Thursday, April 1, 2010

Renovating under the Tuscan sun...

...Well, more like the Carolinian sun. Today was not a crafting day for me. I have been trying to get my house together. My parents coming in next week for their first visit to our house since we moved away from Florida. My scrapping stuff has been stashed for a week or two. And while the house is not in need of renovation or anything like that, there have still been many boxes left laying around since our move and the wedding. I thought I would never even get close to finally having everything unpacked and sorted, but I feel by the end of the weekend I will  have accomplished that goal.

Currently there is a menagerie of "stuff" laying in the living room waiting to be carried off to their new homes. Office supplies, paperwork to file, items to donate, and others to be trashed, shredded, or recycled. There are books to be shelved.  Fabric swatches to be coordinated for sewing projects. Memorabilia to be riffled through and reconsidered. I can't believe all the stuff we have collected through the years. And most of it is my stuff!!

When we decided to move from Florida to South Carolina, DH was very good about getting rid of things. He left Florida with very little. We kept all my furniture and household  items as they were  in better shape or newer. All the holiday decorations and yard tools are things we just don't need here in our current living situation, but we still own for the future. We have unloaded furniture and household items galore. Some of our older things were replaced by wedding presents. So for a while we had doubles for the kitchen, like coffee pots, sets of pans, silverware, etc.The combination of two households worth of bath towels has caused my linen closet to look like it will explode at any given moment. But finally the house is beginning to look more like a home than ever before.

I have been really having a hard time parting with the "things" I have collected over the years. I have things that I do not need, but I might someday. And every piece of everything, in my mind at least, has a story and a purpose in my life. It is almost like these are the things that are the definition of me. I place things in the boxes to go, and then an hour or so later, go back and reconsider the items. Should I keep it? Will I miss it? Luckily for me, most things have returned to the exiting boxes.

As fate would have it, today I watched Under the Tuscan Sun with Diane Lane. After surviving a tense divorce, Frances (Lane) leaves California for a vacation in Tuscany. She gets caught up in the Italian life style that appears to be more casual and carefree than her own. She stays on in Tuscany and begins the task of renovating both a villa she has purchased and her life. She rids herself of mementos and possessions that remind her of the person she was when she was married. She begins learning Italian, cooking, and home renovation all while writing her own autobiography. In the end, Frances learns that she needs to rely upon herself. She realizes that she has grown, becoming more accepting of others and realizing that she can survive this chapter of her life. She does not need to hold onto items and memories from the past to live a happy life.

Funny, I guess I needed to be reminded of that lesson myself.

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