Friday, August 26, 2011

A Blessing and a Privilege

I follow a number of bloggers whose children are going back to school. This time of year, their blogs are stuffed with cute photos of their new outfits, the shiny crayons, the fresh backpacks.

My child is going off to school, too. To college in another part of the country.

He's my last one. As of this coming Monday, I am officially an Empty Nester. I have spent days worrying about how my husband and I were going to handle this, how the two of us were going to deal with the overly quiet house, the loss of hubbub and roughhousing and laughter, etc., etc., etc.

Then, setting the table for the last Friday-night dinner he'll have here at home, it hit me: Having a child go off to college is a blessing and a privilege. Some people never achieve parenthood, even though they long for it. Some children's lives are cut tragically short. Some children grow up, but want nothing to do with going to college, getting an education, making a success. As a parent, I have learned: almost nothing is guaranteed.

And yet: I have been so blessed.

I was blessed with this chubby-cheeked preschooler who loved anything with wheels:

I was blessed with this funny-faced grade schooler with ears too large for his head:

I was privileged to cheer him on in his team sports--first AYSO soccer, then club basketball, then high-school basketball, and finally varsity lacrosse:

I was privileged to watch him grow from a child into a gawky adolescent who loved clowning around:

It was a privilege to watch him come out the other end, a foot taller and far hairier, but STILL clowning around:

It has been a blessing to watch him fall in love with a puppy and bond deeply with it, an archetypal Boy-and-His Dog love affair:

I have been blessed to watch my child turn into a young man. An honorable, intelligent, handsome young man:

It is now my privilege to step back, admire what he has become, and send him out into the world:

He goes off to college with our blessings.

I will always love you, son. Have a wonderful time at college!

My Favorite Things About the Funny Looking House

Some of the things I love best about the Funny Looking House:

The bright-red peephole in the front door.

The shelf for taking off your shoes in the entry.

The quirky windows.

The free-wheeling color scheme.

The re-purposed family things, including these chairs, which are at least 60 years old.

The happy red IKEA chairs for $10 each, and the seats-ten, Mission-style table I found for $45, all from Goodwill. The way the chairs and table both go with this hand-woven Guatemalan table runner, a gift from a friend.

The granite counters and glass-tile back splash in the kitchen.

The way that, even though there's a blue color scheme in the kitchen, there's a welcome spot for a sunny yellow teakettle.

The bar, which connects the dining room to the kitchen.

The note stuck on the inside of the door so Lovely Daughter #2 doesn't forget anything in the morning as she zooms off to her day.

The mid-century Scandinavian bureau that Lovely Daughter #1 snagged to use as a sideboard in the dining room.

The red mirror I found two years ago at a yard sale, and the highboy Lovely Daughter #2 fell in love with the moment we saw it at a junk shop.

The presence of something living in the entry.

The way the KitchenAid looks so good against the kitchen tiles.
The Anthropologie knobs in the kitchen.

The floating Lack shelves from IKEA in the kitchen.

The deep pantry, stocked and ready to feed the Lovely Daughters.

The lime tree in the front yard.

LinkAnd the cute neighbors.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Funny Looking House: Kitchen Before-and-After

Yesterday I showed you some of the changes in the outside area and front bedroom of the Funny Looking House. The biggest renovation occurred in the kitchen, which was gutted right down to the studs.

The area to the right of the kitchen sink (looking down a bit,) Before:

That same area (looking up a bit), After:

To the left of the kitchen sink, Before:

To the left of the kitchen sink, After:

Looking from the dining room into the kitchen, Before:

The same view, During:

And an almost-done After:

The washer and dryer area, Before:

The washer and dryer area, After:

The ceiling lighting, Before:

And After:

This side of the kitchen used to be what we called "The Red Wall," Before:

The Red Wall, After:

Tomorrow: My favorite things about the FLH!


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