Saturday, August 30, 2008

Here Comes the Sun

The movie of my life really woke some of you blurkers up, didn't it? I'll have to admit, for a meme, it was a really creative one. Most of them are more like lists, for example - Coke or Pepsi? If you couldn't tell already, my answer would be both, preferably with a shot of bourbon. (Or at least that would have been my answer before the pain condition and assorted medications). I have a friend who reminds me - in some ways - of Samantha Jones in Sex and the City. Her answer to my not being able to drink was, "Well, if you have enough margaritas, who needs pain meds?"

Certainly my life has been an interesting one, and while I would have told you differently when things were going south, I can say now - honestly - that I am glad for every experience I had. What kind of writer would I be if I had not lived so thoroughly? I can tell you what it's like to live in a house custom-built from the non-descript plot up and I can tell you what it's like to sleep in the back of a Mustang. I can tell you what it's like to be in an ICU bed and I can tell you what it's like to try to walk 20 miles across Houston in the middle of the night to get to a friend's house who might offer a meal and a bath.

Tonight I picked out blinds for my kitchen, which is almost as much fun as shopping for clothes because I'm always so grateful for what I now have. We're (still) in the process of scraping the old wallpaper down, doing some wall repair, and painting it a lovely shade of green. The ugly curtains left by the last owners just won't cut it. I can't wait to be rid of them, so we went curtain shopping. Through three stores, I only found one or two sets I could live with. Both would be the standard tier and valance kitchen curtains offering little privacy for our windows, which overlook the parking lot and the pool, and would be less stellar than what I'd hoped for. However, I was perfectly fine with getting the on-sale, two-tier kitchen curtains that were off-white and decorated with grapes and vines along the edges. And then hubby suggested we get bamboo shades or blinds where we got the blinds for the upstairs. I warned him that it would cost more, but he said, "Let's go have a look."

Through the strange swarm of termites that buzzed through the humid evening air around Frederick, we fought and batted our way to the blinds store. After talking with the young lady with the thick Russian? Ukranian? Czech? accent, we discovered that perhaps delicate bamboo shades weren't for us. They wouldn't offer much privacy at night - probably less than we have with the current ratty curtains - and they would easily succumb to at least one nutty cat who would undoubtedly tug and pull at them, nibbling on the edges, to get inside the windowsill for a long look at her parking lot view.

My next and final choice was an off-white version of the same wood blinds we have upstairs. They are imitation wood, so they are lighter and require less care (a real plus for this girl), and they will offer privacy or ample sunlight, whichever I prefer. Nice. And hubby didn't bat an eye about the price. I just think he wants me to be happy, though I would have been okay with the grapes.

Window treatments have a weird history for me. Dad always insisted on thorough coverage on his windows, and I don't remember a time when we didn't have multiple layers on the rods: valance, sheers, more sheers, and heavy drapery. It got really bad, though, when we moved back to Georgia in '77. He was so whacked out on the morphine shots he was given for cancer pain (and he was doctor hopping and taking about 4 times the recommended amount every day), he was convinced that people were trying to look in our windows. He especially believed that people were looking into my windows.

One day I came home from school to find the curtains in my room stapled together down the middle and nailed to the window frame. No kidding. I had absolutely no way to get any natural light into my room. The rest of the rooms were the same. It was like a dungeon, with dark shag carpeting and dark wood paneling. I felt as though I were walking into hell when I came home every afternoon. Thankfully, that part of my life was brief. I loved Dad dearly, but he was very, very sick.

It is probably that period in my life that makes me love the sun so much that I only spent one miserable year in Seattle before I had to leave and come back to the east coast. I love to get up in the morning and throw up the shades in my bedroom, tilt open the blinds in my office and squint into the sun pouring into the kitchen windows. Now I am envisioning myself opening those new blinds first thing before I make my coffee, lifting them a few inches for the cats, and relishing in the fresh look of my newly painted kitchen.

It's going to be fantastic. I might even hire Heather over at Coal Miner's Granddaughter to come over and destroy my old curtains and the bent rods just like she destroyed her old washer last Christmas. See for yourself! (Wouldn't you love to have a mom like her?)

Peace - D

13 comments:

Not Afraid to Use It said...

What a great post! You have to post before and after pictures! There is NOTHING like having blinds that give you just the right feeling of "light" no matter what that dose of light might be. You and I have to talk about that the next time we have coffee. I am very particular about my sunlight as well.

Maggie May said...

While I like plenty of light, I also like to sleep in a very dark room. So I would plump for a blind that looked light but could black out the early morning, summer time dawn ( that comes at 5 am) The mornings are darker than that now though. Hope you get what you want.

Jay said...

I loved this one! I am so there with you, too - I hate shopping for curtains and blinds because I seldom find what I want and have to settle - and these things are so expensive ...

It must have been very hard for you during the period your Dad lost his grip on reality, and you lost your natural light. No wonder you need to be able to get sun into your home now.

Before and after pictures would be good!!

Akelamalu said...

This is a lovely post and I'd love to see your kitchen. Photos???

Moannie said...

I guess it's the difference between a blogger and a face book addict, a good blogger must have something to say, a wealth of experience to draw on as well as the funny, trivial, or erudite. Face bookers seem to say 'Hi, whatya doing tonight' or 'Did you see so and so in the bar?'

I shall be back for more.

the walking man said...

BEFORE YOU MAKE YOUR COFFEE!!! My God woman what good is light if your eyes aren't open enough to partake in it???

Daryl said...

We live on the ground floor facing a street that the route everyone in the area seems to use to get to the park .. we have shutters on the windows .. inside the apartment shutters ... Husband insisted everyone was looking in .. well they arent and he's over it now but there was a moment when he was talking about putting shelves .. book shelves in front of the windows .. sigh .. the shutters were a compromise .. they are open all day .. closed as soon as twilight hits ... I would be miserable w/o my light

Your new kitchen fix up sounds wonderful . .when you are done wanna come here and work on mine?

:-Daryl

SandyCarlson said...

That's quite a post, Riverpoet. Wow. I can appreciate your love of sunlight. And the pleasure you take in living life thoroughly, as you put it.

I am glad your project is going well.

God bless, friend.

Jo said...

I have never been able to understand why people have wonderful large windows and then put sheers over them. I just want to pull them down so I can see outside. I love lots of light too and there is nothing more cheerful than the sun streaming through a window.

Great post!

Ruth D~ said...

Sunlight streaming in . . . nothing like it. But at night, it's going to be great to close the blinds and get on with whatever. Love that cat in the window. Cute!

Hilary said...

I love the morning sunlight. My only kitchen window is a sliding glass door leading onto my front deck. I have venetian blinds on it, which I never close. As long as the day is bright, so is the kitchen. Like the others, I'd love to see photos of yours.

Jay said...

If you're interested, I've updated the Billy Connolly thread with an explanation. ;)

Lavinia said...

Wow what a history you have had with window coverings! I'm glad your sojourn to rainy Seattle was brief, and you are now back in the sunshine and enjoying it daily...I love your description of how happily alight your mornings are, for you and your cats....