Each morning that is over 40 degrees, I force myself out of my plush mattress, tie up my laces, and force myself into a quick run. Learning to push yourself into a morning cardio routine is a game changer; its one of the few things I can point to while living an already healthy lifestyle that really keeps energy going throughout the day. And now, living just blocks away from the shores of Lake Michigan, I can’t justify skipping the exercise or Mother Nature’s beauty.
After each of these runs, I unlock the door to a handsome gentleman, wagging his nub of a tail, patiently waiting for his turn to check out the neighborhood. Gizmo and I would both love to spend that additional half hour together, but with five inch legs and an already repaired subluxating patella, we might last a block before he hits his wall. These qualities, combined with a stocky midsection, gave him the apt nickname “bowling ball” when I first brought him home. At his ripe age of ten years, three hundred fifty days, he seems content to join me for the cool down portion of my cardio. And yes, I like a nice cool down after a mere 30 minutes of running. So sue me.
On today’s such walk, we went three blocks around a corner, met a Doodle and a Jug (Pug- Jack Russell terrier mix), and then I saw it- “ESTATE SALE” printed vertically and posted outside a home resting along the historic Sheridan road. Holding the doo-doo bag in one hand and a leash in the other, I decided I’d have to come back soon to see what goodies were hidden inside. Cars were already a line down the street, and the sale had just opened five minutes ago.
With a house this modern, you usually know ahead of time what’s going on. This is likely a moving sale, usually an executive business leader has been asked to move internationally, and there is simply no justification to bring the majority of their furniture, books, and other odds and ends along for the relocation. Now they get to leave pieces of their previous life to someone else, at a price that is still pricey but probably a quarter of what they paid for them in the first place.
Upon entering, the sellers have this family’s jewelry displayed on the wall immediately to their right, in a fashion I wish most women would use to keep their pieces organized. A large cork board set up, with each jewelry piece hanging separately off a tack as its own decoration. Lucky for me, my friend bought me a closet hanging jewelry set that has the same concept. That said, this is an awesome concept. What a great way to display the way you decorate yourself – a wall attachment, showing off all your favorite pieces. Much preferred to the knotted mess I had arranged in my early twenties. Suggestion shown below-
The front room displays the family’s treasured furniture pieces- an off white Crate and Barrel couch, an oversized antique chest, and an Aztec rug that appeared as though it had never been walked on.
Adjacent to the living room bestows a corner reading room, with bookshelves carved into the rooms structure. I’m a total sucker for these rooms, reading every title on the shelf. Over the past 3 weeks I have picked up all these books, and cannot wait to start them today.
One of my 2017 New Years resolutions was to read two biographies. I’ve been keeping an eye out for Martin Luther King, Gloria Steinem, or maybe an animal rights activist. But then I found “Yes Please” by Amy Poehler and took it off the shelf. We only get so many hours in our lives, and I thought, why am I worrying about how noble my biography choices have to be? How many people in our society sadly don’t read at all? I decided to purchase it and I’m counting it towards the resolution.
The dining room falls around the corner, and is covered with household staples and other décor. I found a white lamp made with a base of faux bone pieces that I wish I had purchased. Another one of those items you find while pursuing this hobby that you love, but just can’t justify purchasing when you only have so much space. A change in the lamp shade cover and this lamp sparks up any room.
The dining room is connected to the kitchen, which is mine and every city girl’s dream. When I walk up to God’s door at the end of my days, and hopefully he lets me in…I envision, after all the trials and tribulations of serving as an emergency department nurse, he will grant me with THIS kitchen. (And if I’m really good, Prince Harry will be sitting at the table, drinking Earl Grey tea, waiting for me to throw together my next vegetarian concoction for dinner. I am really banking on this fantasy- being an ER nurse has NOT been an easy ride.) The walls of the eastern edge are completely put together by bricks, morphing their shape to inlay the refrigerator, stove, countertop, and even a wine fridge. While I love a beautiful kitchen island, the marble countertop jutting out as a peninsula from the west side suites me just fine. The natural light displays this interior, while also presenting a view of the family’s garden and play area. I can only imagine how much the woman living here will miss this space.
Although I don’t end up needing anything from here, I almost pick up one of the two bamboo cutting boards. I don’t particularly need one, but after picking up my pineapple bowl from the other week, a solid wooden board would be great for a charcuterie spread.
The basement holds many of the family’s clothes, bedding, and other household items that are in seemingly good condition but unlikely to be necessities in their new home along the Mediterranean (or in China, London, or even a mere cross country relocation to Sonoma. Who knows. Isn’t is fun to daydream about it?). I do find an item I heavily consider for a great home décor piece. Each year, I seem to leave my Christmas tree up for an increasingly embarrassing amount of time. Usually I justify doing so because I am feeling too lazy. The truth is, I love how a lit Christmas tree makes my living room glow. Everyone loves the feeling of being cozy on the couch, chai tea in hand, reading a book under the warmth of your fleece blanket. On top of that, my decorated tree is so pretty to look at, with each ornament representing a family member, a friend, a future wish, or a memory. Staring at my tree makes me smile, remembering days of old when my mom would spend hours putting our tree together, spacing out each ornament with perfect precision, while simultaneously smoking a cigarette and screaming at our cat for chewing on the fake pine needles. Ah, memories.
Finally at a date too late to publicly disclose this year, my sister came down to visit from Wisconsin. In ten minutes flat, she whisked my tree into the box and locked it into my storage space, putting the kibosh on my wistful daydreaming. In her haste, she left a space seemingly too open in my living room, leaving me to ponder what to do with the area.
Today, I found a piece, or at least an idea, that may be able to keep that feeling when the tree comes down each year. In the corner of this basement entertainment room, I found a bare, silver spray painted tree. Standing three feet high, this was just a bit smaller than my miniature tree I put up each year, but still with enough of a glow that would make that space a little less empty for those non-holiday months.
My living room is currently more neutral, if this tree had been gold or copper toned I would have taken it. I’m still considering it, and for $5 maybe I’ll go back tomorrow and just pick up my own can of spray paint.
I go back up the stairs and walk towards the front door to pay. I end up leaving with just two items- Amy Poehler’s (sort of) autobiography and some recycled printing paper. I spend $2 at check out, and while I didn’t buy much, I think the savings is still worth mentioning:
Biography = $1
Recycled printing paper, 250 sheets = $1
Total= $2 spent
“Yes Please” purchased new= $16.99
Average price for printing paper= $11.29
Total savings= $26.28
I saved $26 by simply walking through a beautiful home, collecting decorating ideas, and buying two items I would have purchased anyway. Yes, please, and thank you Mr. or Mrs. Executive Business Leader for leaving your lovely items behind for the rest of us.