How in the world, you ask, did it take you three years to buy living room furniture!
Well, there were extenuating circumstances. Let me explain.
When we moved three years ago, after 15 years in the same house, most of our furniture was well worn, since it was not new when we bought it; we used it during the growing up years of three children, and hosted parenting classes and home groups in our home for many years. Since we were hiring movers due to volume and distance, we tried to get rid of everything that we didn’t intend to use long term. This led to some interesting situations, like the girls sleeping on their mattresses on the floor for six months, and not having living room furniture for three years.
Our new home – new to us, but 27 years old, has three living areas – a family room in the basement, which is the coolest room in the summer and the warmest in the winter due to a wood-burning fireplace that we use almost constantly, a sunroom off the kitchen, which faces the woods and a small lake, and the normal living room.
Needless to say, the family room quickly became our favorite, since we’ve always wanted a fireplace; it was cool in the summer, and walked out to the woods and lake. Since we had only brought our futon and a couple of chairs along, they ended up in the family room. The sunroom was furnished with lawn chairs and the living room quickly became a storage area.
For the last three years this house has been a work in progress.
Since we came from a 100-year-old house, we thought of one that was 27 years old as “new”, but we quickly found out that most things in a house last about… 27 years! We also went from a three-car garage to a two-car garage. There was no place for my husband to set up all his woodworking equipment. so we made plans to build everyone’s dream – a pole barn! Perhaps this is a Minnesota “farm” thing, so I’ll insert a photo here for you city folk.
Anyway, to make a long story short, or at least shorter, we ended up moving boxes and boxes from garage to house to garage and back to house several times while we built our pole barn, replaced the deck that was all but falling off the house, put in a small kitchen in the basement, and replaced 500 sq. feet of the brick floor that all McDonalds have.
As you can imagine, this all took money, and since we don’t go into debt, we had to save for each step, which took time. Plus, we desperately needed a place to store things – so that is what we continued to use the living room for.
During this time we did buy the girls beds and got them settled. Then we began our hunt for furniture for the sunroom off the kitchen and the living room. As we went from furniture store to furniture store we discovered some things.
First – instead of two opinions we now had five, since our adult and nearly adult children had opinions too. I remember Dan saying, “When did they all get opinions?”
Second, since we were going from a 100-year-old Victorian house that we all loved, and liked the style, it was difficult to go to a newer home that was very contemporary. We quickly decided we were not “contemporary” people and decided that the mission style furniture would look best in this house, since it had the straight lines of the house but still didn’t look so sterile.
Third, when you have five people trying to make a choice, at least one of the people isn’t going to like what the other four like.
One day after months of shopping without making any headway, our children told my husband that I was entirely too indecisive. Well! He jokingly told me that I had to start having strong feelings about things and making some choices.
Shortly after this discussion, one of our daughters came to me in a store and said she had something to show me. As we walked toward the item, she turned to me and said, “I have strong feelings about this!” Taking the “hint” I too decided to have strong feelings about it and immediately purchased the item. Of course, it wasn’t a big piece of furniture, but a small accent piece.
Thus we started a little family joke that we were finally able to use to decorate our living room. If someone really liked a piece of furniture, picture or accent piece, they would say to the others, “I feel very strongly about this!” The rest of us would look with fresh eyes and we slowly but surely found our living room coming together – and we all like the end result.
We all agree: “We feel very strongly about this!”
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows”
Finding Joy in the Journey,
Proclaiming God’s Faithfulness at:
© 2008 Phyllis Sather
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Contact me at: Phyllis@Phyllis-Sather.com