You see, we’re building a house – not far, just a few miles from our current one – but we’ve lived in our current neighborhood for more than twenty years and we’ve accumulated more stuff than Mitt Romney has reasons not to run again. Though three of our four kids live away from our family home now, the vast majority of their stuff is still here. Not to mention decades worth of stuff that just gets stashed here and there, because nobody wants to deal with it.
Well, now we’re dealing with it.
As we prepare to put our current house up for sale, we’re sorting through all of those accumulated “treasures” and coming face-to-face with some of our more questionable decorating choices.
Case in point, those pink and blue bathrooms.
The kids’ bathrooms in our current house are next to each other and share a shower room. It’s called a “Jack ‘n Jill” bathroom, and it worked great for our big family (two girls, two boys) for many years. In my extremely nuanced decorating, I painted the girls’ bathroom pink and the boys’ bathroom blue. The shared shower room was yellow.
Because we want our house to sell quickly, and because it seems to be the thing to do these days, we’ve hired a “stager” to get our house in tip-top condition to sell. As best I can tell, a stager goes through your house shaking her head violently, muttering, “no, no, no, this won’t do” and puts blue tape on everything you’re supposed to either change or remove before the “for sale” sign goes up. Honestly, she coulda saved herself some time and just put blue tape on the things she deemed worthy of keeping. But okay, I get it. She knows how to do this and I don’t. In her quest to make my house look like it hasn’t been lived in by a pack of wolves for umpteen years she wants all the “personalized” colors gone, replaced with … you guessed it: beige.
So now we’re in the throes of painting. My kids’ bathrooms will be a nice, neutral beige. All the families who traipse through my house while it’s for sale will be able to envision their own belongings here because it will look as neutral as a hotel room. This is progress, I suppose.
Meanwhile, downstairs I stripped my pantry bare in preparation for painting, too. After taking everything out and spreading it all out on the dining room table, two things struck me:
- I could cook from this food for weeks and not have to go to the grocery store. (I love a challenge!)
- How many bottles of white wine vinegar does one family need??? (I have four.)
Whether I decide I’m up for the challenge of cooking with only these ingredients or not, it’s clear we’re blessed in many ways. My family and I have never known hunger. We have a comfortable – even beautiful – home (pink and blue bathrooms notwithstanding) that’s warm and inviting. We may not always have everything we want, but we certainly have everything we need … and then some.
As I lay drop cloths, pack up boxes and take yet another load to Goodwill, I am so grateful for this incredible life that I get to live with these people I love so much. Truthfully, whether it’s our slightly dented current house with its pink and blue bathrooms, or our fancy-pants new house (did I mention the Sub-Zero? Hell. Yes.), as long as I’m with them, I’m happy.
Our new house, scheduled completion … mid-June(ish), 2015