I spent the weekend cleaning out Danielle’s soon-to-be room and prepping it for her occupation.  This was a much bigger task than I figured it would be.  When we moved into the house, we had more room than we could imagine we’d ever have use for.  Over the years, we found use for all that room.  And then Amanda came along, and we had to start shoving things here and there, and piling things up in weird places.  And if you have kids, you know how it goes: birthdays and Christmas result in new piles of stuff to find homes for.  Only we ran out of space about, oh, say, 18 months ago, and now our house kind of resembles what might result after a flood has hit and receeded.

The option, obviously, is to get out and find a bigger house.  Luckily, “in this economy,” as they say, finding an affordable, bigger house is pretty easy.  The problems we face, however, are big: selling our house, because no one is buying, and cleaning our house up to the point where someone might not come in and say, “Um, was this the scene of a crime?”  (I often wonder what would happen if we were to get robbed.  The police would arrive and assume that the mess was due to ransacking by burglars.  I’m not sure if I could admit that the mess was just our own self-ransacking over the years.)

And so the third bedroom, formerly Alissa’s computer room – because we are multi-computer family – was emptied out, and in I went with paint, brushes, rollers, and a determination to get it done.  And I got it done, including putting up a ceiling fan, too, all of it by myself.  That’s a lot of work for one weekend, but that’s sometimes how it has to be.  I know how I am: I get started on something, then get distracted with any of many other things that can go on during any weekend, and never get back to the main task.  If it can be accomplished in a weekend, then it must be.

I wound up sore and very tired, but in the end, we now have an essentially finished room – a very yellow finished room.  It’s much more yellow than I’d planned on it being, but that’s how light works – what looks tan-yellow one place under one lighting condition looks sunlight-yellow under LED bulbs, apparently.  It’s a happy color, however, and if you’re going to have a surprise, let it be happy.

What’s an amazing and frustrating fact about all this is that it’s only now, after 9 years in the house, that we’re finally starting to live in and make it ours . . . just as we prepare to leave it.  For the first five years, every wall in the house was white, and then we decorated Amanda’s room, and now Danielle’s, and still leave the rest of the house plain-jane.  We have lived almost as if we were prepared to leave – things remained boxed, hidden away, ready to go.  And, in a way, it feels like we never really committed to it, if you know what I mean, and it shows.  I’ve made a promise that our next house is it.  When we move in, the whole house becomes ours and we make our mark, our presence, made everywhere.  Make, as they say, a house into a home.