Saturday, October 3, 2015

Inspired by..."With What You Have", 10.3.15

Over the past few months, I've been inspired by a series titled "With What You Have" on the Assortment blog (one of my favorites),which began with this  post.  It's a subject I'm pretty familiar with, as having to be content with what I have seems to be a running theme in my life. When I was a kid, money was always tight in our household, so I would often make do with what I had- turning my closet into my own "room", turning boxes from the grocery store where my dad worked into "stores" or "kitchens" or "cribs" for my dolls and, of course, wearing hand-me-down clothes from my sister. As a younger adult, money wasn't quite as tight, but Ruben J and I didn't really know how to handle it, so in the midst of raising three kids, we often, inevitably,  had to make do with what we had. And now, with M. and I both working in professions that are not quite known for their high incomes, we know how to handle money, we just don't have enough of it to handle! So, here I am, mid-life, still finding myself making do with what I have. And, you know what? It's okay. The trade-off ,at this point, would be M. and I changing our careers and not spending every day doing something we love. For us, that is not an option.

I used to kind of resent making do with what I have, but now, I consider it a creative challenge and I'm pretty proud of finally being satisfied with it. As a result, almost everything in our home has a story. A few of which are shown below: (Please excuse the poor quality Iphone photos- photography is not one of my talents!)

This 1960's Ethan Allen daybed is what we use for our couch/sofa in the living room. The "70's couch" (what the kids called it before we knew it was actually a "60's couch!) used to be in the basement. Everyone would fight over it because it was the most comfortable couch to lounge on. I kept it in the basement because it was a bit of a quirky piece of furniture and had ugly cushions. Now, I embrace the quirkiness and I proudly display it upstairs  (with some linen fabric covering the ugly cushion!). It was a hand-me-down from M.'s dad and step-mom and it's kind of cool to look back at old pictures and see his family members (some of whom are no longer here) sitting on our 70's couch!

This console stereo has been in my family for several decades. I'm not quite sure when my parents purchased it (probably with Eagle stamps!), but I know that it has been around for as long as I can remember. It was always the backdrop for my sister's and my annual Easter picture. And I remember my mom having it on almost all the time and hearing songs like Joy To the World (aka-Jeremiah was a Bullfrog), American pie and Horse With No Name. And of course, my favorite, the Andy Williams Christmas albums. Tons of memories here. But now, in our home, it's main function is serving as a T.V. stand and it's doing a wonderful job :) 

My Grandpa Albers' chair. It's made of luxurious "pleather" (haha) but it is in absolute perfect condition. Again, a quirky piece, but it's part of my Grandpa's story, so I'm embracing it.  I'm not sure how old it is, but I'm guessing over 50 years. They took very good care of things, obviously. (Actually, most of his and my grandma's furniture was covered in plastic, which I always thought was super weird!)

And our table. This table has been in Ruben J's family for several generations.  I believe his uncle acquired it from his grandparents. (When Ruben J and I were dating, we used to spend many Friday nights, sitting around this table with his uncle, talking for hours. Very fond memories for me.) When his uncle passed away, it was given to his mom, when his mom passed away it was given to Ruben J and when Ruben J passed away it was given to Little Man. So I guess I'm really just holding this piece for Little Man, but that's okay. It's kind of crazy to think about how many memories were made around this piece of furniture.
So, there you have it- stories of just a few of my hand-me-downs and how I make do with what I have. Exciting, I know! There are more, believe me, but I wouldn't want to bore you even more than I already have!

I'm off now to work on some art, as I have the rare weekend day with nothing planned and nothing to grade. Have a great weekend!  Juli


  1. Beautiful read Juli! I always appreciate your thoughts and insights. Enjoy the weekend M