Remember the Sears Wish Book? Back in the 80's that was my #1 reference for my Christmas list to Santa. I would look through that catalog dozens of times and circle all the things I wanted. Pretty normal for a little kid. But what may not be as normal was how I also looked at the section with all the appliances, lighting and furniture, and dreamt about my grown up house.
I remember telling my mom how it would be a good idea for me to start saving money for furniture for when I was grown up and married and had my own house. She didn't think it was as necessary as I did. Of course I didn't really put anything aside. I spent all my allowance on cassette tapes and candy.
What I did do was find some graph paper and I began to sketch a rough blueprint of my dream house (from a ten year-old's perspective). I had only seen one blueprint before, and it was the blueprint for the house I currently lived in. My parents had it built and my dad referred to the blueprints a lot and showed me how certain things veered from the original plan.
Anyway, when my cousin Liz came to visit, she and my sister started designing their houses too. Of course we planned to live on the same street because our kids would be best friends and play together every day. We sat in the living room and sketched our house plans. They were never very sophisticated, but still, I had my necessities (this blueprint isn't actually what I made. I wish I kept mine though):
1) There was a baby grand in a large living room. I think it sat on a level one step above the rest of the living room. I thought that would be a nice touch and give it a bit of a “concert hall” quality.
2) A grandfather clock was in the entry way. My parents never had a grandfather clock but my grandparents did. I loved that clock. That chime was an iconic part of my overnight visits to Grandma and Grandpa's house.
3) I was into bay windows. I think I liked the idea of sitting in a window with a lot of pillows and looking out at the rain. Come to think of it, I still like that idea.
4) For some reason, I drew a minivan in the garage. I guess I figured I would be a soccer mom with 4 or 5 kids. I also felt it important that the door in the garage lead directly into the kitchen because apparently I would come inside with a lot of groceries and wouldn't want to travel far.
5) The master bath was HUGE.
6) The dining room table sat 8 people. I loved the idea of family meals and having everyone at the table for dinner. Oh, and there was a bar that separated the kitchen from the dining room. I could see myself passing dishes from the kitchen to my obedient children who set the table for me. (It's amazing how these mental images from when I was 10 come back so easily.)
7) Last but not least, there were secret passageways (I think I got this idea from that show Webster). Not only did the passageways lead to other rooms in my house, I think my sister, my cousin and I had a collective idea to have the passageways lead to each other's houses. We thought that would be fun for the kids.
Now that I'm older, I have different ideas of what my dream house would be. The minivan, for example, has disappeared completely from my plans and desires. And I don't need bay windows. But I do have other needs. Some of these sound simple, but it's only because I don't currently have them.
1) I want a bath tub. I miss having a tub – especially when the weather gets colder. All I want to do is fill up a “bath with bubbles” (as my nephew Jack says) and get away from the cold. And you know what, even when I'm married I think it would be AWESOME to have my very own bathroom. Is that selfish? Extravagant? I don't know. Anyone seen that Everybody Loves Raymond when he lets Deborah have the bathroom? That's a good one.
2) I want a big pantry. I LOVE to cook. I love to plan what I'm going to cook. I love to open up a door and see a lot of food on a shelf waiting to be prepared and feel like I'm set for awhile. Today I looked in my pantry and saw nothing that could be turned into a meal.
3) I still want a piano. A baby grand would be great, but even an upright would be fine.
4) I still like the idea of having a large dining room table. Even though I probably won't end up having a lot of kids, I love to entertain. So my family of four could invite another family of four over.
Yes, these remain dreams. Some are definitely doable at this point in my life. I just need to make room for them. Or move.
I was at Sutherlands a couple weeks ago to buy some potting soil. Every time I walk into a home improvement center I gravitate towards the appliances and the lighting and pick things out for my future home. It's still fun.