As you may have guessed during this past blog-free week, I was on vacation with Mr. Apron.  Either that, or you thought my vegetarian blog was so hot, I had to let it cool off.  In any case, I did not advertise our trip to Maine in advance, for fear you might break into my uninhabited home and steal my bassoon, or my sewing machine, or my cheese slicer, three things of great value to me.  Even if I had told you I was going to be away, and given you the exact dates, you wouldn’t have found the house empty, because the painters were here again!

Mr. Apron or I had this great idea to have them come while we were on vacation!  We’d be like a real Main Line couple and have “work done” without the inconvenience that usually accompanies having workmen in the house.  Especially because our bedroom (including closet) was painted, we had to purge the closet of all our precious clothing, and heap it all on the bed, it would have been very inconvenient indeed.  So my in-laws (THANK YOU!) let the painters in each morning, collected our mail, played with the lights, and held down the fort while we cavorted up in Maine.  (Vacation highlights and photos coming soon…)  We sunned, we hiked, we biked, we sailed, we shopped, we dropped, we bowled, we ate, and ate, and ate.  And all the while, our house was transforming.

The wallpaper is gone, folks.  All the old-lady wallpaper (except in the downstairs powder room, where it’s almost inoffensive, and would be more trouble than it’s worth to redo in a room that small) is gone.  Our room is a lovely earthy mossy green.  Our office is a slate blue.  It feels so good to be home.  I don’t just mean having space to ourselves again, and not learning about the financial woes of our neighbors at the B&B due to their loud cell phone conversations.  I don’t just mean being able to unpack, do laundry, and cook.  I mean the whole thing.  I mean being back in a place where we’re truly at home, in our own skin, surrounded by our stuff, our decor, the clothing and furniture that’s meaningful to us, or at least familiar.  Even in our nasty 1980s kitchen with its poop-brown cabinetry, and vomit-colored cobble-stone sheet linoleum flooring, and decaying drop ceiling, as I heated up two masala veggie burgers (Trader Joe’s = awesomeness.  Tasted like samosas on a bun.) in a little stir-fry pan, I moved around the kitchen pulling out utensils, finding plates, and serving up a very simple late dinner, and it all felt familiar.  This doesn’t mean I’m not going to cry tears of joy as we rip the flooring up and tear the “ceiling” down, ‘cuz you better believe I will.  It just feels good right now, after having been away since last Friday evening, almost 10 days.  We haven’t been away this long since our honeymoon! 

We stopped at my parents’ house in RI to pick up the dog, watch old home movies (slipsofthetongue’s 4th birthday on Betamax — much worthy future post), and spend quality time with my parents, (baking scones, being dragged by dogs, and walking around the neighborhood).  They suffer from an unfortunate lack of space compounded by having had to move to a smaller house due to real estate prices on the east coast versus our previous home in the midwest, where the cost of living is quite low.  And they have stuff.  Stuff from 30 years of marriage, 27 years of having had children, and lifetimes of other stuff (dolls, harps, dress shirts, shoes, neckties).  It feels a bit cramped, and you have to relearn where to find things everytime you go back. 

“Well, the keys are now in the closet where the fridge used to be.  The fridge is near the backdoor now, so of course we’ve moved the trashcan over to the butler pantry.  We keep the extra folding chair by the door to the dining room otherwise the dogs go in and get stuck and have “accidents”.  Also, if you want Diet Coke, it’s in the basement fridge, so while you’re going down there, stop by the sewing room (which is now in the basement) and see if you like any of the shoes I’ve laid out that your uncle just sent me.  Careful opening the fridge because the light is out, but you can use the one above the table saw.  Also, the watermelon might fall out, so hang onto it as you open the door to grab cokes and clementines for your drive.  Also, take a package of masala burgers (ah, you see where our dinner came from?) from the freezer.  Don’t use the shower in the hall bath because we have a leak, so you can shower in our room, the third floor, or on the first floor.  The dogs need to be fed, but Holly only eats this $60/bag dog food, so make sure Annabella doesn’t get into it.  Their bowls are up on the counter in the butler pantry so Annabella (the chocolate lab) doesn’t think they’re a chew toy.  Feed Holly (paranoid border collie) in the corner so she doesn’t think the other dogs  want her food, and watch Annabella so she doesn’t help herself to Finley’s food once she’s done.  ”

It is nice to be home.  Aside from the heap of clothing on our bed, and the fact that the painters decided I should put my sewing machine near the window, things are pretty much how we left them.  And that feels pretty damn good.

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