Thursday, February 02, 2012

Moving Upstairs

Have you ever moved back into a home you previously vacated? Did you find it uncomfortable or weird? I am in the process of reconciling the person who used to live here with the person I now am. You can see that the first thing I carried upstairs was my vase of tulips. 

Although only two years have passed and I'm thrilled to be back in this town, I'm discovering that I can't just shrug back into wearing this house with the same ease as when I left it. I'm sure it will just take time. I do know that I will be doing some more painting (not my favourite pastime, but so worth the effort.) I really like the palette I chose for our home up island - grey and blue tones throughout.  

I stand in the kitchen, an object in my hand, and I think, "now where do I put this?" After two days here, I'm starting to move towards a cupboard automatically, finding what I need without a lot of thought. I'll be comfortable here pretty soon.

What with moving upstairs (we were in the basement suite for a month until our upstairs tenants moved out), this week has flown by. Or maybe stepped by. I wear a pedometer and on Tuesday, counted over 15,000 steps, the vast majority of which were up and down the stairs, carrying items. The next morning my eyes went wide when put my feet onto the floor and stood up. My calves screamed! I feel like I've climbed a very tall mountain. They are better today, but I'm still doing stairs gingerly. It's so ridiculous that it's laughable.

So, continuing on with the meme from materfamilias... Part One is in the preceding post.

Here are the questions she asked:

1. What was your favourite film last year and why?

I'm stymied. I have watched films. Both at home and at the movie theatre. But I can barely remember any of them. What does that tell you about how meaningful they were to me? The only one that stands out is Schindler's List. I know it's old, but I had never seen it. I read so much about the Holocaust, the Nuremburg Trials, stories of escape and survival when I was younger that I just didn't think I could face the movie. However, my husband wanted to watch it, so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm glad I did. One person can make a difference.

2. If money were no object, where would you spend your next vacation? and why?

This one is easy. France. I want to practice the language I've studied for so long. I'd rent a house somewhere in the countryside, preferably somewhere central like the Loire Valley, and settle there for a month or two, taking trips to other sites, like Paris, Normandy, Arles, Auvers-sur-Oise, Alsace-Lorraine and more. Maybe two months wouldn't be enough.

3. Describe the earliest meal you can remember enjoying.

When I was growing up my mother baked buns every Saturday. They were the lightest, most delectable things, faintly speckled on top. Saturday supper always included fresh buns and soup - usually borscht (but a version without beets) that started with a meaty bone and simmered long hours on the stove. My mother still makes buns and borscht and I still love them.

4. If you were dividing domestic chores with a new roommate, which ones would you try to claim?

Cooking and decorating. I'll do the dishes if he/she cleans the bathrooms.

5. Do you play a musical instrument? If so, which one?

When I arrived home from school as a child, my first task was to change from my school clothes to my play clothes. One day, during Grade Two, my mother told me not to change. I immediately thought, "oh no, I have to go to the dentist." But no, it was my first day of piano lessons. I studied for many years, achieving the Royal Conservatory of Toronto's Grade 8. I studied further, but took no more exams, because I didn't enjoy the theory. I've played for church, for weddings, for graduations, but always with fear and trembling. I'm not a natural performer. But I love to play for myself. It's a great way to release emotional tension of all sorts.

6. When you're bothered by prolonged muscle or joint soreness that's interfering with your workout plans, do you visit a General Physician, a Chiropractor, a Physiotherapist, or a Massage Therapist?

Physiotherapist. Yes. They do wonders, but I've found that different therapists treat differently. It's important to find one that treats effectively.

7. What activities do you hope will sustain you throughout your 80s and 90s?

The same things I enjoy doing now. Physically: walking, Pilates, gardening, resistance exercises. Mentally: reading, cooking, handwork, writing. Emotionally: spending time with those I love, prayer, volunteering somewhere, laughing every day.

8. What was the first important car in your life?

My parents owned a white and turquoise 1956 Pontiac for many years. I remember rattling around in the back seat with my sister and later, with my brother. I remember my first glimpse of my baby brother - my father drove to the hospital to pick them up and took my sister and me along. We were all dressed up. We girls waited in the car (this was 50 years ago). My mother looked so beautiful holding my brother wrapped in a lacy white blanket. My father was very proud as he drove us all home in that car.

9. What was the most significant course you ever took?

Hmmm. I feel like I've been taking courses all my life. But two early courses stand out. Grade 8 French. I could hardly wait to begin. Miss Lamoureux inspired my continuing love for this language. Grade 12 History. Our teacher (whom I can envision and not name) had a way of tying the present to the past in a way that made the subject come alive.

10. If you had the resources, which elementary or high school classmate would you try to track down, and why?

Jimmy Bepple. Cute, with dark curly hair. I had a crush on him starting in Grade Three. It continued until Grade Six. He gave me a Valentine that I kept for years. 

