Wednesday, April 16, 2008

interior decorating

I'm not an acquisitive person; acquiring things, collecting things - just not my thing. No judgement on those who truly enjoy the thrill of shopping and are happy with things; we're all unique and fine just as we are, shoppers or not.

As I was cleaning my living room the other day, though, I took a good look at the things that I have in there, gifts given to me by people in my life. Things like:

... an angel pillow made by my friend, Connie (who I've never met in person); she is a treasured gift to my life

... a pair of Ballets Russes prints from my friend, Lisa. I love these because they're from her, because I love ballet (and studied it for about 10 yrs), and because my brother and I saw the wonderful Ballets Russes film a few years ago, which told the story of the companies through the stories of the dancers; a memorable afternoon spent with my bro, sharing in one of my passions

... a stunning blown glass vase created by my good buddy, Chris; it's been awesome to be his friend for over 30 years

... a few turtles. my power animal - stone, ceramic, wood - one gifted to me by Allison from her trip to Mexico, another, by my daughter from her honeymoon in Hawaii

... a Diego-Rivera-style seated figurine from Nan, who's known me forever

... a thought-provoking print about living with intention from Vicki, who knows my spirit

... a pewter fairy figurine from my goddaughter, Tina, who I sponsored during her adult catechumenate journey to be baptized as a Catholic

... and on and on it goes, a small room with lovely gifts given by the lovely people in my life. Each with meaning, each one decorating my interior.
The room - actually the entire downstairs is one large open space - also has photos of family: Dad in his Navy uniform; Mom's portrait as a young girl, posed 3/4 view in a black sweater and pearl necklace, matched by a portrait of my daughter in nearly the same pose and wearing a similar pearl necklace, just an uncanny coincidence that the photos are so similar - or maybe not; photos of my brother and his wife; of our youngest brother sitting in front of a church in Mexico; of my daughter when she was a cute little blonde 2-year-old at Disneyland, the delight of my heart; of her daughters - my utterly charming granddaughters.

The room is filled with bits of this and that. There's no "theme." Not French Country, or Cottage, or Old World or Modern; it doesn't look like anything a designer would do. It doesn't look like a catalog or a museum or one of those perfect, photo-quality, designed rooms where the accessories coordinate and match well. There is no magazine photo shoot in my future.

Do the things in the room match? My room wouldn't win any stars on Rate My Space; it's not "decorated" and wouldn't be included on any home tour. But friends call and tell me "I need to come over. I need the peace of your home, the sound of the fountain, the calm of your space." My piano tuner was here yesterday and once again told me how much he loves the feeling of my home, the experience of it. It's nice to hear that others get the same sense from my space that I do.

Does it match? Doesn't love always match? My heart + your heart = a beautifully decorated home, one that's decorated on the interior, in the hearts and the souls of the amazing and wonderful people who have been and are part of my life's journey.

Who am I to be so blessed? And yet, I am so grateful ... as I look at this turtle or that photo, smiling as I think of the people in my life who mold me, teach me, share with me, support me, come to me for comfort ... or for a laugh. I really love the way my interior is decorated through all of them.

Oh, yeah, it all matches. And it's beautiful.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

and another ...

I'd started to write a different entry - and I will post it in a few days, hopefully - but today was just so great, I had to write it down so I can come back and remember how golden today was.

My daughter dropped off my granddaughters last night to spend the night so I could take them to church in the morning. J (11) and B (7) go to my church every other weekend. After they were dropped off, we headed over to Souplantation for dinner. Great big salads and tasty soups. It's our favorite place to go! Fresh food, casual atmosphere - we always have such fun together there. The weather had been beautiful all day and the night was still warm when we finished our meals.

This morning, we got up early and went to church. B went to her Faith Formation class and learned about the Good Shepherd; J went with me to mass. It was pretty warm afterward even though it was just 9am, so we decided to head down to the beach for breakfast on the pier.

What a great idea! There is a Ruby's Diner at the end of the pier, and it takes several minutes to walk the length of the pier to the diner, a walk that always puts me in a great mood. The sun was shining brightly, the air was a very warm mid-80s, even at the ocean where it seldom gets really hot. As we walked, we stopped several times to lean against the metal pier railing to watch the surfers. There were a lot out today, even though the waves weren't very big or well-shaped. I think everyone just wanted to be out in this gorgeous weather! Every few minutes, a surfer would paddle to catch a wave as it started to rise and form. Pelicans were flying overhead or skimming the surface of the water, diving periodically and coming up with a fish. Such a golden day! Every minute seemed to linger longer than it usually does, extending time and extending our enjoyment. People were walking up and down the pier, couples strolling along, babies in strollers, teens in summer shorts and tanks. No one wanted to be indoors when this wonderful weather was out to be enjoyed!

When we were seated inside the diner, I happened to be seated facing the ocean out the big bank of picture windows. Looking out, I could clearly see Catalina Island out the windows! It's only 26 miles across the ocean, but there's usually just enough haze to slightly obscure the view. Not today, though! The island was so clear, you could almost make out the boats in the harbor 26 miles away. Fabulous! (You can see the island in the photo at right.)

We lingered over breakfast, just enjoying the day together, laughing and having fun. Afterward, we walked back down the pier, taking our time to stop and watch the people playing volleyball on the beach, or watching a dad take his toddler into the water. At the end of the pier, we stopped in at Pierside Art Gallery. My daughter grew up here in Huntington Beach and loves it (and misses it) so much. At the Gallery, I bought a photo of the pier at sunset after a rain, a beautifully moody photo in various blues. I wanted it as a gift for my daughter so she'd have a bit of her beloved Huntington with her.

Still taking our time with the day, we came back home where the girls changed into swimsuits and off to the pool we went! The girls swam and played in the cool water. They practiced handstands and held contests to hold their breath. The did laps from end to end. Other neighbors came out to sit by the pool, too. It was just too magical a day to stay inside!

Later when my daughter and son-in-law picked them up, it was with smiles all around that I bid my little girls goodbye. We'd had a very, very good day!