Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Tea

I only have a few moments to write today... literally! One of my son's best friends (the young man who escaped his flooding home) took him to the grocery store to pick up a few much needed items for us. He came back with what was on my list and about a dozen frozen TV type dinners. That's what you get when you send a bachelor and a hungry young man to the store for you. :)

Anyway, I had hoped he would be away longer just to be able to use his computer. His dad used it first, to balance our checkbook and I waited to see one of my personal heroes, Ben Carson, talk about his new book on TV. Christopher arrived home just as his interview was finishing... sigh. SO, I promised him I wouldn't take long.

My ponderings this week have been about my house and the various rooms. Perhaps because I was at home all week after being gone so much, perhaps because it is so cold outside that I run (literally) to the rural mailbox and back, whatever the reason... I have been appreciating my home a lot lately.

I was sitting in my living room a few nights ago, reading and pondering. As I looked around, I realized this room (the living room and dining area combination) was especially lovely on Winter evenings. I'm not certain if is the English Library feel about it, the deep jewel tones of the carpet and chairs, the "tobacco" color and comfortable feel of the sofa, the Dutch lace on the Dining "Room" windows, the deep lavender and greens of the wall paper in that area... whatever it is looks especially lovely in the light of lamps and the chandelier. It is my favorite room to read and have my quiet time.

Last night I took magazines, my CD player (I am behind the times, still using CDs), and The Reformation Study Bible Steph and her hubby gave us for Christmas. I often spend Saturday evenings in this manner since Christopher gets the family room all to himself (a tradition for years now) on that evening and my husband reads on the other sofa.

I use this time to cut out pages from favorite magazines to use in one of my scrapbooks later. First... my scrapbook I've kept for many years of pictures of rooms I love, particularly peaceful outdoor scenes, tables set for company that make me smile, poetry (especially my favorite poet, Robert Frost)... and those things that make my heart sing visually. Second... my scrapbook journal which was started after seeing the amazing "artwork" Jewels did with hers.

During this time, I listened to The Lettermen, John Denver, and a collection of Italian Love Songs by my favorite "crooners". I use a small, round type of X-acto knife... purchased years ago at a quilting shop. I only cut out the pages during this ritual. Actually deciding on pictures, cutting, and filing are done at a different time when I can pay a little more attention to details. This is fairly brainless handwork to accompany the good music. When I became tired, I looked through favorite Bible passages in the new Bible (excellent!)

My bedroom is becoming more and more beautiful as we've lived here two years. The latest addition, a gorgeous oval painting (print) purchased by my daughter at a New England tag sale during the summer and carried in her van for me during their latest visit. I just love the "look" it adds to the room.

I love my kitchen most in the early morning sun and in the afternoon when it is snowing (or in warm weather with rain beating against the window). Years of collecting inexpensive vintage kitchen items, combined with the beautiful handiwork inherited from the young couple who "fixed up" the place before we bought it, both combine to provide a warm and cozy environment. I truly love spending time in my kitchen, except in hot weather. I've written about being hot weather cooking challenged. :)

My family room is the kind every home should have, it is kind of a hodge podge with my older sofa and recliner (now showing wear but still in great condition), the long coffee table which shows the wear of a lot of living (including Christopher's teeth marks from his teething stage), a slightly stained carpet (including the latest coffee stain when my husband left his mug on the floor!), and pictures that look best in that room... and I didn't use elsewhere.

This is the room I clear for the grandchildren and give them full reign when they visit. Grammie doesn't worry about food on the old coffeetable or stains on the carpet (after all, Uncle Christopher and Granddad live here already!). We can all eat pizza and watch Noggin without having to be careful... unlike when we "take tea" at the table with real china.

These are the favorite places where I spend most of my life. Come Spring, I'll begin sitting out on my front porch. When it warms a wee bit more, I'll move the deck furniture Stephanie bought me last Summer on to the deck and plant flowers in containers... preparing for outdoor quiet times and pondering. But for cold weather... I love my small-ish home at the edge of a forest.

I read in one of Elizabeth George's books recently that we should spend thirty minutes a day giving thought (or deed) to making our homes the warm, cozy, loving places they should be. It doesn't matter if we are single or married, have young children or an empty next, we all must have a place of retreat in this world. If thirty minutes is not available, I can commend reading one chapter at a time of a great book during quick lunch hours (or children's naps). It is far better than doing nothing.

Sigh... my digital timer has begun beeping. That means I must take the shepherd's pie out of the oven (made with leftovers from last night's dinner). It also means I must give my son back his "precious". I made Anna's coffeecake this morning, which I would offer you with tea... if I did not have to get back to life as usual. :)


NanaTrish said...

Your room sounds lovely and I am sitting here with my Blueberry Tea. I love you sharing about the warmth of your home. The older I get the more I realize...less is more. I don't mind anymore that I don't have a huge house. I am so thankful the Lord has given us this house. Many people in this big world have no home and I am thankful for what I have. Brenda, I wish I were sitting there with you catching up on everything. It sounds like a sweet Sunday. Take care.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Dear Brenda, I have read many memoirs and books of essays which are less a blessing of peace to my soul than your blog is. Thank you. I certainly find food for thought in what you write, but perhaps the best part of your gift is the calm that comes from listening to your thoughts for a few minutes every day. Again, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda,

It's Sabine. I love to read these thoughts of your home. I hope you will soon have a computer that you can use at your leisure (ha! that was unintentional - I hope you have some leisure, too!). I've made Anna's coffeecake many times, with frozen blueberries. I just now finished sewing a pillowcase, using Anna's tutorial. It went together quickly and it's just beautiful!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

I always enjoy reading about your home and the goings on in your world...

There's a little something for you at my blog, that is, if you don't mind being tagged. ;>

Kimberly said...

I'm standing in the kitchen reading this while finishing up my Earl Grey. I was hoping you'd have a post to read!
It is a lovely, snowy Monday morning here in Colorado. The snow may keep me from my errands today, but that's ok. We'll just snuggle up together, read, laugh, and play together. Hope you have a wonderful week!

Kimberly said...

BTW~ Pumpkin really enjoys the music on your site. I'm leaving your page up as I do the morning dishes. It is very nice. What great music that both a two year old and his Mama can both enjoy!

Kimberly said...

He just wandered back in here carrying his helicopter and saying, "Music. That's pretty music." He has such a cute little way of saying pretty. I wish you could hear him. It would bring a smile to your face for sure.

Anonymous said...

Three quick comments-
I still use cds as well-I'm not that into modern technology and can't ever see myself buying mp3s.
Robert Frost is my favorite poet also.
I wish you could come and help make my home cozy. I can't figure out what to do with my living room, and there's no room I LOVE to really be in. :(