July 24, 2012

July days

The mural begins

Having all my kids live home this summer has worked out fine. Boy-in-Black sleeps on the floor of the living room and With-a-Why on the couch, but luckily, they're sound sleepers. My daughter and I have been sharing my office, with me taking the desk and her the table. There’s room for only one chair, which means only one of us can work at a time, but at least we each have a surface for our laptops. It’s all good.

Pretty much everyone in the house is busy with research or coursework, so the house is strewn with laptops. With-a-Why, the baby of the family, is still in high school, but he’s set goals for himself for the summer. He’s teaching family members chess, he’s got a stack of books to read, he’s writing a book, and he’s painting a mural on the wall upstairs. (That’s him in the photo, putting on the first layer of paint.) Oh, and he’s taking voice lessons, dance lessons, and piano lessons. Plus, everyone in the household is playing Ultimate Frisbee – that goes without saying.

During the day, most of the household is off at work or school, but at night, we’ll usually all here, crowded around the one fan in the living room. It’s been a hot, humid summer, but thankfully the house cools down somewhat in the evening. We spend a fair amount of time just hanging out in the living room, talking and drinking smoothies made from fresh fruit, or watching stuff on the laptops.

It’s been a relaxed couple of weeks, but my husband and I are hoping to relax even more. We’re leaving for a west coast vacation, just the two of us, leaving the household in the capable hands of our adult children. I’m not bringing my laptop because I enjoy vacations so much more when I’m offline. But I’ll take my camera and journal, and eventually, some of those photos and stories will make it onto my blog.

Summer days That's our backyard.


Cindy said...

Have a wonderful vacation!

liz said...

Have a lovely time!

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...


(I hope you're coming to Oregon. The weather has been cool here all summer!)

Stylocycle said...

Oh, how I wish that more families would learn to live with more modest space. I am sure I am quite spoiled for space in comparison to what you have. We have a 3 -BR with 2 offices. My office has a day bed in it that I keep for my not-quite-20 year old son who is rather at loose ends about what he's doing these days. IT's good to be able to say to him, "There is always a bed for you here," and sometimes we wake in the morning to find that he has come home, consumed the last of the milk and crashed on the sofa because getting upstairs was just too much effort when he was that dog-tired the night before.
He has come to appreciate our relatively tight space. We used to have 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, so an office for each parent and a BR for him. We were *miserable* and disjointed and it nearly killed us -- partly because that house was surrounded by a ridiculous suburb that my M-I-L *insisted* we had to live in. Ugh. TIme spent there is surely time off purgatory for us.
Anyway, the woman who owned the house we currently live in raised 3 children here. Granted, she didn't require peace and quiet to write books, and there is a large garden in which to find some peace outdoors. When the house was built in 1906, the indication from the size of the kitchen and dining room is that each of the 2 smaller bedrooms would have had 3-4 children in them. Easily.
Our house is 1486 square feet, and we find it far more a welcoming home than the 2700 square feet we used to occupy (and which many people we knew thought was still "too small"). Our house is situated in the central part of an old down-town, where the SLSA conference was held last September. Many folks think it's a "bad part of town", but we have kinder, gentler neighbours here than we have had since 2000 when work required that we leave the mega-city 70 miles away, known for its neighbourhoods and parks.
I really hope that more people can find your blog and learn from your gentleness and generosity that it is true (per Frank Lloyd Wright) that whether we know it or not, the spaces we occupy shape the quality of our lives.

Phil said...

If you're in Seattle and have time and the inclination, look me up.

MaryAnn aka Joy said...

Have a great time! Good for you both! :D I sent you an email but hadn't realized you were gone. Great timing I have, right? ;)