Two Things I Learned From My Sons…

Coming home may not go down in my family book of life as being the most uplifting moment of my career as a selfless mother.  Not that returning into the welcoming arms of my children could be compared to anything I’d ever experienced before, except perhaps their first entrance into the world when they made our lives complete.

That was the politically correct mother thing to say wasn’t it?

It was the material aspect of the return, having to do with possessions of which I am guilty of putting a lot of stock in despite the commandment not to have any “other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3), that perturbed me.  However, I do put God first and remember to tag Him along as I buckle down on my hands and knees to do Him homage and scrub behind the stove and it’s true I don’t have to have a clean, sweet smelling house to keep up with my prayer life but it certainly helps with the joy.

With the healing of time, a blessed month, I now recognise my sons’ cunningly, ingenious, ideas about housekeeping and interior design, implemented while we were away.  As a parent I am always happy to adopt fresh ideas that may complement my dyed-in-the-wool view of things, an “aha!” technique I learned while watching life through my four year olds’ eyes.

Life viewed through a 24 year old’s eyes has some enlightening “aha” moments too!

Some were not worth adopting or even living with for a moment, to this parent’s way of thinking:

The sofa butted up against the fireplace; to open up the already spacious living area.

The garden room-cum-mud room with added washer/dryer feature; the room is too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter to function as anything other than a multi-purpose link to the outdoors.

Kitchen cupboards crammed with china and utensils and wedged shut so their contents don’t spill out; all the stuff used daily is readily accessible on the counters.

A thick layer of dust on every surface; a natural wood and glass protector.

However two of the “aha moments” were worth adopting and were brought up to code once the boys decided to move into their own living quarters some distance away.

Cunningly Ingenious Idea Number One:

With my oldest son’s move into the house a few months after we left, to keep his sibling company and to improve the health of his thriving bank account, came living room furniture, the utensils that stuffed the kitchen cupboards mentioned above and the washer/dryer enhancement duo.  The two of them conspired to turn one of the downstairs bedrooms into a media room complete with bookcases, coffee tables and flat screen TV with surround sound and cable.

This room, where family can gather around the television without messing up the main living area, is a novel concept for Brits  like me who rarely have the luxury of extra space, but apparently an habitual occurrence Stateside.

Nicknamed “The Man Cave,” for obvious reasons, we found it to be a perfect spot for entertaining significant, but as yet non-spousal, others.  Close enough to the hub of the house not to be completely isolated and far enough from the upstairs bedrooms to keep temptation at bay.

We are in the process of tastefully converting the abandoned man-cave.

We have our brand new flat panelled television suspended from the wall with a bookcase beneath and a book shelf beside.  Surround sound is being whisked around the room by a brilliant hubs with wires craftily racing along the natural flow of the room.

The Apple TV is connected and we can have the technical savvy to use our iPods to command Netflix or Hooloo at our finger tips.

We are awaiting delivery from Ikea of  a loveseat and chair whose slip covers are washable and interchangeable if we get tired of the white.

Furniture and knick knacks from the old country are due to arrive any day to complete the space which we have re-nicknamed.

“The Nest” will soon be ready for habitation.

Cunningly Ingenious Idea Number Two:

This innovation was brought about by necessity, the mother of invention it is said.  The record number of days last year over 100 degrees meant our pool hovered dangerously close to boiling point.   The boys took the initiative and our temporary pool cover (originally  designed to catch the fall leaves) and strung the black netting from far flung trees in our field.



to vents on our roof,


thus creating a fifteen foot high awning over the simmering pool.  This little feat of engineering caused the water temperature to  drop a good 10 degrees!  Apart from the bright yellow guy-lines roaming the perimeter of the contraption they boasted a success we decided to keep…with modifications.

A cold front has helped the cause along these past few weeks and when hubs jumped into the pool for a quick dip this morning he hastily clambered out,

“The water’s cold…” he said!

For August in Texas that’s good news!

Perhaps our house could benefit from an awning too!


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