Sunday, March 9, 2014

Painting a Canvas of New Memories

I wonder why we become so attached to our old homes?  We are leaving a 1962 ranch style home with a most unique layout.  It flows from room to room with open doors and halls connecting like a figure eight.  The double sided large red burned brick fireplace with the dining room on one side and living room on the other stole my heart when we first saw the home.  The cream colored mantle
lines both sides and is deep enough for
Christmas decor or seasonal vases filled with fresh flowers.  That was all I liked about the house when our choices came down to only three houses in town.  I looked at the lacy window trimmings and the blue flowered wall paper and felt old and sad.  Jack couldn't see past those old faded colors, so we walked on through the house, stepped down to the sun room, then our eyes were captured by the deep green yard, and it was October.  How could there be a green yard?  Fescue, a grass new to us, added beauty to our lives for eighteen years.  A fireplace and a yard gave the house the character we needed.

Slowly, over the years the home became ours.  Long gone are the lace trimmings and baby blue wallpaper in the kitchen, dining room, and living room;  long gone are the poodles dressed in bright yellow green and pink circus tutus riding unicycles that adorned the bathroom walls.  So many more walls changed to create our home.  I loved my blogger room in muted pink with one last remaining window trimming of lace, faded lace, that pleased my soul to know that I kept someone's memory alive.  Last month a professional painter came in to repair two walls in my blogger room, making it ready "For Sale".  My muted faded pink walls that made me feel happy and vibrant dissolved and were covered by a neutral beige.  Suddenly, my creative mind felt betrayed, where had our space gone?  I began that day to separate myself from my home.

Tonight as we experimented with a new paint color on the entry hallway of our Norman home, I felt like I was still intruding on someone else's home.  I could see and feel in the burnt yellow tones of the walls how  much the previous owners loved this spacious open aired home with tall wide windows facing East and West.  We were captivated with this home because our eyes saw right through the open spaces and large windows to the backyard.  We both saw the familiar brown toned yard of an Oklahoma winter that wouldn't turn green till the heat of late spring and summer. Ha, I thought, good old bermuda.  It doesn't waste energy or water trying to stay green. Then we saw the fireplace, not our beloved red brick but a new look of fresh sand colors--yellow, brown, and rosy pink.  Our eyes followed the fireplace up to the small mantle that
seemed to support a massive wall hanging of golden oak. Then we noticed the wood trim and crown molding in every room of the home.  We were beginning to feel comfortable and knew we could make the change. When we turned to leave we realized that the home was filled with sunlight and that anytime during the day we would have abundant light keeping us warm and smiling.  Sold.

We're merely camping out this week making a few changes and looking for colors, for furniture, for counter tops that define us.  The furniture comes on a heavy truck in a few weeks.  I've found space to write in a blue room.  The twin bed coverlet of faded pinks, blues, and greens turned pale and lifeless against the bold ocean blue room, so I covered my bed with one quilt after another looking for something to fit.  Nothing yet, but months and years from now this room will change as I change.  My old desk now sits in front of a large window facing the rising sun and a large two story house.  When the barren tree in the front yard opens it's new leaves, my eyes will once again feast on green.

 As we change the appearance of our new home I wonder what changes our old home will see when a new family buys it and calls it home.  Will they appreciate that basement as much as I have during the season of sirens?  When I moved to Hutchinson I cried all the way, and now as I move back to Norman I sense I will cry all the way.  Someone once told me that your house is where your furniture is, but I believe your home is where you frame your memories.  A toast to our new canvas....