Wednesday, April 14, 2010

House Proud...

is something I've never been, I guess. I can't remember ever living in a house that was fancy; from the apartment underneath a church fellowship hall to a parsonage in Goldendale, a storefront apartment, shared spaces with roommates and a boyfriend, a falling-down house in Colorado (bentonite was to blame), a couple of my own "boughten" houses after the divorce but still nothing fancy. It didn't feel necessary to spend a lot of money on home furnishings or on the structure that held them; it was more important to be cozy and not too expensive.

The house I live in now, I am often aware, is low on the scale of luxury, by Whidbey standards. Nearly everyone I know lives in much more elegant surroundings! And I love visiting those homes, sinking deep into sofas that have no decorative shredding, admiring gardens that are freshly weeded and mulched, decks that are free from the litter of empty flower pots and sacks of potting soil, rooms that are actually decorated as opposed to hurriedly thrown together, office rooms that are vacuumed and dusted, bathrooms with unstained tubs (it's NOT a bathtub ring, it's iron in the water), kitchens with leaky fixtures and very little counter space.

That's a description of my home sweet home: shredded furniture, weedy gardens, littered decks, thrown-together bedrooms, dusty office, stained tub and sink, moss on the roof, you get the picture. But this is the favorite so far of all the places I've lived, even the house in Portland where I lived for only a few years before moving to Seattle.

Last night I hosted the ad hoc task force which is drafting a Covenant of Right Relations for our congregation; each of them lives in a gorgeous home with lovely furnishings and even views of the water. I sometimes wonder what people think when they come to my house for a meeting or other gathering; my house is no showplace---except maybe for the acres of grass, shrubs, and giant trees that form the yard. I hope they don't feel sorry for me and I hope they don't wish I'd live in a more upscale way.

The truth is, I'm living just exactly as I want to. The house is clean and tidy (well, a little dusty with a few dust farts in the corners). I don't have to share it with anyone, so in between visits, the catnip on the living room rug can pile up, the toothpaste spit in the sink can congeal, the dust farts reproduce. It's my house and I love it.

I just don't need stuff, I guess. At least, decorative stuff. Except for the paintings I've bought over the years. And even the paintings are not museum-quality. They're things I've bought from friends, mostly. They have relational value, rather than monetary value. Maybe my house and its furnishings have relational value and that's why I'm happy with them.

The house itself is big enough for parties and potlucks. The deck has hosted a few warm-weather jams. I have room for overnight guests. The place is easy to find and there's plenty of parking. I have nice neighbors. The couches are soft, if shredded. The basement accommodates our band practice and recording sessions. It's a happy place to be, I think.

7 comments:

politywonk said...

Sounds like you have every right to be as house proud as possible. It's all about the love...

LinguistFriend said...

It sounds like you are content in the house where you live, because you have partly found and partly made a good place to be.

Robin Edgar said...

As they say Ms. Kitty -

"Home is where the heart is."

Sounds like you have a nice cosy nest for you and the kitties and possibly another "life partner" down the road a bit. . .

ms. kitty said...

Thanks, all of you!

Mile High Pixie said...

OMG, I'm going to use "dust farts" to describe dusty corners in the house. Excellent!

As half of a married architect couple living in a modern-ish condo that looks like Mies van der Rohe threw up in it, we've realized that we like fewer-but-nice things. It's easier for us (meaning me) to keep things tidy and livable if we have less stuff to tend to in the first place. Home is our haven, and we make it for us and us alone...and room for only one or two guests at a time. :-)

ms. kitty said...

Less stuff is good! Lots easier to take care of, I agree.

kimc said...

I wouldn't mind any of the stuff that you describe if it also had a great kitchen. Not necessarily a showy kitchen, but a really functional kitchen with enough storage space and counter space. Why do small places also have small kitchens? Why can't a cozy little house have a great kitchen? (like, why can't a small refrigerator also be a quality refrigerator - the small ones all seem to be designed for cheap rentals.) the place I live in now, the kitchen and the bathroom are the same size. They did the best they could with the space, but it's just too small to really cook in, and I have storage all over the living and dining rooms for the kitchen stuff.