Ain’t Nothin’ but a Thing?

My powder room.
What do I think this newsletter is…a Crate and Barrel catalog?

Unlikely, as our fixtures are dated.

December 13th marked twenty years since we took occupancy of our home. The place is beginning to show its age. A number of window cranks are broken. Hardwood flooring is marred and scraped. Prospective buyers might scoff at fall leaf printed carpeting and hard water stains that refuse to budge from faucets, sinks, showers and toilets. Beneath the basement dartboard, a wall bears dozens of piercings from inexpert throws.

and they are valuable because of their meaning to us.

My husband and I cut, laid, and grouted every tile. We spread the grass seed, and have mowed the lawn hundreds of times. Our son had his first taste of driving behind the wheel of a John Deere.

Our Jack and Jill bathroom offers a space for child, dogs, and guests to bathe. There’s a reserved corner for December’s Christmas tree. Deer visit a cultivated plot of clover in our backyard and birds and squirrels have feasted on seeds outside the dining window for bird year generations.

and they are valuable because of their meaning to us.

Last Sunday, my husband patched and sanded the drywall next to the powder room sink, where years of water drops caused paint to blister and peel. On Monday, he pulled the room’s toilet and removed wall hardware. On Tuesday, I sanded Polyurathane decorative stripes and taped off the woodwork. Wednesday found me rolling, rolling, rolling—turning Squirrel’s Tail tan to Aleutian blue. And by Thursday night, I no longer had to go up or down stairs to use a bathroom.

Somewhere in between, we had a conversation.

“Do you want to change the fixtures? The light? Toilet paper and towel holder? The gold-silver look is pretty dated.”

Let me think about it….

“I like how the tulip sconces coordinate with the scalloped pedestal sink and toilet cover. It might be dated, but it suits me. Let’s leave everything…just clean it up. I can spray paint the water damaged oak rim of the mirror.”


We’ve gone back and forth about leaving this house. It’s big, especially with the boy gone off to college. On the other hand, it’s filled with meaning that I’m not ready to give away. I know if we were to move—build another house—we’re the sort who’d throw themselves into building meaning—hands on.

Having already built the strong knot that is our home, I prefer to barter my time for building a relationship with you.

For you are a nucleus of relations and nothing else; you exist by your links, and your links exist through you. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

To what are you linked?
Are we challenged to strengthen our internal foundations so that all links are meaningful?