Friday, July 5, 2019

Making A Home - Little Things That Breathe Life In The Midst of Moving


It's been a hard, slow three weeks, but now that we are about 90% settled into this space, this week I slowed my pace a bit and took some time to recuperate and reflect.  I added them all up yesterday and realized that this is our twelfth move in nineteen years of marriage, and we aren't even in the military. That means, that for the most part, we average about 1 1/2 years of living in a space before we pack up and move again.  The longest we have lived in any of those places was our beloved farmhouse in Moneta,  and the shortest was our first house in Richmond.  Between the two of us, we have lived in four states, but for most of our married life, we have been in Virginia.  Yet such is often the life of a retail store manager! Bill still has dreams of renovating a bus or large van and hitting the road, but right now, post-unpacking, I can't even fathom the idea.  I need to put down some roots, even shallow ones, and thankfully we signed a one year lease.  Maybe this time next year  I'll be rested and feel different, but for now, I just want
S L O W ★.

I've been doing a lot of cross stitching this week, mostly working on a little trio of salt box houses that I have had in mind for years now and finally got around to working up.  That's the first one you see on the left. I finished the last one yesterday and my plan is to put them in place later today.  It's an "inspired design", I like to say. The houses are based loosely on a graph I worked up last summer, and the embellishments are from the same, though I did alter them a bit to make them fit the smaller space. I am so happy with the way they turned out and can't wait to share them with you again once I get them set.

I did take a break from them for a little while the other night.  Bill and I watched a documentary on the history of drive-in movie theaters, and I stitched up the little diddy you see in the first picture at the top.  Memories from my childhood beckon back to a time when life seemed to move at a slower pace, and it seemed an appropriate project for the evening.  My plan is to work up two more pieces, ★ S I M P L E ★  and ★ S A C R E D ★.  Sacred, slow and simple. They've become my mantra I suppose you would say in recent years, reminders of how I want to live out the remaining days God has ordained for me. And while slow and simple have eluded me so far this summer, even in the midst of packing and moving I've still made it a point to allow for pockets of time to ease my pace and to seek out the beauty of life.

With the kitchen finally organized, I felt up to preparing a real meal for the first time earlier this week, and since I had everything on hand, I made up a big pot of Cincinnati Chili. It's one of our favorite meals, and so it seemed fitting as the inaugural choice for our new apartment.  Bill spent about three week in Cincinnati some years ago now for training.  I think he was with Dollar General at the time, and he came home raving about it!  Thankfully it didn't take a lot of effort to come up with a recipe for it (I use the one linked above.  Bill says it comes the closest to the real deal!).  I like to make up a big batch and then freeze some for easy meals on nights we I don't feel up to cooking.  If you've never tried Cincinnati Chili, I would encourage you to give it a try.  We like ours "3 Way", as they call it, with beans, cheese and onions, and we do eat ours over spaghetti as it is traditionally made, but some like it over Fritos or oyster crackers, as well.

Cross stitching, making special pieces for our home, and cooking traditional meals in our new space are little things that breathe life into the unsettled busy days of unpacking and moving in.  My plan right now is continue to take it a little easy through the weekend and savor the days of summer.  We had a pretty big thunderstorm yesterday and I actually opened up the windows and listened to it roll in.  It's funny the things you didn't even realize you missed living with no windows (for those who may not know, we lived in a basement apartment for two years).  It seems with the high humidity the chance for a shower is in the forecast almost every afternoon, but I'm not complaining.  Summer rain is a little thing that delights me!  As well as . . .

- Black and white buffalo check
- Cincinnati Chili

and

- Salt Box Houses!

Until then my friends, savor the days of summer!

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