I was raised in a drafty, idyllic home along the shores of Lake Whatcom in Bellingham, Washington.
It wasn't fancy. We were a family of nine plus several pets, stuffed into way too few rooms.
It holds incredible, joyful memories for me.
Confession: I was a messy child... One Christmas, Santa brought me a cute furry "foot" rug, (it was the 1970's!) which I treasured, but mostly never saw on the clothing-strewn floor. (click on photos to enlarge)
Oh, it was a colorful place: a chin-up bar in the doorway, (another Christmas gift) which I used mostly to swing back and forth in and out of the room, then decorate with beaded curtain; blue eyeshadow and glittery lip gloss nestled chaotically with plastic horses, displayed across my blue dresser.
At one point my cat, Trippy, (I sometimes called "Cat Stevens") had kittens in the dresser drawer, much to my delight!
(It's not like my favorite clothes were in there...)
I invited people (quietly) in to the nursery, to meet her squeaky, quivering tiny brood. My room was a world all its own.
Leap forward to today. January, 2016. In a couple months, I will have lived in my adorable 100-year-old drafty cottage for 21 years! Longer than anywhere else I've called home.
It's a small place, probably too small for some folks, but I love living here.
I've made it my mission to not "bust the seams" of this work/play home.
One day, nearly pushing myself out to the porch to keep my instruments and other treasures warm inside, I decided it was time for the purge.
At first it was hard to make decisions based on the question, "Deeply cherished or actively used?" (Thank you Laura Lavigne!), but as soon as I dropped off the first coupla stuffed garbage-bags at the donation center, I felt lighter. The house felt lighter... And then I did a little more a week later, and so on, and I keep doing this.
If the use of something has run its course or my love affair with it, I let it go. Or re-purpose it. (My friends are often the happy recipients, so I get to see the new life in their abodes.)
With my recent shift of focus in my health goals, I also do this in the kitchen.
Not only dishes and cookwear that have outlived their usefulness or charm...
Now, only the most useful food items go in the precious real-estate of my little old fridge.
I'm thrilled to have an additional small freezer.
And check out my new outdoor overflow refrigerator, a re-purposed wooden cupboard, perfect for the winter climes.
I am learning to honor making room for me; what makes a fullfilling life, and what is just "noise".
The colorful, messy girl is still alive and well, she's just learned to love a little order in the happy throng of creative chaos.
A beautiful marriage it turns out. I only miss my plastic horses and blue eye shadow a little bit.