• Brenda Kress

Cherishing Imperfections

As I walked to the kitchen for coffee this morning, I felt such a sense of peace and calm. My home is so comforting to me. Everything hung on the walls, from the family photos to paintings have a story I can tell. There is warmth and love in these walls and I felt it strongly as the breeze from the windows my husband had opened earlier blew through making everything feel so fresh and alive.

With coffee cup in hand, I continued into my backyard. As I glanced at my little fairy garden that has become overgrown, I was struck once again with a sense of peace and a little bit of magic. The yard that my husband so lovingly cares for is green, lush and colorful. The humming birds and dragonflies dance around – one soaring around the pool and the other drinking from the feeder filled with nectar. I love it here. I sat down by the Buddha fountain my husband and parents got me a few years back and felt such an overwhelming gratitude for what I have in life.

This was not how I saw it all this past weekend!

I was having a group over for a luncheon meeting and the majority had never been to my home. All of a sudden I was super aware of the walls that needed painting, the old and tired appearance of our cabinets and countertops in the kitchen, carpet that really needs to be replaced and some nicks and scratches on furniture. I had such a feeling of “why in the hell did I agree to have this gathering here?” The backyard is really beautiful, but I only saw fault in the tiles that are missing from the spot where the neighbors tree has grown under the fence and is now pushing things around a bit. Dang – repairing that pool should have been done before replacing the heating & air unit in the house last year. No one can see the “air” but they can certainly see the pool!

I spent the entire morning cleaning and trying not to go into stories about how I was going to be perceived because my home was well lived in and in need of some updating. My husband had brought me flowers so I put them in vases and placed on tables in hope of distracting eyes from other things that were not so perfect in the room. Outside we blew leaves off furniture and cleaned up the patio because that’s all we could do. There was no fixing the missing tiles.

All I could see was fault. Oh, how I should have already painted the bathroom – what was I thinking to wait so long? So many people do a quick tour of their home when people visit; not me! Doors were shut to rooms and no offer would be made. I couldn’t close off the bathroom, so that door had to remain open. Darn it!

My entire morning was spent in a snit and panic. Then, the doorbell rang with the first guest and then he immediately commented on the peaceful fountain we have near our front door. As he entered, he said “wow, I love your home”. As more and more arrived and the joyful noise of people chatting while preparing their potluck offerings filled my home, I relaxed and enjoyed showing off my husband’s yard, pointing out the blooming Dahlia that he so lovingly cares for because he knows it makes me happy. I felt a thrill when people commented with delight in their voice about my little fairy village hanging on shelves on the wall.

This morning as I again walk through the house, I don’t see the chipped wood or scratched walls, I remember my sons, who now have homes and families of their own, running and playing with their friends as they also raided the cupboards and refrigerator. I remember bringing a puppy home years ago and watching him grow and become a part of the family. I think of the many family dinners and gatherings we have with our young grandsons running around laughing, playing and having a good time. The kitchen is where my husband does his best relaxing as he cooks and creates. The yard still holds the sounds of boys laughing and splashing in the pool while their dad BBQ’s (now he’s moved on to cooking pizza in his outdoor pizza oven).

Today, I made a promise to myself. To remember all of this and that for each scratch, dent or place that is worn, a story can be told just like the photos and pictures on our walls.

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