“I’ve said it before, and by gosh, I’ll say it again — don’t be afraid to toot your own horn.”― Emlyn Chand
- It’s gift time!
- It’s decorating time!
For over a year I have had an image in my head of a vertical garden at the back of one of our lots. One problem: there were four bins of compost in the spot where this needed to go. The bins were in bad shape and needed redoing, and moving it would be a big job.
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I have been leading a class at my church using the book: Living Forward. We have been meeting on Sunday evenings for two hours. Fundamental to this process is cultivating the ability to first, acknowledge where one is at present and then to “see”, to imagine, to dream about how you want things to be formed.
This takes courage, even grit, for most of us who are 50+. For us, life has formed and informed us in both good and bad ways. This process brings one face to face with baggage that needs unpacking. I suppose it is true for all ages, but there is a difference once one has a few years behind you.
For everyone it is a choice. Do we wish to:
Choosing, being intentional, will at least make us aware so that there are no regrets, no matter what choice we make.
Imagination. Dreaming. Reaching into the invisible and acting on what we see. This is a cultivated skill.
In talking with our group, we have discussed real ways in which we can do this. One of the tangible ways I work my imagining muscle is through re-purposing and up-cycling found objects. Looking at a discarded, outdated or broken item and imagining it into something new, starts in a place within that only I can see. Most of the time it takes a combination of items that I put together to make this happen.
My version started with a discarded chair, an old table, a bit of scalloped wood trim and vintage porcelain electrical insulator parts. A few dowels, decorative screws, glue and paint and here you go, a cute decorative shelf! It is looking for a permanent home at Kechi Korner.
Old drawers, or more exactly, drawers that are no longer useful as drawers but remain in tact, call to me. If you have read some of my previous BLOGs you know a bit of my passion (obsession?) in reusing stuff. I come by this tendency honestly from both my mother and father. On my dad’s side, they just kept stuff because “I might need it someday”. And in some cases that was true. Usually it just meant that things stacked up. On my Mom’s side, the farmers, it was somewhat the same, but the German genes forced things into something useful. Not always in a pretty way but used none-the-less. Nothing and no one sits idle in a German household for long!
In both cases these things represented an asset; money and time that did not have to be spent. It represented frugality and, yes, in some cases a fear of not having enough since these were families whose psyche were formed by the years of the Great Depression. I did not know that kind of lack. Not even close. Cash was not abundant, but we had nice things. Mom knew how to re-purpose, up-cycle and re-cycle before it was a political statement. However, she did not abide clutter and enjoyed making things look pretty. Things in our home were neat and tidy.
So when I see and old drawer my DNA takes over, times two. It takes some skill to build a good drawer. I am almost in awe of the old kitchen cabinet drawers from 70+ years ago, that are still solid and sturdy when the cabinets or cupboards that once housed them are long gone. They are not elegant, built primarily for function: to put things in. So when I come across an old drawer it goes into my project room.