We at last our in our home. Can we just say that we are a little excited about this? After eight months of moving from place to place, without unpacking our suitcases (we only brought four), it feels good to settle in.
We have been spending some time getting to know our neighbors and (are looking) look forward to living life alongside them. We have found the neighborhood tortilla stand (2 cords a piece), a group of kids to play soccer with (they use our front door as one of the goals), the tastiest enchiladas and a local pulperia (corner store) where Kevin can buy a big cola on the steamy hot days. We also have a great basketball hoop that the neighborhood kids are loving!
As many of you know and as I have said before, I enjoy making my home a home. I love decorating and find a lot of joy in making spaces feel comfortable, cozy and cute – on a budget. Although I personally “feel better” when my house is this way, I want our guests to have a feeling of peace and warmth when they walk in the door.
This has been an interesting point to process when we consider our desire for an aesthetic living space in conjunction with our living in solidarity with persons who are economically poor. There are so many needs right next door that it seems frivolous to hang something extra on the wall. There have been days that I had planned to head to the store or market to pick up a few items on my list and it just didn’t seem right.
Over the last month I have been reading “Living More with Less” by Doris Janzen Longacre. It is a practical guide for living in simple, sustainable and healthy ways—ways that keep the future of the planet, and the plight of poor people in mind. The book provides a variety of practical tips for living simply, one of them being home keeping.
Longacre writes “everywhere in the world, people arrange for some beauty, some expression of their ability to invent interesting subjects for their eyes and fingertips. The plainest cooking area behind a hut in Somalia boasts an intricately carved stool or colorful basket. Cooks across Asia encourage their charcoal fires with attractively woven fans. But starting with “What will make this place pretty?” only puts you at mercy of the latest magazine spreads. Instead, ask first, “Who are we?” and “What will we do with this room?” Designers call that form following function.”
I have been intentional about three things while making our home a home:
1. Reusing recycled items for decorating
2. Buying and supporting the local economy
3. Being creative with what I have
I am planning to write a blog post, a little mini-series if you will, about each of these items over the next couple of months. I hope that we can learn together and that you will enjoy what I share! Feel free to share your tips and comments with our other readers as well.