Tuesday, September 20, 2005


It’s been years since I was overpowered by the urge to nest: specifically, when I moved to Binghamton in September of 2000. Despite some issues with the apartment on Lydia Street, I loved it. I had the whole second floor of a Victorian house: a broad staircase up to a dining room, office, tiny living room, big bedroom with walk-in closet, huge kitchen, pantry, bath, and back porch with stairs down to the garage. (Which leaked, a fact I discovered only after storing boxes in it for months.) I lived there less than a year, but I felt settled there. I nested.

Nesting is more than unpacking. It’s hanging curtains, putting art on the walls, arranging the rooms, puttering in the kitchen, falling in love with the place. You know how a cat will stretch in a patch of sunlight, reveling in it? Nesting is like that.

Sometimes nesting also involves shopping. Things don’t have to be brand-new, but they have to be beautiful (or have that potential), and they need to fit the space. After I moved to Binghamton I bought the Croscill comforter still on my bed, and the beautiful bed and frame that I had to sell, and the one Calphalon pan that disappeared during the move west. Plus plenty of smaller things from the local Salvation Army (which I loved). When I left Billy, I had left behind my dishes and cookware, towels, furniture—the much-loved possessions accumulated in 16 years of marriage. I had to replace them.

The move to California and the subsequent changes of residence were hurried and usually meant fitting myself into someone else’s space. Even in the South San Jose house where we lived for nearly four years, I never felt settled, never felt at home—although I had my own bedroom and office, I couldn’t or didn’t or wouldn’t possess them.

Maybe by that time I was just too tired of moving. (Every night for two years after I moved to California, I had traumatic nightmares about moving.) Maybe I couldn’t trust any place to last long enough to be a home. Anyone who knows me can tell you I get profoundly attached to places. I rapidly became attached to California, but I still felt like I had no home here.

Now I do have a home. And, as is proper, I am nesting there. With the help of friends, Freecycle, yard sales, Craigslist, and the Salvation Army Thrift Store, I’m fitting up my space to be beautiful. My usual style: eclectic, color-conscious, warm.

I’ve got gorgeous Freecycled pale-green Ultrasuede curtains, fully lined, to cover the west-facing French doors in the living room/bedroom. (Sunlight is pleasant, but it heats the studio up to pizza-oven temperatures. Also, I’d like privacy at times in bed.) Thanks to a good friend, I also have the appropriate traverse rods and brackets. (She was glad to be rid of them, and I was glad to receive them.)

Over the weekend I picked up a cream and green area rug with touches of deep purple at a yard sale advertised on Craigslist. The rug and the curtains go with the Croscill bedspread, the purple-and-cream square porcelain plate, the purple-and-green Peruvian tapestry, and the various landscapes that usually hang on my walls. Also with the gorgeous framed Monet print I picked up at the Salvation Army—my first decorative purchase for the new space.

I found a lot of other goodies yard-saling, including a Cuisinart Little Pro food processor missing only the blades, which I figured I could replace. Even with the cost of new blades, the fifty-cent price tag made it a bargain. And a lovely little teapot for one—not something that was a need, but a decorative and useful item. Oh, and let’s not forget the gorgeous new Wamsutta towels—two thick, soft, luxurious, smoky-blue cotton terrycloth that I picked up for three bucks total at the Salvation Army.

I’m already cooking in the studio, too. I don’t yet have space or tools unpacked to make elaborate meals, but I have a working (Freecycled) microwave, the heavy-duty double hotplate my friend Debbie gave me, and a fridge out in the garage for soy milk, cheese, fresh veggies, and other tasty perishables. Half the time or more, I cook in the main-house kitchen (I cannot resist the allure of two ovens and a gas cooktop), but now I have the option.

Still don’t have the TV/VCR/DVD components hooked up, or the stereo, and I still have major unpacking to do. The office furniture is set up, but it will be a week or two before it’s fully usable. I need to hang the tapestry, the pictures, and the curtains. I’m still looking for a rocking chair. But already the studio is home, and at night I can snuggle down into my bed, glance around, and feel secure and loved and at peace.

1 comment:

/egs said...

Hi Lynn:
Hope you don't mind.... I've added your entry to Freecycle.org/newswire/