Back when I first got divorced, an old friend picked up a slightly used bookcase at a yard sale. It had obviously been used in a child's bedroom, but it was the perfect size for my bathroom at the time. Later, it was a great fit in the small bathroom of my townhouse on the UofM South Campus.
The only problem was that it was ugly, just pitiful looking. It needed updating badly, but I just did not have the time, place or resources to do it with. Fast forward to a week and a half ago. I finally got the resources, the time, and the place so I dug in. I had squirreled away a small can of paint in a beautiful color that I had gotten for free, waiting for the day when I knew I would be able to use it on something. I eagerly dug it out, plopped the bookcase on the carport, grabbed the electric sander and went to town. The end result is not a work of art, but I was happy with it. It matches my bathroom colors and is great for storing the things I use regularly.
I was determined to get through all my unpacking and getting things stored by today and I pretty much made it. I have to buy a smaller filing folder for my papers to store under my bed and put up a curtain rod for my curtain, but for the most part I can finally relax a bit and enjoy things - like enjoying meatball sandwiches for supper, sitting on the front porch in the swing, watching a summer thundershower roll through, finally reading on a book I haven't had a chance to do in a week or two, fixing myself some hot chocolate and snuggling up in my shabby chic (still need a few more things, but it's getting there) room with my soft lights and rose-scented candle.
It's kind of cool how we can separate our lives into neat little definite chapters. I've had many in my life and my latest one is just starting. My latest chapter ended with this little piece of paper:
My next chapter begins with a move. In order to save on expenses and get Tommy in a place where he can spread out a little bit (like all teenage boys need to do), we moved back in with Mom and Dad while I finish out my graduate studies. Once I made the decision and worked everything out, the move happened relatively quickly. I had been living on campus in Graduate Student Family Housing in a small, but efficient 640 sq. foot townhouse so I had my things pared down pretty well. Or so I thought. By the end of my packing, I had given away or thrown out ten large garbage bags of things. For those of you who think you have your life and stuff whittled down, try moving into a smaller place. I guarantee the things you just can't live without will find their way into a rubbage pile or the local Goodwill. I felt good about being able to let go of things that just weren't important. Much of it would have been duplicates anyway as Mom already had it - brooms, cleaning supplies, etc.
One problem I discovered about moving from a small place is once you get enough boxes packed, you run out of room TO pack. It wasn't long until I had a makeshift tunnel through my apartment, labeled boxes everywhere. I was never so happy to see my Dad, Jim, and kiddo start loading up the truck and trailer with my things. Three truckloads and two trailerloads later, we were moved into our new place and the unpacking began.
Day three in our new place and I'm just about completely unpacked. We've had a good time. It's nice to be able to sit and visit with Mom and Dad. It's nice to be in a spot where I can put some money back into savings and get geared up for when I'm finished with grad school and can buy a house. And it's nice to be back on the old homestead where deer wander into the yard and you can actually count the stars at night. I'm a bit of a hybrid - half country girl, half city girl. I think ultimately I'll live in the city. I like the convenience of being five minutes away from the grocery store, restaurants and move theaters and being around other folks. Right now, though, I plan to enjoy country living even it's a little hard on the gas expenses and I definitely plan to thoroughly enjoy this next month of summer vacation before things start getting hectic again.
I'm set up and ready for the lazy, hazy days of summer!