Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The notion of home

The notion of home on *sparklingly  |  http://sparklingly.blogspot.com
Now that we're back home after the most amazing of trips, bumpy re-entry included, I've realized I'm at the point where I'm completely sick of our apartment. I've lived in it so long that its last refreshing was years ago, so the walls seem a bit crusty, the floors need refinishing, and the whole thing needs a good scrubbing. And everything about it now irritates me: the way the walls soak up cooking splatters and no amount of scrubbing seems to get rid of the telltale signs. Same goes for the bathroom walls and doors where dust combined with flying oils from my overzealous applications have created an impenetrable barrier.

Then there's the floor, a horrid parquet—I should say faux parquet—comprised of uneven pieces, meaning dust and wayward hair and fluff gets embedded around each splintery piece, making sweeping a futile exercise and walking barefoot painful. Not to mention the ear-splitting creaking that echoes every single step we take from March through November, thanks to the humidity. Speaking of humidity, it's impossible to keep the shower, especially the grout lines clean because of the dampness in the air (we're not quite at fall weather yet) and I'm so sick of cleaning so often only to have the whole place still feel dumpy.

And why is there an inch-long gap between the stove and the counter? Do you know how many crumbs and onion slivers and who knows what else have dropped into our own personal Grand Canyon? And have I mentioned our hyperactive smoke alarm? Anytime we barely sautée a bit of garlic in oil the damn thing goes off and we have to take our positions as door-waver, window-opener, frantic-pillow-beater and dish-coverer to disperse the hot air before the whole system starts spraying water every which way. You don't want to know the hysteria that ensues if God forbid one of us is alone and has to pull off all four with just two hands amidst the pelting whine.

The notion of home on *sparklingly  |  http://sparklingly.blogspot.com
I just want to leave everything behind and start fresh.

Somewhere with clean walls, a tiled bathroom, a functional kitchen and some outdoor space that will help us feel slightly more civilized. Most people that move abroad from NYC do so because of their jobs, so they've got sweet expat deals lined up: door-to-door shipping of all their belongings with comprehensive insurance and a safety net to handle permits and taxes and connectivity and everything else that comes with getting settled in a foreign country where one doesn't speak the language.

We two are either fools to do it all on our own, or sane to do it by our own rules. I haven't decided which one just yet.

Originally I was not to be swayed from the idea that I absolutely have to take my bedroom furniture and my dishware with us. My bedroom set was a gift from my parents on my fifteenth birthday, a beautiful blonde solid oak canopy queen bed, with matching bureau, night tables, a large mirror and a bookshelf. I added on to it with a matching stand-alone jewelry armoire secreted behind a full-length mirror when I set up my first apartment, but other than that—and aside from the removal of the lace curtains hung off the canopy rails and a few scratches on the bureau and nightstands—it's remained untouched since my largely un-angsty teenage years.

The notion of home on *sparklingly  |  http://sparklingly.blogspot.com
Despite its heft and size, I had it in my mind that the whole shebang is a heritage set, something that should go where I go. But, is it really worth the the effort of shipping, storing and moving? R likes it, however I don't think it would ever have been his first choice, nor mine if I had to select a set now as an adult (I think we'd both lean more towards a "modern" style and probably dark wood).

When he moved here he didn't bring anything but his clothes. I already had an apartment that was kitted out. Then we moved from a studio to a 1-bedrom and bought living room furniture together: a 10-person dining table, chairs, coffee table, accent mirror, media cabinet and new flatware. Everything else, though, I had bought when I was on my own or brought from my childhood home.

Growing up we had a breakfast nook and a dining room, the former for most meals and the latter for special ones. I had a habit of taking pictures (even before digital cameras and smartphones) of those meals, capturing my mom's table settings and both her and my dad's cooking as plates heaped with good things were brought in from the kitchen. And now when I visit, there's something quite special about eating off of the same plates I ate off of for the majority of my life.

I think that's why I was so careful to select special place settings when I was setting up my first home. I had just returned from that trip to Italy that decided the rest of my life, so the Deruta set I found that was painted in Italy but fired in Portugal, seemed the perfect blending of backgrounds. I wanted to take them with us, too, but maybe we don't.

The notion of home on *sparklingly  |  http://sparklingly.blogspot.com
Maybe we just pack our books, photographs, documents, laptops, jewelry and our family Christmas ornaments and we just go.

Unencumbered, with nothing weighing us down, so we can walk into a new home and make it completely ours. A fresh start, an easy move, nothing to bog us down.

Of course this is all premature thinking.

But, so far, I think I like it.

The notion of home on *sparklingly  |  http://sparklingly.blogspot.com

12 comments :

  1. I'm going through a bit of this myself! With getting married and moving across the country, I'm really taking this opportunity to let go of some of the things I've had for over a decade, and starting fresh. It's so freeing! Plus, donating some things to a good cause feels good, and selling some will give me extra $$ for something new :)

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    1. ps, I'm really jealous of your dinning room table!

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    2. You're probably right—fresh start, good karma, extra cash, what's not to love? And, speaking of, in case you're in the market for a dining table and interested in cross-country shipping...ha, just kidding. But seriously, if you do like it, it's from IKEA (and still available)! We got the solid wood one, which was an extra $100, but so much nicer for enjoying a meal off of than the particleboard one.

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  2. well think of it this way, whichever way you'll go with it'll be great! take your stuff- great, start new - also great! :)

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  3. im more of a sell everything and start fresh person but again having something with memories is always nice :)

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  4. Well if i were you i woudl have major trouble letting go of those plates :) they've been etched into your overall sparklingly *brand* :) but i love the idea of starting new - totally fresh. Creating memories that are completely YOU and R. - Either way there's no right or wrong. Simply what feels right to your gut at the moment you need to decide these things...

    maybe just try to find a way to do a balance of both...

    :) you'll figure it out!

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    1. I love that—my own set of dishware associated with sparklingly! :)
      I have this ache for pristine, creamy white plates...although I could just buy a set of those, too... ;)

      Thanks for being so supportive!
      Xx

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  5. ha that's' funny because i have creamy white plates (i purposely collect) one of various styles to create an eclectic but white unified set... ;) it's fun finding them and often times they are on super sale (because what crazy person would only want one plate? :) - guess it's the grass is greener thing... hehe... i do have some bowls that are remiscinent of your dishware... gotta have that balance!

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XOXO,
J.