Jul 11, 2011

Trash in the Pantry

Seven days without the kids and we've been Doin' It non-stop. But more like bees than rabbits.

Each day we walk into one room/space in the house and give ourselves 2 hours (often stretching to 4 or 8) to make it ours. Move furniture, scrub, re-paint, repair, re-vision. Room by room this house of 3 years is becoming ours. We've been here long enough to know our patterns and needs, and to suddenly be able to re-invent how the space can support us. I always know I'm in trouble when Sarah goes quiet for a minute, eyes rolling back and up for inspiration, then she slowly starts with, "What if..."

Yesterday, Sunday, the Lord's appointed day of rest, I looked behind the door at the top of the stairs at the perennial mess of bags, vacuum attachments, mop, apron etc and declared that to be my room of the day. What I really want to brag about isn't the clever design that now how us able to (a) keep bulk storage items handy and (b) open the door on a regular basis. It's the materials used.

That support beam is more of the McClean's toolshed I took down last summer (it's also featured in 2 chicken coops, the new bedroom extension, soccer goals, and many other new lives). The cross pieces are salvaged by my friend Eric from his painting jobs. The shelves are someone's old cedar fence in Abbotsford that also became the rental cabin's ceiling, shelves and trim. The top shelves are from the basement cupboard I removed last fall. And all the screws were salvaged from the cabin extension project.

Anne Murray was thinking of these shelves when she sang When Everything Old Is New Again (featured here with a classic 80's hairdo and kimono, and skateboarding Muppets).

The result of this labour of love isn't just a clever storage area. It's the release of energy that comes from de-cluttering. It's the time and energy savings from not having to constantly clean, push-back the mess, and search for things. It's the increased capacity to purchase staples in bulk, saving money and time and more easily supporting organic fair-trade producers. And it's the shared satisfaction of co-creating a vision then immediately bringing it into reality.

I suppose we could have used this week to sleep in late, enjoy chai in the garden, go to shows. But as I predicted in recent posting called Farmers Date, this Doing and Creating is truly who we are and what we share and what turns us on. Sarah officially knew she was in love with me the day we re-designed her Austin bedroom (3 days into our first in-person visit). So I'm officially coming out of the closet by saying that our idea of foreplay is cleaning the closet.

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