Saturday, July 29, 2006

Good bye stones

Today I’m mourning a little. All the sand, and the cement mixer, and the everything needed to plaster our bedroom walls has been delivered. It’s sitting outside waiting for the work to begin on Monday. Actually it’s sitting right on the terrace where we buried Sparky and planted a rose bush, that has since also died. But I’m not mourning the loss of the Sparky shrine. We can rebuild that again later, in a different spot or even the same spot but do it better this time. It will give us a chance to remember her again and talk about her and celebrate her life.

No, now I’m mourning the loss of the bedroom as it is. As it is in all it’s squalid splendor. I sat on the floor in the room that is now occupied only by the bed, staring at the walls. At night the stone looks really beautiful. I got to doubting my decision to plaster over them.

Maybe this all sounds a little dramatic. It’s just home improvement for God’s sake. It’s just sand and water and sweat and scaffolding. Maybe it is dramatic but I get that way with change.

Ok, ok, I know this sounds funny coming from a gal who has made all the momentous changes that I have in the past few years. Most of them without even a second thought. From the gal who has not lived in the same house for more than two years in all of her adult life. Yes, I’m being a little dramatic but let me go with it for a while, will ya?

David and I had cocktail hour in that empty room yesterday. We were dreaming and scheming about how we want the room to be. We were trying to figure out how we want to best use the space, where the fireplace should go, what the feel of the room should be. This is where the mourning started for me…or at least it came into focus.

The room will become a proper room. It will be sealed from drafts (we hope), the walls will be smooth (well, smoother), we will have heat and be able to use it 12 months of the year. We will be able to put armchairs in front of a fireplace where we can sit and read in the evening. It will be a place to go to be clean. A place where you can walk barefoot. In other words, the opposite of what it is now.

Maybe I have too much time on my hands, but this got me to thinking about how living the way we have, in camping-like quality, has affected my frame of mind - my perspective on life, my goals, my wants, what I consider beautiful and what I celebrate.

Let me give you an example. I LOVE clean sheets. I hate washing sheets – they're a real bitch to hang on the line. I hate making beds. I really hate putting pillows in their cases. But I love clean sheets. I love the feeling of having just showered and climbing (or leaping as I’m wont to do) into clean sheets. The feeling is so luxurious. It might be the most luxurious thing I’ve ever experienced. Way better than strawberries and champagne, better than really expensive shoes.

Will this still be true when the whole room is clean, and sealed, and, well, normal? Will I start to take for granted clean sheets, like I used to when they were so easily attained and therefore lose the biggest luxury I know? Will I lose the freedom that comes from being able to put on the same dirty house dress that I’ve worn for a week? I mean, in a clean room you kind of want to be clean, no?

There is also all the opportunities that accompany loss and change. I don’t know yet what the new room will give me. I assume that I will find new luxuries, and develop new habits that give a sense of freedom. I will look for them, to be sure.

Perhaps I'm over thinking this. Sometimes I do that. Maybe a week from now I'll just be really happy that there are no freakin' worms.


  1. Lynn---Ruffino is more sane than you. You're all screwed up. I wonder if I'm the cause because of all the times you smelled my pits. I think I'm going to go on the internet and look up the relationship of smelling pits and mental disorder. With all my love!!!

  2. Bohring mama7:14 PM

    Olive - I am impressed with your ability to describe your relationship with the existing room. Love your use of the King's (or Queen's) English. I suspect that an entirely new vocabulary will develop around the new room (possibly eliminating such terms as "worms") Anxiuos to hear the description of the process of remodeling.

  3. gabrielle5:21 AM

    You will always love clean sheets. I know I do. Maybe that has something to say for my house cleaning skills.