As I write this, Mike is measuring and hanging our pictures for our bedroom. Mike is an immaculate measurer. He makes infinitesimal calculations to ensure that every last piece on our wall is absolutely perfectly symmetrical and level. Therefore I get a free out whenever it comes to wall hangings of any kind, because he thinks I’d do far too sloppy a job. We are finishing up our bedroom, now that we have to move on to cleaning out the closed-door rooms, and I’ve been thinking about home.

I take immense pleasure in decorating my home with Mike. I thrill at picking colors and fabrics and interesting knick knacks. But at the same time, I have an overactive guilt mechanism. The ascetic side of me whispers, “Maybe you shouldn’t be enjoying this so much.” Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish genuine conviction from my unwarranted guilt complex. (Does anyone else have this problem?) I work surrounded by people who have a lower standard of living than I do, and yet one of my favorite hobbies is home decorating, which seems so vain, doesn’t it?

But I do believe that this whisper I sometimes hear is guilt, and not conviction, leftover from the mistaken idea that any kind of enjoyment of wealth is evil (although I do my decorating on the cheap). (Here’s a good article on the topic.) Mike has helped me to embrace my homey side, especially since he highly values a wife who enjoys making his home beautiful. (He has a much stronger aesthetic sense than most of the men I’ve known.)

I’ve also thought of how much I have loved the homes that my mom and both grandmothers have created. All three of them are life-long home livers, by which I mean all of them have lived in the same home for 35 to 60 years. I have such wonderful memories of visiting my Grandma in Denver and my Grandma in Pampa.

(Not actually my grandmother’s house.)

That is Mike and my goal with this home. We bought a place where we wanted to grow roots and raise children and build memories. As a child and even as an adult, it has been so meaningful to me to have this sense of home that my mother and my grandmothers have created, that there is always a lovely, familiar, inviting place that I could go back to to be safe and taken care of. And I’d like to create that for my children.


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