Sunday, May 29, 2011


In 1994 we moved our family from a house I loved  by the water in California to Bellevue Washington.  The house we bought was large and we had a view of Lake Washington in the distance.  The house needed a lot of work.  It was full of, I kid you not, pink and blue wallpaper featuring ducks, sheep, flowers, stripes and flowers with lacy stripes. Each and every room was pink or blue or both with the exception of the one room which was completely paneled in dark wood.

Over 3 years time I stripped the wallpaper, painted, re-carpeted, put up some more neutral wallpaper on walls which would have needed to be refinished otherwise, bought  new furniture and accessories.  I also ordered a custom bedspread for the master bedroom with coordinating window coverings.  I found a fabric I loved and never could find a ready made spread that compared to it - so I went for the extravagant purchase.  About a year later the employer who had lured us up to Washington with many promises of stock, bonuses and advancement decided to sell the company, making himself very rich and completely screwing us.

It went from an being an exciting time, building our nest and settling into a new lifestyle to being jobless in a dark, wet  state far away from home and family.  Lawyers were hired, the house put on the market and eventually we made our way back to California.  I took the bedroom drapes with us.

On left the faded part, on right the original fabric.
In the new master bedroom, the bedspread went on the bed and I re-made the old curtains over to work with the new windows.  And when we moved to another, smaller house I did it again.  And when we sold our house and moved into a rental house, I made over the last remnants of the window treatments again to cover a valance above the bedroom window.

So here we are in 2011 and the bedspread is still on our bed.  The once bright and vibrant fabric I fell in love with is now dull, the quilting stitches are coming undone, there are holes in the fabric.  Each day when I make the bed I feel sad that it is no longer bright and pretty.  Now and then I look at new bedspreads but I think "I shouldn't spend the money on that" or "I'll buy a new one when we get our own house again" or
"there are more important things than a bedspread." 

But it always bothered me.  I don't mind not having expensive things but I don't like living with shabby things.

I realized that this had become symbolic.  My feelings about the bedspread reflected much more than just feelings about a bedspread.  After all, each time we went through a change, a move, I had taken the remnants of that lovely room and made them over to fit a new room and making over myself to fit our  new circumstances, too.

Maybe I needed to break free of this largely self-imposed stalemate.  Time to do something that is important to me.  Time to feel free to do something even if it is self indulgent because it will simply make me happy and give me an opportunity to finally let go of what once was.  Time to stop worrying what my husband or anyone else might think of what I am spending on now that our circumstances are so changed. 

 So I started looking for new bedspreads again.  I knew it had to be a certain kind of fabric - I don't like shiny and satiny.  I like a nice woven cotton.  And not too thick and puffy but not too thin like a coverlet.  And the colors should be similar to the original spread because I don't want to have to replace the valance I had covered, too. And I could not spend more than about $100.

And after looking on and off for about 5 years - the first place I entered (a Tuesday Morning store!) I found the right thing.  The fabric, the color, the price!  It was a king and I needed a queen, but I bought it. 

The new bed spread in the back of my car.
 I took it upstairs and put it on the bed - too big, but it looked pretty good.  So I found a store with a queen and set off to do an exchange.  I got lost getting there.  When I finally found the store,  I could not find the receipt which I had carefully placed in my wallet.  I really wanted the $40.00 price difference back in my checking account - but wound up with a store credit.  I got even more lost on the way home.

Please believe me when I say I do not get lost.  I have a great sense of direction and this was a huge aberration.  I was feeling such remorse about the purchase, the "loss" of the $40,  the apparent karmic overtones of getting lost.  By the time I got home I just went inside and left the bedspread in the car.

I left it there for about a week.

Eventually I got past the negative feelings again and brought the bedspread into the house.  I put it on the bed and while I don't love it the way I did the other one, I am happy to have something clean and bright in the room and it looks great with the valance.  My husband has not said one word about it.  I suppose I could ask but I am not going to.

When I put that faded old spread into the garbage I felt sad about leaving that last part of our old lives behind.  I enjoy having a fresh bedspread to make up the bed each day.  When we get the opportunity to move out of this rental house, maybe I will design a room around it - paint the walls and get some new pictures.  In the meantime,  my next bold step?  Replacing the raggedy towels and bathmat...

1 comment:

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

This is funny because I've been thinking of getting a new spread myself--but I can't stand to let mine go because I love everything about it still except its shabbiness.

I hope you get to do a room just the way you want to do it.