11. Which chef would you like to have come to your house to prepare a meal for your guests -- or, alternatively, give you a cooking lesson in that chef's professional kitchen?

Laura Calder. I really like her unpretentious style. And she cooks French food. 

Congratulations if you've read this far. Here's the rest of the meme. 

The rules are:
1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag people! 

I'm going to be rebellious and not tag anyone, nor come up with questions for you to answer. Instead, I'm going upstairs (gingerly) to make some sense out of the boxes and boxes of fabric and sewing supplies.

Thank you, materfamilias for tagging me. I've enjoyed thinking about my answers. My daughter in Italy told me this morning that she enjoyed reading my random thoughts and wanted to know more. So, Bella, here's more!


  1. Congrats on the move upstairs. My calves would be screaming along with yours for sure! That's a lot of steps! It was fun to read through your randoms. I'm not a tagger either. Now I really want some borsch and buns!!

  2. Jimmy Bepple?

    I have heard everything now. =)

    Oh upstairs and downstairs over and wonder your calves are sore.

    I have found the discussion of moving back to a former home you've loved very interesting. It's not the home itself that is home, is it?! It's always the home that you create that becomes home. Enjoy the process and I will be surprised if you keep everything in the exact same way that you did before.

  3. Lorrie . . . I have indeed moved back to a former home, twice in fact. We moved from Quesnel after Grade 1 and after a couple of very short term rentals, Mom and Dad bought a house in North Delta. We lived there for a couple of years after which we moved back to the house in Quesnel which had been rented out. While we were back in Quesnel, none other than your husband's family lived in the North Delta house. After that last year in Quesnel we moved back to the North Delta house.
    Hope you settle in quickly and enjoy your time making your old home new and fitting who you are now.

  4. I must also say that I really enjoyed finding out more about you.

  5. Clearly you have your priorities straight; you know that moving the tulips first will set the tone for your new/old home! I hope it starts to feel the way you want it to soon, Lorrie.

  6. I remember when you first decorated that staircase. Trust you will not find it too traumatic getting settled again.

  7. I cannot imagine moving back into a house... although I've often wanted to do that! We are moving in May... building a new house... so I'm trying to clean this old one out right now. Loved the list....not sure I'll do it tho.. liked reading your answers!!

  8. I can imagine that you must have some mixed feelings about the two moves you've made in the last month. I hope you and your spirit settle back in very soon - I'm pretty sure you will!

  9. It must be so strange moving back to your old home after someone else has lived there. I love your black accents on the staircase...
    I remember my painful calves after helping our daughter and her boyfriend move to the top floor of a three storey walk-up. Oh the pain! I was astounded too...and it took me a good week to recover and walk normally.

  10. Stranger for me was seeing someone elses things in my home while they were leasing it. I thought their furniture was all wrong (I might have been a little snobbish) Before moving back in, we slept on an air mattress for a month while repainting and recarpeting. Some things went right back where they were three years before, other things I gave away. It took awhile, but it became a home once again.

  11. Yes...I have moved back nto a house I lived in previously. Times had changed...and we made a few changes in the house as well! I left the house I grew up in when I got married...and seventeen years later, I moved back.

    Wishing you many good times in your new/old house!

    We had borscht and buns for dinner tonight. Always good!

  12. Looking on the bright side of things, moving means, purging, cleaning and lots of exercise! And at least when you move back into your old space, you won't have to figure out where to hang the pictures!!

    I loved reading your answers to your questions. Good luck in getting settled in your new, old space.

  13. My goodness Lorrie, you are an incredible woman! I'm just catching up with the last post too. Wow! Such diversity and talent and all wrapped up in a very lovely and kind person. I'm happy to get to know you more! (As a physical therapist, I'll tell you to go stretch those heel cords, ha!)

  14. I am with you on the stairs. Glad you are (re) settling in! I know you will bring it to life again!

  15. Having only visited with you in the other house, this one doesn't look "you" yet but I imagine it'll have all your touches soon.

    The kitchen is vastly different and I know that's an important space for you. Do you think you'll transer any of your up-island ideas?

  16. You have such a lovely house I am sure it'll soon fit you like a second skin again. You are a brilliant homemaker, it should be a doddle.

  17. Your home looks lovely and spacious -- painting your way back into it seems a great way to reorient yourself into the nest.
    I love reading your answers to my questions -- and I hope you get a chance to live in France at some point.

  18. I'm late joining you in the 'big move' here - but whatever it's all about dear I hope it goes well and you will soon be settled. You sound like a busy family and I think you need to rest for a while!!

    Love the tulips on the mantel!
    Hugs - Mary

  19. Enjoyed learning some new things about you, Lorrie..... which is always a treat for me!

  20. A lovely post - hope you settle in soon, and enjoy being back in your house.

    Pomona x


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