Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Boxes are GONE-Happy New Year

Living Room
I finally managed to finish unpacking the last of the boxes in the living room, dining room, family room, and kitchen the week before Christmas!!! It is amazingly wonderful to see rooms with art hung on the walls, curtains hung, and items in their proper places at last.

These photos show our combined living room-dining room areas, and look out to the front hallway of the house. It is really wonderful to have space available again for living in-not just storage
of boxes full of our things. Of course, as with any move, you find  things you
Living Room to Dining Room
thought had been lost forever in the last move, and then the challenge is to find a place to put them all over again!

As always, I am regularly told I have "too much stuff" and so I have started bins in preparation for the biggest yard sale of my life in late June. I am also being certain to sort and organize items that I would like to use in my studio projects in the coming months. As I unearth photos, tiny keepsakes, and letters, I am filing them into their appropriate "artist's book bins" in the studio.
Dining room-Butler's door to kitchen

Living Room door to Front Hall

As I look to the new year and hope of creative verve returning, I think of my mother and grandmothers. Their things have become my cherished things, and I must have them about me to feel at home. Each time I pick up an object or keepsake, no matter how large or small, I remember the day I first saw it, the day I first held it, and the rich sound of the voice of one of the women in my life as they tell me the story that went with the object.  I have my paternal grandmother's Red Cross Badges and membership card from World War I. She led a crew of ladies rolling bandages in our home town. I have my mother's birth certificate, in English, and her mother's birth certificate, in German. When I am in my studio and my hands caress the wood carving tools made by my great grandpa Peder Andersen after he came through Ellis Island to Iowa to make his home,   I think of his big red moustache and hearty laugh that I only learned about from stories. It is no wonder I became an object oriented art historian, for these objects tell a rich history of the stories of my family and keep me connected in a kinesthetic way to those women who helped shape my life, faith, and journey as I walk the path of an artist in our world.

As I continue to nest, I miss those I dearly love and left behind in Iowa and also in Cambridge. But just as I remember the stories of my mother, sister, grandmothers, my dear daughters, and friends, I realize that we are still making stories and the sharing of them keeps us connected. We must share those stories with those we love and are close to, and those who are alone and lost in the world. Reach out to someone and share your story and you might be surprised how  much it means to them, and how you will be transformed at the same time.

All will be well, all will be well, and with the Grace of God, all will be well.