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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Scratch and Dent

{My kitchen window view}

I recently had a conversation with my mother about scratches, and dents, and all the little imperfections that come with life.  As I get older, I am coming to realize that my mother was always right, and that many of the lessons I begrudgingly learned from her, are now perfectly clear. It is true that you never really appreciate your parents, until you become a parent yourself.
Scratches and dents, and marks and scuffs. They are the proof of life. They are the evidence that we live in our homes, and cars, and spaces. That we lead real lives, with kids, and dogs, and red Kool-aid. (Which has been banned from my house. "Don't even think of returning red Kool-aid, you are on a restraining order buddy")
I remember talking to my mother, many years ago, about her old dinette set. It had graced our eat in kitchen since I was a little girl. A little girl who was made to sit many a long evening at that table until I finished all my food. When that dinette was finally ready for retirement, my mother touched it's scratches and dents, and could tell you the story behind each one. The back of one chair was worn to the bare wood. This was from a little me, constantly leaning my chair against the back wall. Another chair held a series of scratches and scuffs all in place, at hip level. These scratches were special. My late Uncle Fred had made them, with his beeper. (If you are under the age of 25 you probably don't know what a beeper is, but hey, ask you parents, they will know). My uncle was a legend of a man, who had lived wonderfully, loved fiercely, and died young. He was a cornerstone in our family.. Although he had been gone for many years, his mark was still on the items in my mother's home. The proof of life.
I now find myself having my own scratches and dents, and my own stories. As I dusted my furniture last night, I took time to notice all the scratches on my own furniture. There are the scratches on my coffee table, made by my little Monkey, as he drives tiny cars, and pretends to hammer, and lays out a feast of plastic foods. There are the clearly written indentations of numbers on my dining room table. This is from an overzealous 14 year old, keeping score during our Uno and Yatzee tournament, that lasted well into the night.
Then there is my favorite. The spilled wax on my nearly brand new dresser. It is barely visible, but when I dust, I can feel it. It came from my wedding night. (Don't worry, this is not a racey story, get your mind out of the gutter :) ) The husband and I got married at a park near our home, and had our reception in the backyard. As our house was filled with sleeping children, and my couches filled with friends sleeping off too much celebrating, we spent our wedding night in our bedroom as always. The Scentsy wax burner going as always- me half asleep, my hubs half drunk- attempted to turn it off.  We ended up spilling it on the dresser. We laughed hysterically about it. As we soon discovered, it was extremely easy to just unplug it from the wall. Oops.  It was just one of those things, we made this huge mess, and instead of freaking out, we laughed and made fun of eachother for it.
Those messes, and scratches, and dents, and scuffs are the history of our life.  I may not know where all the scratches come from. (I am pretty sure my children have Circuses in our living room when they are left home alone...(is that blood or chocolate...on the ceiling...???) But, I know alot of the stories, and the fond memories that created them.
I guess what I am getting at is, love your homes, the way they are. We don't all need to live in show case houses straight off the pages of magazines. That is not what a real home looks like. Love your home, scratches and all. Use your stuff, don't save the good china for when George W. and Laura finally come over for dinner. (Pretty sure my husband would jump up and down girl style if that ever happened) But my guess is, they have scratches on thier tables too, and chips in thier favorite coffee cups. Those are the history books of our lives. Live your life every day, use your stuff, and cherish the proof of a good life all around you.
Happy October, and Happy Fall.

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