May 27, 2010

The ordinary is extraordinary: For Lisa, who can't remember Friday

I am often caught up short when I become aware of how extraordinary the ordinary can be. Sometimes it is an afterthought that floats across my consciousness and brings a smile. Sometimes it smacks me upside the head – reality check. Sometimes it makes me want to grab a person by the shoulders and shake them – “Can’t you see?”

Every ordinary day adds up, stacks up, one after the other. Days of work, laundry, cooking, cleaning, caring for the people in our lives – “You’re tired, let me get the coffee” and being cared for in return - “I’ll get the laundry while you finish making dinner”.

A life becomes the sum of these ordinary days. Have you created a great work of art? Saved a life? Changed the world? Yes, yes you have. With every ordinary day filled with the kind of love we take for granted; the quick absent-minded kiss ; the cake that came out lopsided because you were busy changing diapers and making lunch at the same time. Oh how you laughed at that lopsided cake – tasted fine even if it didn’t look so good.

The doors you held for people you didn’t know; the smile and the eye-roll of commiseration for the cashier at the grocery store; all the smiles, good mornings and thank you’s to bus drivers, mailmen, strangers you passed on the street – carelessly tossed their way. You may have changed a life that day, or just made someone’s day a little lighter.

Need I go on? I don’t think so. Y’all know what I’m talking about. We take ourselves and our ordinary lives for granted. We don’t see them for what they really are.

I’m not a star, maybe you’re not either, at least not on the world stage. But in our own ordinary worlds, our own ordinary lives, we shine! And with every ordinary, caring, loving thing we do, whether we know we are doing it or not, we are saving lives, changing the world and creating a great work of art. It’s called life.

So then, let my obituary read: She cooked and cleaned and filed and typed. She loved, and was loved. She smiled; made people laugh. She danced to music only she could hear. She ranted and raged and wept. She was down but never out. Not many knew her name but she lived an extraordinary life.

As do all of you.

May 7, 2010

My fantasy home...

would be something like this:

Everything on one floor. Walls between all the rooms with pocket doors. (I am no fan of the open concept.) High ceilings. Recessed lighting. Light wood floors. No rugs or carpets except for bathroom mats, and kitchen mats – for safety mostly. Lots of windows with plantation shutters in natural, light wood. Walls in the whole house painted varying shades of yellow. No moldings anywhere. Nothing, but nothing, painted white. Actually as little white as possible anywhere.

Living Room: Big, cushy leather furniture, colors TBD but not black. One or two small side tables for putting coffee cups etc. Floor lamps where needed. Console table for TV and related electronics. That’s it, that’s all. (I don’t get coffee tables – just something to trip over and take up space.)

Bedroom: Bed, 2 small side tables, bench or chaise for sitting. I would of course have a huge walk-in closet with dressers, a vanity table, all the appropriate storage.

Office: Could double as a guest room therefore a Murphy bed. A desk, desk chair maybe a small love seat and a large closet for storage of all things.

Kitchen: Huge – No stainless steel except for the sink. No granite counter tops. Something more practical, I’m still researching that one. A walk-in pantry and all cabinets would be Universal Design in a medium colored wood. Glass doors to the patio. A small round kitchen table and chairs.

Dining room: A table, chairs, maybe a sideboard for storage, nothing on top. Or perhaps, once again, a closet for storage.

Bathrooms are bathrooms. Wood floors. Double walk-in shower with all the bells and whistles. Universal design on sink and toilet. Lots of light.

A patio/garden. A shaded area with a table and chairs and a swing. I must have a swing. A nice shade tree. Lilacs; lots of hyacinths in the Spring. Any flowers that are bright and smell terrific. Hibiscus! And azaleas – I love azaleas.

I have some art pieces for the walls and I would guess, given time, I would acquire more. I also like decorative mirrors. I do not accessorize. No pillows, No tchotkes. No plants. I don’t like plants inside. I do love cut flowers but I have cats and they bring me more joy than vases and vases of flowers. I have been thinking of vase wall sconces, if such a thing exists, and why shouldn’t it. Kitties couldn’t get them.

Can you picture that? Everything pared down to the essentials. Everything put away behind closed cupboard/closet doors. As much as possible everything done in natural woods. I think all the doors should be somewhat spectacular tho. Carved perhaps. Or done in marquetry.

Light, bright, clean, serene – just the essentials. My idea of heaven. I can but dream.

May 4, 2010

Come out out, come out wherever you are

I can't find my sense of humour. Whether it is on a temporary hiatus, non-operational due to technical difficulties, off on vacation, gone fishing, shriveled and died from lack of fuel, atrophied from lack of use or just hiding out for the duration...

Totally sucks when I can't find something to laugh at...including myself.