Updates Are People or Spreading My Truth

An update is important, especially when the storyline involves people we value. That’s probably why we love franchise movies so much – we want another chapter, a way to stay connected to characters who are important to us. That includes those who are fast and furious as well as those who avenge us. See what I did there?

My story has none of those attributes. But this is my blog so I’m injecting an update anyway.

Almost three weeks ago, I returned to my home of 18 years after being kept out for 6 months. I have my own room and I’m cultivating a space in the finished attic for recreation.

My room is a little bit smaller than the master bedroom. The house, built in 1873, had two long second floor rooms, no closets, and several fireplaces. One room, the master bedroom, remains intact with the addition of a closet and the beauty of a fireplace mantle. Fireplace is not activated.

The other room was dived into a nice sized bathroom and a second bedroom. The bathroom got the fireplace. But what I get is the most modernized space, including a closet and lots of electrical outlets. The entire ceiling was replaced in 2018 after an unfortunate rain related disaster. And the paint from 2018 is absolutely gorgeous – it is like a nest of peacocks adorned in turquoise.

But all of my furniture fits with space to walk around. I’m not quite unpacked all the way because I have to figure out the closet situation. I seem to have a lot of clothes I’ve forgotten about along the way. But we are getting there.

One exciting thing is that for the first time in my life, my furniture is coordinated – not quite matchy match, but good. It is all wood finished with canvas bins. The night stand has USB ports. Even the TV stand blends with the other items.

I love this TV stand. It is basically two low shelves and a big bracket that holds the TV about three feet in the air. Biggest perk – cats cannot dislodge the TV. I do have to keep the base weighed down but in my state of partial unpack, that’s not a problem. I had no idea such delightful furniture existed until Sarah mentioned it.

Let’s go back a bit to the part where I say for the first time in my life, my furniture is coordinated. First, I’m not exaggerating. I’ve lived a hand-me-down life as many of us do. My childhood bedroom was a mixture of my parent’s 1940’s childhood bedrooms. Once I hit adult life, I inherited bits and pieces in keeping with my social worker income. It never struck me as an issue. Second, this is one of those things that always separate kids from working class backgrounds from kids who grew up middle class. Buying furniture new is an absolute privilege.

But I have only purchased a few new furniture items in my life – a kitchen table from an Ames clearance sale, a futon for a sofa that my dogs eventually gnawed to bits, and a mattress set from Goodwill (new) in the early 1990s. I bought a chifferobe in 2005. With my wife, I helped secure a succession of two sofas and a mattress.

But now, I have a brand new bed and frame, dresser, tv stand, nightstand and the chifferobe along with a blue bench and a small bookshelf I’m debating how to use. And it is all lovely. And updated from a neglected spare room to a lovely bedroom.

One down side is the lack of a window. Long story. So while I do wake up in the morning completely unaware of information from the sun, the darkness is excellent for sleeping. I sleep really well. My therapist told me that a darkened room is considered therapeutic for sleep. I could use another floor lamp to cut down on the overhead light usage, but basically I’m okay. I sleep well. I have a nice alarm clock to orient me to time. I have a big sleeping space with a ton of throw pillows.

The attic is still a work in progress – update underway. I have to lure my strong nephew over to carry multiple computer monitors and CPUs down two flights. I need to find a truck to collect a slipper chair someone graciously offered to me. And carry it up two flights. I need a desk chair. Lamps. And a smart TV with one of the cool stands to be catproof. Strength and wheels are not readily available to me.

The attic is the domain of multiple cats. They sort of spread out around the house in different formations. So every day I ascend to the third floor to scoop the many litter boxes, provide the shy cats with a snack, and do some more cleaning.

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I’m inheriting a 72″ cat tree to add to the attic. Cats like vertical spaces. I want the cats to get used to me in their space and so I am gifting them a tree. Sort of. I truly think they like the rearranging my friends did to create wide open spaces.

The cats? Oh, they are delightful. The second floor supper station is outside my door so I get a lot of drop by visits. I have a cat bed under my bed (acquired through Buy Not a Thing) and a small bed on top of my covers. Vertical space, people. Update accordingly.

They follow me around the house, getting unduly excited when I pack my bag for the Fort Faulsey visit. I make sure to offer a rigorous round of “get the red dot” and “kill the rainbow wand” daily. It goes much more amusingly when multiple cats are involved. I give them their lunch and later their supper.

The outside cats have been well cared for by the greatest neighbor in the world, Marie. She agreed to watch them in August when we took a trip and that turned into a six month stint. She never complained. She did reorganize things so I’m still getting used to the placements. I like the changes she’s made. She’s organized, efficient, and resourceful.

The colony cats treat me the same as always. They just want to eat. Sadly, a few cats disappeared, likely run over by a car. But a bright update note is that we have no kittens. Everyone in the colony has been spayed or neutered. Knock on wood.

I feel relatively comfortable in the house. We divide the common areas so I’m in the living room during the day and upstairs at night. It is literally like living with my former roommates.

My days are pretty structured – wake up, unload/reload the dishwasher, start the coffee, feed the backyard cats, drink coffee and watch General Hospital, therapy 3x week, then feed the Fort Faulsey colony. Feed the attic cats lunch. Do some chores or blogging or such. Get my dinner sorted out for about 5:30. Sometimes I eat in the kitchen, sometimes my bedroom. Go upstairs and watch TV, blog, etc. Feed the cats their supper around 9 PM, watch some more TV, and go to bed. I scoop half of the litter boxes every day. And then of course laundry, household chores, etc.

So my life has a new normal. I feel motivated to stay active and focused on my tasks. Sometimes I simply bask in the simple joy of being at home. Using my cup with coffee made in my press. With my things around me. 18 years is a long time to connect to a space. I lived in my parents home for 17 years, so this is my truest home. One I chose to help build, where I found refuge nd solace, and where I felt loved. Many of my best memories are wrapped up in that home.

I am unsure what comes next. But that’s certainly been the case for the past eight months or so. I still need help, I always will. But I am not helpless because of that dependency. It actually makes me stronger.

Stay tuned for a future update.


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