Enjoy a guest post by Dianna Overholt, author of Guiding the House - a homemaker's planner.
Arranging Furniture (And Other Opinionated Activities)
By Dianna Overholt
This story started because we couldn’t agree on where the clock should be hung. The baby’s name was settled within two minutes, but the hanging of the clock? We discussed it off and on for hours!
It’s one of those atomic clocks that are accurate to the second, also displaying the date and temperature. I suggested hanging it in the kitchen so that I’ll know exactly when to race to the bedroom to get ready for church, and that sort of thing. Michael, my husband, thought it should hang on the living room wall, opposite the stairway. “See?” he said as he found a nail waiting there. “This spot is superior because you can see the clock from five different rooms.”
“That’s true,” I replied, squinting from the kitchen. “But what good does it do if you can’t read the numbers?”
Later I noticed that the clock had reset itself in a different time zone and was now one hour off. We’ll find out how often he looks at it, I thought smugly.
One day passed. Two days. Curiosity won, and I asked him if he’d noticed the inaccurate hour. “No, I didn’t,” he answered, calmly. “I just look at the temperature.”
Happily, our own temperatures never rose, for after two moves in less than a year the matter of furniture arranging has become rather amusing. I didn’t think, when we married, that men had much interest in furniture placement. Wasn’t arranging furniture a woman’s leisure? My mother only rearranged furniture say, during every other spring cleaning, and my father was content to never move things. I must’ve absorbed some of my father’s attitude, because it was Michael who announced, “We’re going to change this living room around!” one Saturday evening in our second year of marriage.
It seems that he’s absorbed some of his mother’s love of arranging. Every time we visit his family, there’s a new creative furniture arrangement or a different delightful display on the teacart. Michael likes to tell the story of how one early morning his father went to the living room to start his day, and sat down on top of the record player.
The only time I ever really feel an urge to change things is when I’m eight months and three weeks into a pregnancy. Then, the trapping of every dust bunny and the rearranging of furnishings become critically important. Somehow Michael knows that this is not his time to voice strong opinions. He’s more intrigued with how I could move the dresser when I can barely tie my shoes.
My criteria for furniture or accessory placement? Visual appeal and coziness. Michael’s criteria? He likes a cozy appeal, yes, but handiness even more. That’s why a black phone charger resides on our mantle beside a dark-blue pottery jug. I tried relocating the charger, but the mantle was just too handy; Michael moved the charger back. So I’m contemplating other options. Should I twine an ivy plant around it?
My father has a habit with his cap. When he comes inside he tosses it onto the floor beside the refrigerator. Mom tried putting pegs on the wall by the fridge, but that didn’t work well. For a while she hung the caps in the hall closet, but then my dad never could find one when he needed it. Finally she put a woven basket on the floor beside the fridge, and as far as I know, it’s still there, catching caps.
I’d certainly choose phone charger furniture or bill cap furniture over a deer head looming from the wall. Neither my mother nor I has ever had to contend with one, but I wonder, I just wonder… If my mother’s kitchen sported a ten-point rack, would she use it to hang up my father’s caps?
Who is the furniture arranger at your house? Does it ever cause marital conflict and how have you compromised?
Dianna lives in the Ozarks with her husband Michael, where there's fresh inspiration everywhere: Five children, lost socks, atomic clocks, or dandelion bouquets! Most of all, there's Jesus, Who alone makes life beautiful.
Dianna is the author of Guiding the House, a homemaker's planner that I'm using and loving this year. If you missed getting Dianna's planner last fall when I reviewed it, they are now available for $9.95, while supplies last. Shipping is $4 for the first book, and $1 for each additional copy. Visit the Guiding the House website or email her at ozarkfamilybooks (AT) gmail.com