Posted tagged ‘den’

“I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.”

November 15, 2018

Last night was cold. Today is the same. The sky is covered in white clouds and rain is on its way. I’m going nowhere today. All I have on my to-do list is fill the bird feeders and water the plants.

My dining room is filled with plants. Some are on tables while others hang near the windows. There are no curtains on the three windows. The room is painted in what is called nutmeg. It is my favorite color of any of the rooms. The dining room table was made for me by a furniture maker using Shaker plans. That was close to 40 years ago. It was $400.00 which was a king’s ransom in those days. The chairs are mismatched on purpose. A shelf and two sconces were made for me by a friend’s father, also close to 40 years ago. He too used Shaker plans. The hutch is filled with Simon Pearce glasses bought in Ireland before he became famous. I can’t afford him now. Some Belleek pieces share the shelves. I bought them in Dublin. One wine glass sits in the middle of a shelf and is my favorite. My father bought it in Belgium during the war. There were four glasses so we each, my siblings and I, got one. I love my dining room.

My den is the grubby room. It is where I spend most of my time because the TV and computer are there. It alone of all the rooms hasn’t been painted in a long while because there are shelves too filled to empty and furniture too heavy to move. My friends got new furniture so I got their old couch and chair. I needed new furniture so I was thrilled at their offer. Henry and I both love the couch.

I bought my house in 1977 when I was 29. The mortgage was half my month’s salary so I was too poor to go anywhere or do anything. My trips to Europe ended. I had almost no furniture, but I did have a TV and a day bed. They were in the den where I spent all of my time even back then. Also in the den was a desk aka my dining table. I  laugh at these memories because I still pretty much live in the den but it is now filled with furniture and books, and I mean filled. I am where I started.

“It’s not always easy to distinguish between existentialism and a bad mood.”

March 8, 2018

The rain came yesterday in the mid-afternoon and stayed all night. It was sometimes so heavy it pelted the roof loudly enough to drown out the TV. Boston and further north had snow, a wet, heavy snow, the sort which looks beautiful for a minute then you notice how laden down the trees and branches are, and you hope they survive. Some wires fell from the weight of the snow and even blocked major roads. Here the sun has been trying to come out of the clouds. Twice now the sky has brightened. I get hopeful. I need sun to dispel my dark mood, a mirror of the rain and the clouds.

My Travelocity gnome and my pink, plastic flamingo are in the den. They winter here. In the warm months they live on my deck. It is a special occasion when they travel from winter to summer, from the den to the deck. I always think there should be a parade and music. They are announcing summer is finally here, a cause for celebration, for good food, and for warm days lolling on the deck. Right now, though, all of that seems a sweet memory.

From when I was kid, I remember winter most of all. My school was an old one with high windows and drafts of cold air so for most of the winter we all wore sweaters. I remember walking across the field below my street, a sort of shortcut home, and having to walk backwards because of the wind. My cheeks turned red and numb. The wind blew up the sleeves of my coat. My ears always hurt even when I was wearing a hat as it mostly just covered my head so I’d put my mittened hands over my ears trying to warm them just a bit. Mostly I failed. By the time I’d get home, I was freezing. Right away I’d take off my school clothes and get into my pajamas and slippers. I’d wrap myself in my blanket. In a short while, I was warm and all the parts of my body had come back to life.

I have no energy today, and I don’t care. It is the weather which is causing this foul mood.   A bit of sun is all I need.

“Clutter is my natural habitat.”

July 21, 2017

Today is hot. It is 83˚. I’m in the cool air of the house looking at the world through my den window. The most I can see is the blue sky and the still leaves of the oak tree. Later, in the cool of the afternoon, I have some deck stuff to finish: replace the burned out lights on the rail and get the fountain working. I also need to bring the flamingo and the gnome to the deck where they’ll reside all summer. A few of the flowers in the smallest pots have died so I’m hoping to get replacements at Agway today. I’ll be braving the heat.

When I was young, I knew what old was. No question it was those blue-haired ladies in their dresses and clunky heeled shoes with wrinkled faces and hands who dragged wire baskets on wheels behind them when they shopped at the grocery store. They never wore pants. Their shoes were sensible. Their dresses had flowers. I never stopped to  think how old they were. They just fit my vision of old so age didn’t seem to matter.

Despite my current wardrobe, if my young self knew I was soon to turn 70, I suspect I’d think myself old, but I’m not. The definition of old changes as we age. I’m now thinking 90+ might be old, but I’m not sure anymore. I admit, though, I’m thinking of buying one of those wire baskets so I can haul stuff from the car to the house.

I hate clutter yet my den is cluttered, but I’ve come to ignore it as the alternative is to go crazy. I had to move the dog’s dishes here as she slid on the kitchen floor. Her toys are in a wooden box and usually a couple are on the floor. Gracie tends to paw her toys to the floor until she finds just the right one. My cloth from Ghana is stored in a pile here but not out of sight. Most of my cookbooks are on shelves which cover one whole wall. My hat collection hangs from the shelves. My table is a huge metal one with three overflowing baskets underneath. I do have sorting through them on my whenever I get to them list of things to do. I sleep on the couch so my pillow and sheets are on the desk chair. This is the room where I spend the most time so everything is here except snacks and drinks. They’re down the hall, and the bathroom is between them. My inside world is small, but I’m content.