December 19, 2002

LifeStyles Redux

I appreciated responses on the "Lifestyles" ramble yesterday (still open for more comments btw). I have continued to think about why Ann and I live the way we do, looking at the bigger picture, for a year's-end retrospective, I suppose.

To no small degree, spending for interior environment has been affected by the fact that: we have moved in 1987, 1989, 1991, 1997 and 2000; and have had a child, or two, in college from 1991 to 2002, also including some overseas travel; and we are severely debt-averse and disgustingly pay-as-you-go practical. And oh dear my, in the last three years we have purchased for This Old House all new windows, a foundation, indoor plumbing and wiring, a lovely septic system, 350 sq feet of new construction, landscaping, new paint, and a partridge in a pear tree.

That said, as you suggest, Pascale, we need to 'invest' in a few more objects of beauty and creative joy in our home, having gotten past most of our larger expenditures for kids and house. We have a number of small crafty things from local artists from Floyd and from other former abodes. But now I, even I the tightest of wads, have been saying "now that the kids are grown, let's splurge on some art that we both really love, for our bare walls". So. Let's see: yellow pages....Art Galleries in southwest Virginia...hmmmm.... It might be easier to come up with a glorious insect collection for our walls, like Artichoke Heart (lets see some pictures of THOSE one of these days, AH, eh?)

Another thing I am realizing along these lines is that our 'preference' for city or country living also have been dictated by our place along the age continuum and the roles that this carries with it. It was in fact much easier, if not more congenial, to live in the heart of a small town when our son was in high school. As Cody mentions, there is a charm to proximity to the hum of human activity. It was immensely more convenient to live near things during the youth-activity taxi-service years before the driver's license age. Now, the kids are gone, and our deeper lifestyle needs can be realized: living simply in the country, far from 'things', noise and hurry. For those of you who are energized by city life now in your child-rearing years, you may find your tastes and preferences will change as your parenting circumstances do.

I'm hoping to find a balance between two 'goods': seclusion, peace and proximity to things natural and a simple lifestyle; and community, belonging and involvement and the building of more lasting relationships. Our physical surroundings within and without are compatible with our needs and restrained wants these days. And finally, after almost six years here, there is hope of fleshing out our lives by relationship with others. The lifestyle question just happened to come up in sorting through all that, I can't say exactly why. But isn't that the luxury of blogging? I can leave this entry topic unresolved, with loose ends and no point at all, with no penalty incurred. Except maybe losing readers. Hello? Anyone?

Posted by fred1st at December 19, 2002 05:42 AM
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