Posts Tagged ‘home’

It’s not always bad news…

Reason #39- Redecoration

Decorating and redecorating have been passions of mine for decades.  One of the most exciting things about moving into a new house (or new to us) is the prospect of a clean slate and letting my creative juices flow.  We’ve lived in almost a dozen apartments, townhouses and houses since we’ve been together, and each one needed décor.

It’s not just the end result that is satisfying, it’s also the process leading up to it.  I’ve never had formal training in home décor or interior design.  It’s something that seems to come naturally to me, somewhat like my photography.

Moving into our fifth wheel full-time was a real adventure in home décor, having to juggle space and comfort and create a living space.  That’s quite different from using an RV for weekends.  Unlike a house, remodeling an RV can be exceedingly difficult, with extra-small spaces exaggerating the features and colors.  Non-standard construction and materials can make any project seem daunting or impossible.

Some see redecorating as a personal project to design and implement, some as a relief from a boring or stale existence.  There are those who see it as a tedious task that might be slightly more than a necessity.  Others see decorating as a totally creative endeavor.  No matter the purpose, beautiful outcomes can be exceedingly rewarding.  It is well-known that functioning in beautiful spaces can boost our mood and reduce stress, so improving your atmosphere will likely improve your morale.

Similar to the “new car smell” when you first bring home a new auto, redecorating can give a room or house a new look, often refreshing a worn, dingy space you had more than gotten used to.  That new look can also be a springboard for inspiration in all your creative ventures.  If a room is decorated in an interesting way, you are more likely to spend hours in it, comfortably examining all of its features and appreciating the eye of the decorator.  It might feel like you have modernized as well, as dated decor can often become boring and “so yesterday.”  Remodeling can also make extra room or a construct a more exciting use for a space.  Change can be good, but enhancing the use of a room can be priceless.

 It doesn’t take an expensive construction project either — even repainting can significantly affect the look of the space.  Anyone who has seen their home space become cluttered will appreciate a cleaning out and refurbishing of the space.  Purging can be a difficult but emotionally rewarding task.

Last but not least, a competent redecoration of your home will increase its value, both monetarily and in desirability.  Whether you work on the project yourself, hire professionals or help an experienced crew, the result is sure to benefit you and your life in many ways.


To complete this discussion, I’ll quote American businessman Gary Hamel, who said, “As human beings, we are the only organisms that create for the sheer stupid pleasure of doing so. Whether it’s laying out a garden, composing a new tune on the piano, writing a bit of poetry, manipulating a digital photo, redecorating a room, or inventing a new chili recipe – we are happiest when we are creating.

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It’s not always bad news…

Note- just a reminder that this was written and published before my wife, Nadyne, passed away. I will be continuing to hit the road and visit family around the country, as I described.

Reason #30- Holidays

When I was a kid, especially growing up the eldest of seven siblings, holidays were the stepping stones of happiness through each year.  As soon as one was celebrated, we immediately looked forward to the next one.  My grandparents held huge family 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas parties and dinners every year, and I attended all of them until I was 17.

When I had my own kids, two of whom were born on Halloween (three years apart), I continued the tradition of celebrating as often as holidays came upon us.  It was especially nice when they were a national holiday, meaning I could get an extra day off to stay with my family.  Yes, Halloweens were extra-special in our house, with us usually having a double-birthday party with lots of their friends.

My kids grew up and I remarried, and with great distance between me and my kids and relatives, holidays became more of a meaningless chore than a reason to celebrate.  It stopped making sense for Nadyne and me to give each other presents for birthdays or Christmas, since we usually bought whatever we wanted without waiting for a holiday or other excuse to do it.  Besides, she was spending our money on me and I was spending our money on her.  Holidays, other than getting time off work, stopped having the importance they had when there were children around.

Now that we are retired and not working, holidays are back to being happy stepping stones through the years, though without the excitement they once evoked.  Being on the road, we love to visit all of our family members, wherever they are, but don’t necessarily wait for holidays to do so.  It’s more about the geographical timing of our schedule.  Independence Day fireworks at a son’s house or birthday dinner with a daughter are always something to look forward to. As a young adult, I enjoyed watching classic movies.  Holiday Inn (1942, with Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and Marjorie Reynolds with music by Irving Berlin) became one of my favorites.  This is about a quaint Connecticut inn that some popular show business stars buy and hold holiday performances in.  This is the first venue in which Bing Crosby sang White Christmas, and it was so popular that it spawned his movie of the same name.  I never miss Holiday Inn when this movie is on at Christmas time.

One thing about not getting caught up in the commercialism of each holiday is that we can enjoy the holiday itself.  Also, we are happy to take advantage of seasonal sales for our own purposes.  Why buy electronics in August when the Christmas season is around the corner?

One great thing about being in campgrounds during holidays is that campers are in a festive mood and are wanting to share good times with strangers.  Many strangers become friends and we love to catch up with them as our itineraries cross.  Thanksgiving in an RV resort can be wonderful!

Just as a sunrise can fill someone with hope and determination for the coming day, so can New Year’s Day be a day of resolution to be better, with wishes for dreams and ambitions, and hope for humanity.  After all, it’s called “New Year’s Day,” not “Old Year’s Passing Day.”


I’ll finish this topic with a quote from Canadian actress Rachel McAdams, who said, “I had a lovely childhood. For family holidays, we went as far as the car could take us – we would drive to Florida, even though it would take three days. I didn’t know we didn’t have a lot of money because there was always food on the table. I didn’t have a lot of stuff, but I did figure skating for a long time, and I always had my skates.

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