Thursday, February 04, 2010

Sentimentality, Splintered Wood, and a Wedding Gown

My wedding dress (circa 1992) is hanging on the wall. A splintered piece of wood, painted green, with the letter G on the side edge and the number 22 on top leans against that same wall. I set the board there near the dress, and thought to myself, "Guess which one I'm keeping." Made me smile. I am keeping the board. I am sending the dress to a thrift store.

My husband and I have decided to rent our second floor. These are challenging economic times for us, as is true for many, and that had the "when push comes to shove" effect this past December. In order to take some steps to creatively use what God has blessed us with to help us during this time, we want to share our resources to learn to live in community, walk in a more sustainable lifestyle, and potentially free up God's resources of time, space, money, and energy to better meet the needs of others near and far.

Glen and I moved into a large home with the heart intentions to share it. We've shared the home with our nephew, a single teacher I worked with, and a married couple remodeling their new home. We have always really enjoyed that, but we both work from home and got comfortable with the place to ourselves. It was nice having a guest room, and rooms for our offices. How often did we use the guest room? About once a year.

It was a pleasure to have the home all to ourselves for a while. I loved the view to the hills from my office window and the view of the sunsets and Los Angeles valley lights at night from the front of the house, not to mention the 4th of July fireworks in a distance.

Anyway, in December we decided to prepare to share our home again and clear out the upstairs in January to rent in February. It is February 4th, and our renters move in tomorrow. A young married couple with their first baby due in mid-March. He is in graduate school locally and they are originally from near San Francisco. Needless to say we are back in the saddle for sharing our home and starting a whole new adventure of sharing the home with a baby girl soon, too.

So the dress and the board are two items carried downstairs to make room for our future housemates. The board is actually one of my prized possessions. It is a broken end of a bench -- a wooden bleacher seat G22 from the bleacher outfield of Wrigley Field. It is old, since I'm sure the benches were replaced with fiberglass or something more modern soon after that game where I walked home with the seat. It had broken off somehow. I walked by, and claimed it for my very unique souvenir. I loved the Cubs back in the day. Third base side, upper deck, looking out toward that ivy covered outfield wall with Lake Michigan in the distance, sailboats blowing by, breeze blowing in, is one of my happy places. This bench piece carries major sentimental value and uniqueness. I loved living near Chicago and it remains my favorite city to this day.

I'll send the wedding dress on out the door. I highly treasure my marriage, but the dress, though I designed it myself and had a dear friend sew it, is only what I wore for the event. This bleacher is meaningful. My marriage is meaningful. The dress is not. Maybe I'll make a small bookshelf out of my bleacher someday.