Sunday, November 25, 2007


I went to an anniversary party today for Paulo and Dre at Dre's parents' house.

They live in a big house with a big backyard. The yard has a pool with a hot tub in it, but I was more impressed with the stone pond with a fountain and two green copper herons at the edge and the stone patio with the stones all fitted together. Dre said this area had had a jungle gym in it when she and her siblings were kids, and that it took about twelve years for her dad to put in the pond and the patio.

I noticed in the bathroom that the hand towels matched the red and black bath towels that had a Chinese design printed on them. The foaming hand soap and the scent-matched hand lotion stood in bottles next to each other by the sink. In the living room, there were huge silk peonies on the coffee table, and there were ceramic pumpkins as the "fall accent" in every room. Granted, the house was dressed for a party, but the fact is, they had this stuff to set out. . .

When I see a Better Homes & Gardens or Sunset Magazine and I think, "That doesn't look like somewhere people live." But when I go to a house like Dre's parents', that is put together and spacious and pretty to look at, I'm still impressed - especially because it's obvious someone lives there, as I've been invited to come over. This isn't how my house looks! A few sets of owners ago included someone who had an eye for design, and it's clear he did some work on the place, including sponging a wall and painting a few other walls dark colors in otherwise light rooms. But now the little bathroom with green marbled counter tops and green toilet has purple towels in it. The blue bathroom has red towels in it. And we have no "accents" at all, though we have some art and photographs.

Our house is comfortable for us, and people tend to notice that we have a ballroom off the kitchen. It's about priorities, and we don't care about color matching towels (though the next set will be green and blue, if the rooms still are). We care about having space to dance in, so we do. We haven't been using it as much as have, or as much as we will again, but it's there waiting for us to get our shoes on.

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