Home Opinion Columnists Dorothy Swart Fleshman's columns Take a tour of my ‘just right’ home
Take a tour of my ‘just right’ home
When I began writing in my diary again (and, my appreciation to all of those who contacted the newspaper on my 5/20/13 behalf) after the traumatic experience of selling, buying and dealing with houses and “things,” I wrote that I was moving into a “not too big, not too small, but a just right” home.
Still somewhat frustrated from the experience that seemed never to end, I decided I wouldn’t tell my diary any of the particulars. Anyone who had moved from house to house would already know much of what would be involved.
But, then, several folks who read my diary asked what my “just right” home was like, so I felt a certain responsibility of responding, especially since I had brought up the subject in the first place.
Every home, I decided, should qualify as a “just right” home with the things that go into making it so.
But what were they? I asked of myself.
I envisioned a home that was attractive and clean, a place for everything and everything in its place. Plenty of storage cupboards with shelves and bins tucked away behind doors to keep everything from sight but easily accessible.
It must have a well-arranged kitchen fitted with the proper appliances and equipment at easy reach. There would be lots of shelving for dishes, pans, silverware, and even a shelf for cookbooks.
There would be a living room that was always ready for company and, also, a little nook with a fireside for cozying down for relaxing evenings.
All of my notebooks, books, phonograph records, and paper work would be arranged on shelves or in drawers where I could conveniently find them, and all of my loose papers, receipts, and records would be safely filed.
I daydreamed about all these things, including slide-out shelving for easy access, generous wardrobes, mirrors where needed, bathroom drawers and cupboards for all kinds of needs, and...oh my, so many other things that could or would make one’s life so much more pleasant.
A “just right” house would be filled with light and generous space, plenty of rooms for guests, for sewing, for laundry and ironing, artwork, boxes of decorations, hobbies like photography equipment, slides, photos, hiking gear...
Oh, I just remembered. I don’t hike anymore or travel or take pictures.
Why do I need rooms for those things?
I’m looking back to when I was young and all of these things were out of our reach. We shared what we had in the spaces allowed and looked to the future to better ourselves.
I concede that I had enjoyed some of each of these things, but not all in one place, as I moved from house to house over these long years from childhood to old age.
Each house had had something special about it, and now, in my mind’s eye I was trying to bring them all together in one dream-world. But, it wouldn’t be the beauty of the house, a place for everything that would make it a “just right” house, I realized.
It had been sharing a bit of perfection here and there that I could look back upon. Shelves that pulled out and plenty of kitchen cupboards in one house, a bathroom with plenty of linen closets and drawers in another, the warmth of sitting before the fireplace with a loved one in yet another place. There had been lots of rooms in one place where we lived and shelving for all my notebooks and books in still another.
When the need came to leave my heritage and I moved to town, another house offered a cozy spot before a little gas stove and windows to let in plenty of light.
There was no shelving for my notebooks or books and only a limited amount of storage space. The kitchen didn’t fill my needs and the several rooms failed to fill my space needs.
How could I, then, imagine this to be my “just right” home?
Everywhere I looked among my belongings was a memory of the past. I knew that by tying them all together in my mind, I could make this new place just what I needed, not too big and not too small.
I’ll have all I need because my house will be filled with the memories of the past, the perfection of love.
It isn’t what you have, but how you feel about it. It isn’t a place or how many rooms you have. It’s how you feel wherever you are.
I look into another box that is as yet unpacked since there isn’t a place to put the contents. I’m trying to find something I need, but it isn’t there. One day I’ll find it — or I won’t.
Hold onto positive thoughts, I tell myself, and look for the bright spot until you find it, because there is something to love in every day no matter how bad it seems at the moment.
Evening is settling in. I am tired, so I take a cup of coffee and a square of chocolate to my cozy nest spot, snuggle down in an easy chair, and turn on a movie.
I am satisfied, for I know that for just this moment I am in my “just right” home.