Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Joys of House Sitting

Last week, my husband and I had pleasure of house sitting for my mom while she vacationed on Hilton Head Island, SC. May I state here, before I go further, that we would much rather have joined her on her beach-side excursion, but alas, work took precedence.

My mother's house has always been a haven. Walking through her front door is like being enfolded in a pair of strong, warm arms, inviting and welcoming. Everywhere you look there's something to discover: an antique mixing bowl, a collection of butter molds, an assortment of cookie cutters, platters, or dried herbs. Everyone who visits comments on the comfort that surrounds them, the distinct feeling of coming home.

It's the house I grew up in, the house my mother and father lived in together for almost thirty eight years. A labor of love. I see them in every corner, every room. They were always adding, subtracting, rearranging. My mom has continued infusing their own sense of style, continued adding some paint here, moving some furniture there, planting new gardens, stringing more outdoor lights. Dad would be proud at the changes she's made on her own and I know he'd like (and would have encouraged) them all.

My parent's love of old is reflected in every room. Every object looks as if it was discovered in an old barn or on the side of the road. Perhaps that's because some of it was found on the side of the road. My dad worked for Bell South and in his daily travels, he discovered many cast offs abandoned next to trash cans or in ditches. They followed him home and found new life in my mother's hands.

The stove is not an antique but it does a great job of fooling you into believing it is. The gorgeous reproduction occupies a place of honor in the kitchen and is a joy to cook on. Real flames lick the bottom of sauce pans and skillets. A gas stove. The way food was meant to be cooked!

Cabinets and cupboards are filled with lovely discoveries. There's always herbs or flowers drying on screens, paper towels, or tossed haphazardly into wooden bowls.

Outside, the grass is truly greener, both in and on the other side of the fence. Herbs and flowers abound with the occasional tomato thrown in for tasty measure.

The chickens enjoy looking in, contemplating the best way to traverse the boundary of permissible pecking ground and the temptation of the forbidden herb garden.

They are funny little creatures, prancing and clucking about, cocking their little heads this way and that as they eye my camera lens with curiosity and caution.

While I long for a home of my own, I do enjoy the nomadic life of house sitting. For a week or so, I get to live in someone else's life. Try their day to day on for size. It's fun and kind of freeing. However, it doesn't quite fit. It's too small, too big, a little tight around the neck, or the fabric is a bit scratchy. I'm still waiting for that perfect fit: comfortable, form fitting; the sweater I go to every blustery morning because it keeps me warm and gives me a bit more confidence than any other.
When that will be, I cannot say. Until then, I'll enjoy wandering and writing about these domestic adventures.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Status: Stationary

So I haven't posted any more India pictures. Why? Well, a couple of reasons, actually. First off, the files are HUGE and I haven't had a spare moment to make them smaller. Also, I posted them all on my Facebook account. Facebook apparently likes larger files so it was much easier to download them all there. If you're interested, just search for me on Facebook (Jen Chandler), request to be my friend, and I'll add you! Then you can see all the India pictures in all their glory.

As for my current status, I'm not exactly stationary as my husband and I have been recruited to house sit for my mom and sister this week. They are in Hilton Head. We're in Conyers. Life's fair, huh? But it's all good. For one blissful week we have a house, a yard, gardens, a kitchen with a gas stove (most delectable of all kitchen appliances), a pool, six chickens and a cat. Ok, so Ocean is so fat she could technically be two cats, but if she were to read this it may hurt her feelings!

I'll be taking some pictures of our Adventures in House-sitting and posting this week! Not as exciting as India (or Bora Bora) but, hey, you make the best of what you've got, right? And for someone who's been living in a garage for 4 years, house sitting is one of the best things we could be doing this week. Besides vacationing in Hilton Head...or Bora Bora...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

India Photos: Take Two

Are you ready?
'Cause here comes my second installment in the photo journal of my trip to India!
Enjoy ~

The front yard of Asha House for Children.
In Delhi, where we were, having a front yard is rare.
Seeing green is even more rare.
A beautiful tree overlooking Asha House.
An orange blossoming guardian.
Tipsi the Guardian of the Shoes
Tipsi is the resident four-legged companion.
She's quite possibly the sweetest dog I've ever met!
A Gecko.
He lived in the house with us.
At times I'd look up and there he'd be...
ever watchful.
First impressions of India
from the back of a rickshaw
(that's our driver's back in the foreground)

Down the street where we lived.