday - instead of cleaning - I began to put it together again with tiny dabs of glue. I'm going to let it dry for a few weeks and then tweek the glue, and make it steady. I've found that working with stone and wood and clay posts challenges for assembly.
On a final note - just to gossip some more - we've had guys in our yard since Wednesday cleaning up from the Halloween storm. While we didn't have any house damage, we had about 20 big trees that got so damaged that they became dangerous - and had to come down. Plus about 30 little ones that snapped, or looked like they'd snap at the next storm. They've had chippers going and chainsaws and rakes, and other motorized things. It's been noisy and I can't believe how much they've had to do. Plus, insurance doesn't pay for this since we didn't have house damage....so it's costing a pretty penny. Merry Christmas honey...here's a pile of wood!!