Sleeping at the Waldorf Astoria

In my new life as a “single-no-longer-a-fiancée” woman, there have been many decisions to make. One has been my house. Do I stay? Do I move?

Regardless of what I choose to do, there have been certain issues I had to address such as the lack of furniture and household items.

In September, Don and I purchased a home that was larger than what each of us owned and were therefore, upsizing. But we each had to downsize as we did not need two dining room tables; two queen size beds; extra lamps; two sets of dishes and pots/pans; and so forth.

Downsizing is emotionally hard. I had already dealt with this in 2010 when I downsized from my large home to my small but just-right-size ranch condo post my divorce. During that time, I had to give away items that belonged to my grandmother and parents. It was painful but necessary.

Don and I were blessed in this process to be working with Bobbi Kelman (BK Interiors), a fabulous interior decorator. As we began the process of merging our homes, she became the guiding force (aka, neutral referee.) With our input, Bobbi created a master plan—what to give away; what to keep; and where it would go in the new home.

Although that made it easy on one level, the bottom line is that once again I had to say good-bye to possessions I cared about. What made it harder this time is the items remaining in the condo were those that had the strongest emotional connection to me.

But, as I was beginning a new life with the man I deeply loved, it seemed like a small price to pay.  So once again, I gave away more of my possessions.

We moved in on Thursday/Friday October 20 and 21st. Bobbi came to the house on Monday and helped us pull it all together. When she was done, our furniture and accessories looked as if they had been together for years. Overnight, our house became a warm and inviting home.

Then in mid-November, Don abruptly broke off the engagement.

He came back two weeks later and got his furniture and possessions. The house no longer looked like a home but instead looked like a wholesale furniture store after a Thanksgiving weekend sale.

There were random pieces of furniture in the rooms; no pictures on the walls; hardwood floors lay bare without oriental carpets; there was an echo in the hallway. He also took his everyday household items such as dishes, flatware and so forth.

Living in a house with missing furniture and items has been an interesting experience.

Take pots and pans—I no longer had any as we had kept Don’s and thus, he took them with him. The last time I bought pots and pans was 40+ years ago and the options were Farberware and Club Aluminum (I chose the yellow colored pots/pans—sold now on eBay!)

So, early one morning, I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond with my 20% off coupon (I am now one of their favorite customers) and was immediately overwhelmed by choices and options.

What does hard anodized mean? Is that good or bad? Will it help me cook better? And price ranges—I could get a set of pots and pans (10 to 12 pieces) from anywhere to $200 to $600. And how do I choose?

If truth be known, I probably don’t need 10-12 different pots and pans but trying to figure out what individual ones to buy was overwhelming also.

I finally used two criteria to determine which set to buy. Number One: I looked at the mid-range price sets. Number Two: I remembered when I was buying my laptop, my son Chris told me a couple brands to check out and advised me to practice typing on them and see what felt the best.

I used the same concept here—I held the pots by their handle and purchased the set that felt the best in my hand.

Besides household items, I needed to buy furniture. The master bedroom was the room to focus on first as, once Don left, there was no bed in the room. I spent the first 4 weeks sleeping on one of the twin beds in Lauren’s and Sean’s room.

It has been several decades since I slept on a twin bed.Do you have any idea how narrow they are? I would lie very still and look up at the ceiling and think to myself “do not roll over or you will fall out of bed.”

My granddaughter has Princess sheets on her bed and my grandson has trucks, cars, and etc. on his sheets. I chose to sleep in the Princess bed (although his bed might have been more appropriate as I no longer felt like a Princess—I felt as if I had been run over by a truck.)

Bobbi once again came to the rescue and guided me through this process.  She ordered a mattress and frame; ordered the bed; and also helped me select other furnishings for the house such as lamps, oriental carpets, and end tables. We are not done yet but we have made a dent in the list.

This will sound silly but the biggest change in the home occurred in mid-January when I purchased my bedspread. I will never be able to put into words the difference it made to me. I carefully took all the items from the box—bedspread, pillow shams, etc., and made my bed and then stood back to see how it looked.

Compared to my sleeping arrangements for the previous 8 weeks, the room was transformed and it looked beautiful. Who knew that a bit of fabric could create such magic.

That first night when I went to sleep, I pulled the comforter up to my chin and just sighed. I felt like I had checked into the Waldorf Astoria hotel and was spending the night in the penthouse suite. My bed was elegant and lovely and it gave me hope.

Since that night, when I get discouraged, I go look at my bedroom and see the “prettiness” and tell myself that one day my house could be a real home and not just a place with random pieces of furniture scattered about.

I am thankful…. I am so very thankful for a bedspread and pillow shams…. And for the joy they give me. It seems so ridiculously small and insignificant but yet, each time I walk into that room, my heart smiles.

I fully realize that we cannot go through life without hitting some bumps. We have a tendency to think we should lead trouble-free lives. I don’t know where we get that idea…..there is nothing written in the “This is Your Life Guidebook” that implies such.

Even the disciples of Christ and those that carried His message faced challenges (much greater than mine) one after another.

I think about the Apostle Paul who wrote while in prison that he had learned to give thanks in all things and to be content.  Really? That amazes me as I am sure I would find much to complain about…from the food to sleeping arrangements or, lack thereof.

But I am trying to practice the act of giving thanks and being content.

And because I am consciously trying to give thanks and make myself live in the moment so that I can feel contentment, I find myself appreciating the small and simple things in my life…… such as sipping a cup of coffee while sitting on a screened-in porch; eating an egg and mushroom omelet cooked in my new iron anodized pan…..a

And a green teal bedspread that fills me with hope and joy.

jfh

Sleeping Phases in My New Life: Phase One: The Princess Bed/   Phase Two: the arrival of a mattress aka The Dorm Room Look/   Phase Three: Today…Hope and Joy

01 Princess Bed02 2015-12-19 0104 IMG_8583

 

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