Nineteen years of marriage, where did the years go? My husband still says he could live/work out of a hotel room or faceless corporate apartment and be just fine. He really doesn’t mind eating in a restaurant three meals a day. Me, I need a nest. I don’t know if it’s just a male-female thing, because I think he feels just as much at home at our home, wherever that may be.
We don’t have kids or grandkids so our walls aren’t stocked with the usual family and school photos, year by year. I do like, however, to populate them with memories.
Our new front entryway boasts two idyllic country scenes, two lithos I found at a consignment shop in Houston years ago for $2 apiece. They are of the Italian countryside, rustic but reminding both of us of our country roots. Facing us is a charcoal drawing of a pas de deux, as dance has been a part of my family for many years, as have the arts. It’s a competition winner from a former art school client, my Dad bought it for me at auction.
In the kitchen above my precious knives are scenes from travels in Greece and Italy, and a framed recipe for Chilean Sea Bass. Not just any sea bass, it’s on James Earl Jones’ letterhead and is signed. Dad bought it at auction from another client, an HBCU in Texas.
Most important are the quilts, which are the theme of our new home. My mother-in-law made two of them, one a crazy color mix which she made into an all seasons quilt, and another she made for my husband when he was a young boy, of boys in overalls in matching sun hats. There is also the flower/flour power hexagonal quilt that has been in her family for over 100 years and is made in a themed flower pattern of old flour sacks.
These quilts are further personalized by new ones purchased just for our new office spaces. I bought my husband a pastel version of a Texas flag for his office, and my roots come back to me with a classic farmhouse sampler quilt, but it’s made by four ladies in Canada who met every month for lunch for a year to share their squares. Mom was a lifelong Canadian.
We have paintings done by my father, who took up art in his seventies. I just framed some works from the part of Texas where my husband grew up, scenes from my cooking schools, and a number of travel photos taken by me before and after we met.
My husband got his degree in physics, but he said it was too lonely to work in a lab all day and go home to life as a single guy. Then he met me. Even though he’ll tell you the story about the number of square feet he took up in a moving truck (three, the absolute minimum) for an easy chair, dual-brained computer he built and huge CRT monitors. I brought him a kitchen and office. We built from there. And yes, it took 12 more linear feet in the truck and now, even more.
As a consultant, he used to fly out every Monday and return Friday evening. Then COVID struck, and now he has his own studio/office for Zoom meetings and training when it cannot be held on-site. We’re getting normal bit by bit but for now working from home is the new reality.
What he won’t tell you is that he does enjoy returning home to a hot meal and our dog Lulu wagging her tail to greet him. I don’t want to go live in a corporate apartment forever, while a few months at a time is OK provided my nest exists to go home to. He won’t begrudge me the few linear moving truck feet I cost as the ROI is worth it!
I’m closing the current decorating phase and ended up with a vastly better livable/workable space for the whole family. Lulu still doesn’t know where her “spot” is with us working at each end of our space, but she’ll work it out, and if not, we know where to find her a puppy friend. There is an impasse, however. Of course there is! Life wouldn’t be fun without a challenge. I’d like to match her Aussie brains and 42 lbs. of sheer muscle, and my husband would prefer a less-smart, more sedentary and less hard-headed beast. We’ll work it out.
Our home tells a story, it’s our story. Cheers! Dee