Friday, February 14, 2014

Seasonal Migration

There come several points in every year, when I cannot take my domicile quite the way it is anymore, and must begin shoving the furniture around.  The focus of these transformations tends to be the living room, but it does happen around the house.  The living room, though, is a spacious and long room, which gets excellent light with a southern exposure timed such that the longest rays reach in to warm certain furry inhabitants in the winter, and in summer time the sunshine retreats agreeably, only poking in a little way but always keeping everything bright.

It does happen that these periodic redecorations follow a general pattern, but on occasion innovations creep in, when I am exceedingly bored.  The couch may go (gasp!) under the window before it moves to the far side of the fireplace, in preparation for the smaller-circumference, cozy setups of winter weather.  In warm weather, the furniture backs away from the room’s center, filling the ends of the space, opening up to cross-breezes from opposing windows.

In nearly fifteen years here (holy crud), it’s been possible to time and refine the seasonal deployments.  I can’t take much more than three weeks of the Christmas tree and decorations, for instance.  September is too soon to pull the furniture in tight for the cold-weather, huddled configuration.  But interestingly – Valentine’s Day is not too soon to open things up again, to stretch out the seating and widen the room for warmer weather, to anticipate spring’s advent and enjoy a new space without having to waste money on a decorator or even new furnishings.

I discovered the date’s utility some years ago, when my mother and I spent the day moving an inheritance.  My best friend TEO’s father was moving out of his apartment, and I was extremely grateful and happy to receive his red slate coffee table.  It’s a gorgeous thing, warm and wide, masculine in the best decorative sense of the word (if that phrase isn’t too much an oxymoron for certain sentiments, heh), distinctively earthy.  It also, as you might imagine, is heavy as hell.  Fantastic for inviting friends over and enjoying Chinese takeout, or several pizzas.  Beautiful just standing there, just the right books in a nice stack, a plant, a wooden bowl.  (For years, it held a beautiful pottery bowl also given to me by TEO, but that came to a crashing and incredibly upsetting end when Gossamer, all of three ounces, leapt onto the table and knocked it for a loop.  Alas.)

And so, spending the lovers’ day of red hearts and candies with my mom, manhandling a table between the two of us (I did send her home in time for supper with stepfather)_, I learned – Valentine’s is a good day to shake up the house a bit.

This year, I cheated a little bit, and did most of the shoving last night.  This on top of the snow-shoveling duties out front and behind the house have not damaged me too badly, but do seem to provide the gentle reminder that my back is not what it should be (and here begin the fantasies of finishing my basement with a floor, and purchasing used gym equipment, so I can work on my core strength …).  I’d alas about that, but am just grateful I can live on my own, and CAN shove these things around.

Some women get bored and change their haircolor or cut.  Some people get a tattoo.  I am my mother’s child, and I poke at furniture.  Don’t put it past me not to take a shot in the bedroom, too.

But it is nice to spruce up your personal environment.  It’s a good feeling to clean on Saturdays, but it’s good, too, to come home one day and feel a fresh new room, all for the price of an hour’s exertion (or even less).  It’s invigorating just to keep things from stagnating … but, the February move carries with it the promise that spring is coming.  That the reason for opening things up, taking a deep breath that fills the room a little more, is the crocuses are coming, the daffodils (… the pollen, the allergies …).

I'd be hard put to live in a place without seasons.  I've been to Hawai’i, and know those who have lived there for years.  It is marvelous and beautiful – but I know, too, some who've missed autumn leaves and even winter’s chill and grey.  At least a little, anyway.

I'm nesting for spring time.  While I worked from home yesterday, calling and calling the airline over and over about travel problems born of the winter storm, I washed the wall in the kitchen next to the stove, and tweaked where my little convection oven sits, smaller redeployments as I thought about the larger one for the living room (yes, I think about these moves in advance; for a couple of weeks now, I've been looking forward to the longer days of February, to the change of seasons – and the change of room).  I may take all the pictures and coupons off the fridge next, wash it down, and put them back up.  I may scrub the cabinets.  You never know, with me …

Or, I may just paint my nails some bright and spring-like color.  It’s always fun driving mom insane, going turquoise or age-inappropriately sparkly.

February – Valentine’s day.  It means spring is coming, y’all.  You ready for short sleeves?  Or for a new spot for your couch??

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