Saturday, February 6, 2016

Here’s to Homemaking! “Forget Me Not"

{If you just want to get to the point of this whole post, click here.  The many words below just explains how that happened.}

It all began in October.......A neighbor stopped by to introduce herself.  Crafty neighbor.  After we chatted for a few minutes she apologetically asked me if I’d like to have my home on the Christmas tour for the Junior Women’s Club of Fort Worth.  I love all things home so to get to share mine sounded like fun-- no apologies needed for me-- and after I asked a few questions, I told her I was a 95% yes, but to let me run it by Jeff and the kids knowing it would take some effort on their parts too.  After clearing it with Jeff, the details were put in motion.  Once December arrived, my new neighbor friend, Daley, scheduled an evening for the docents to visit with me about our home and to look around so they would be familiar with it as guests came through.  They asked all sorts of questions and my most repeated answers were, “I’ve had that forever.  I don’t remember where we got that.”,  “Oh, Jeff made that.”, and the winner—  “We got that off Craigslist.”  I remember sweating a little as I realized how much I was talking about our home but they asked SO MANY questions and I kept getting these “Ohhs” and “Ahhs” with ladies’ hands over their hearts.  It was all very sweet-- and puzzling.  But it made me sweat.  Later, I learned why they had so many questions… but I’ll come back to that.

The last thing to say about that particular night was the humbling experience of taking them into my kids’ bedrooms.  Oh. My.  And this isn’t the first time I have taken a deep breath and carefully led someone in.  No kidding— the last person I took in turned to me with gaping mouth, speechless.  It’s difficult for me to do— to not take it personally or think it’s a reflection on me — but I figure if I keep doing it, it will do me some good and I’ll get over myself.  As we navigated the piles toward the bathroom with more of the same piles- just a little damp, I assured them I had a Bobcat rented and would have it cleared out in no time.  They must have believed me because they showed up the day of the tour. Once Julia and Brighton cleaned their rooms, I packed up a bunch of their things {and do you know, it’s February and they haven’t even asked for those boxes!}.  Here’s what I kept getting from one of them, “Mom, my room looks like no one lives here.”  My response?  “I promise people don’t want to see “lived in” when they are on a home tour— not your “lived in” anyway.  Why do you enjoy the Pottery Barn Teen catalog?!  Because it’s all cute. Every square-not- lived-in-foot. Cute.”  Or some variation of that…..  Goodness.

Once the kids’ rooms were presentable, the rest was a breeze.  We all left the house and Julia and I decided to tour the rest of the homes in and around our neighborhood before we ran our errands.  My friend, Daley, had her home on the tour and one step into her house, Julia and I looked at each other and I thought- and I bet Julia thought, “What were we thinking?! Why did we say yes to this?!?”  It was jaw dropping stunning.  As we toured the four children’s bedrooms, it became crystal clear to Julia why we cleaned up rooms and even went to the trouble to pack some things away.  These rooms were adorable, playful, and creative with colors rivaling a Mardi Gras parade and an atmosphere hinting to the magic of The Secret Garden.  Her whole home was strikingly beautiful with an eccentric mix of eye candy pieces and family keepsakes.  And I kept telling myself it was okay that I said yes.  Julia wasn’t so sure.

Oh!!  So it wasn’t until we got to this first home did I realize why the women who had come over that night asked me so many questions….  They needed to have some things about our home to tell the people as they came through!!  Duh.  Things like, “This tile was especially handmade in a little village in Italy.”  or “All of their lighting came from Fort Worth Lighting.” or  “This is their great grandmother’s Chinese chicken coop.” or “I don’t even remember but it made their homes sound really fancy.”  I could only imagine right then what the docents were telling people in my house.  “This chandelier was purchased from Craig’s List and her husband sprayed painted it on the porch of their rental when she realized it wouldn’t match anything in her new home.”  So, there you go.

Realizing not knowing what they were saying was better, I survived and truly enjoyed all the people I met in the organization.  Each one was so gracious and friendly.  I was honored to be a part of the tour and to be identified in a small way with the Junior Women’s Club.  {The gift basket rocked.}

Who likes photos of thmeselves?!?  I was glad it was kind of small... Brighton said we both looked “weird and photoshopped.”  Grateful for a dining room which is filled with 10 of Ft. Worth’s finest newlyweds every other week! 

And here’s part 2 of the story— I got an email from Daley a week or so later and she told me the editor of Indulge Magazine {a publication of the Fort Worth Star Telegram} had toured our home that day and wanted to see how I felt about our home being featured in the February edition of the magazine.  This is what tugged my heart— she wrote, “I just loved all the romantic little touches and think they must be really sweet, thoughtful people.”



What do you say to that?  So all the things went through my mind— How cool!  That would be so fun!  Wait, is it okay for us to say yes?  What will people think?  If they interview us, will they print what we say?  What will the article really be about?  Call us crazy but we wanted to pray about it and ask a couple of key people their thoughts.  But when I spoke on the phone to Mary Rogers who would do the interview and heard her vision for the article, it was a no brainer…  And you will see why when you read it.

This room-- lots of life happens around the table.  My Mom and Dad made sure we ate dinner together every night it was possible which was most.  It might be 8:30 but we did it.  Those dinners are among my favorite memories -- especially teenage memories when the conversations meant something.  {Way to go, Mom and Dad!}

Meeting her was just delightful.  Mary Rogers wrote regularly for the Star Telegram for years and is now a freelance writer.  You’ll be able to read all that she found out but I just wanted to say, she was like visiting with a friend.  She jotted down notes in a tiny notepad, engaged my children and asked questions with intentionality— and made the whole process painless.  The time flew by and she was out the door.  Brighton stood with me at the door and said, “She reminds me of Nana.”  And he was right.  It was a very comfortable morning.  {No sweating this go ‘round.}

That dresser- my granddaddy’s painted white by Jeff.  The wall- pictures make my heart happy.  The pantry door- recipes/food are a part of a homemaker’s legacy and Jeff and I come from good ones  
This letter-- Jeff Sanders and his words charmed me in the most genuine way all of our days spent apart.  That song- Jill Sammons Butcher rewrote the music to the amazing words of “All the Way My Savior Leads Me”.  The only way to hear it is to call her up on the phone and have her play it while I listen.  The crosses-- each one representing the good God we serve and His tangible gifts of leading and loving us
Click HERE to read her gracious, poetic writing... though she describes me like my brother would describe a good fishing story-- much exaggeration.  I was humbled by her words about our home-- and honored she used her gift of writing on us.  If you aren’t a fan of the Sanders, I suggest you don’t read it.  If you know our quirks and mess and love us anyway, you might enjoy this.  We didn’t pay her to say these things, though I did drug her tea at the beginning.  {I jest.}  But as you read her kind words, you might think there's something fishy.  I promise there isn’t.

We just fooled her really well.  ; )

Though I don’t think there is any fooling Mrs. Mary Rogers.

Just like there’s no fooling Nana.

1 comment:

ally007 said...

what a fun story and how kind of the Lord to affirm your beautiful style with a sweet article in a magazine! Mary did a great job putting this story of love and treasures together.