My house is so tiny that when you turn around sometimes you bump into yourself. Being a Victorian bungalow, it is, like any very elderly person, prone to unexpected imperative repairs that are costly and command a great deal of your time and attention. There are many charming aspects of my home, but as I batter my wits for ever more ingenious storage places, or wonder how I will come up with the funds for yet another repair, I have more than onced soundly cussed out this house.
As a stay-at-home mom I am home all day and throughout this week I have especially missed the presence of my cat who died suddenly this past Sunday of a heart attack. I am used to moving about the house seeing him in his usual haunts or sometimes nearly tripping because he dashed across my path. As I kept registering his absence a thought occurred to me.
That cat had lived nearly his total life in this house, and he never wanted to be anywhere else.
Because this is where his family was.
I do realize that Groucho was just a cat and didn’t have opinions on interior decoration or home repair. And though we could have used the help, he never once lifted a hammer to oblige us. But I think that there is something to be learned here.
Sometimes I get so focused on repairs or renovating or decorating, or I fret over my failure to do those things – that I forget that the people make the house. Not stuff. Groucho only cared about what was going on within the hearts of his family of people and pets, and how that was manifested in the spirit that filled the house. Were they techy or angry with each other? Were they peaceful and relaxed? Were they having fun with each other and connecting with each other and the pets contained within the home?
Sometimes when I open a kitchen cabinet and groceries fall on my head I have wished for a larger home with endless closets and “room enough for a pony.” But this little cat sprawled in a streak of sunshine at the end of the bed, never wished for more than he had.
I don’t think wanting a larger home is inherently wrong, but I think my focus on material things has often kept me from taking in the goodness I already possess.
Considering my blessings brought to mind my sewing space which I want to share with you. It isn’t particularly enviable but it is one of my favorite places in the house. My machines are in a corner of our living room where I can watch my daughter or take in a show with the family as I sew. The machines are old. The furniture is hodge-podge. But I have spent some wonderful hours there creating while the cat rested behind the machine, and my daughter and husband were curled on the couch taking in a Dr. Who video marathon.
The memory of Groucho staring at me from behind the machine as I sewed, and sometimes swiping the moving fabric with a paw has kept me from sitting back down to sew. And there are some Christmas preparations to fill the hours. But I am continuing my mini-basket bash of the once heaping sewing basket and I will post my Stash Bash update on Saturday. I am going to skip my usual Friday posting due to Xmas prep. I have to unfurl the branches of our artificial tree and put on the lights – my least favorite Christmas tradition! : /
I want to thank all of you who left such kind words of condolence. Reading those well-wished meant a lot to me. Still heartsore but plan to be back in the saddle sewing again by next week.
All my love,