Fall is officially here, my favorite season next to spring. It felt like I was away traveling for most of October, well, because I was. In the space of four weeks I was in Seacrest Beach, Florida, for four days, Ft. Worth, Texas, for three days, Vancouver, British Columbia, for five days, and Noci, Italy, for six days, and when I was home, I was trying to keep my head above water at work and practice like crazy for my faculty recital and upcoming solo performance with the UAB Wind Symphony. All wonderful things, and I was so grateful to get to see these very different and beautiful places.
An old woman walking to Mass in Alberobello, Italy, near Noci.
Bass Concert Hall in Ft. Worth, Texas.
Travel is an amazing gift, but so is being home- especially for an introverted homebody like me. When Dan pulled up at the curb to pick me up from the airport after Italy, I burst into tears, so grateful to see him and feeling home almost in my grasp. The idea of home is deeply meaningful to me. I associate it with our beloved ‘Chez Gainey’, but it could be wherever we nest; that place of total peace and sanctuary from the storms of life. A sense of belonging and acceptance.
This past weekend was my first opportunity post-travel and post-recital to bond with my husband, home, and animals after so much stress and so much time away. As always, Dan and I had a huge list of goals to accomplish around the house and yard. We had to pack away Halloween (a major event at our home, thanks to Dan’s creativity and wonderful inner child).
We did tons of cleaning and yard work, and then we finally got to a project I had wanted to do for months; rearranging our bedroom. This was a big job, as it involves moving our very substantial bed from its nook to the opposite side of the room in front of a beautiful but non-functional fireplace. I hadn’t realized how claustrophobic I’d felt in the cramped nook that we had to squeeze into to get to the bed. Tough for the dogs, too. We also couldn’t really see our beautiful view of the city from this vantage point, either.
It was time for change, time for a new perspective in our ninety-eight year old bedroom. It was also time for a major deep-cleaning. Dan had researched and found moving pads to enable us to move the massive bed, and we moved several things out of the room to make room for the big turn around. We didn’t know if we’d really like it, but we knew we had to give it a try. For the first time in the fifteen years that we’ve lived here, I felt like I could really breathe. I’m not sure how to explain the difference except to say that everything now feels open; the view is prominent, light bounces off of the mirrors…I feel like I’m in a mountain chalet now instead of a dark cave.
It is so fun to live in this old house and still be able to make it feel new and exciting. We find such joy in working together on improvements and dreaming about what comes next. Maybe that’s a good lesson for life in general; with a little elbow grease we can break free from ruts and see things in a new and beautiful way.