Monday, March 31, 2014

Temporary Situations

Beach Cruiser Cottage by Paul Brent

Sometimes when I have been in a day trip to the coast, I have driven past a beautiful newly constructed house in the Queen Ann style, with pink color with white trim, like strawberries and cream. Since the house has a beach front, (which is not always the case with coastal homes) the road only goes behind the house, so I have never seen it from the front. I have not yet found the access to that beach, but I hope to the next time I go there. I found this lovely painting which shows a similar pink Victorian.

 

I have a few friends who are experiencing temporarily inconveniences and discomfort. Some are traveling away from home, others are families whose jobs move from place to place and they are trying to have some kind of life while living in temporary situations.

 

I can identify with the feeling of being a "camper" because my father sometimes moved us to where he was working, and we lived in tents or a camper or what was called a shack, used by summer people. We lived that way all year long, so after the summer people were gone, we had the village to ourselves and the beaches as well.

 

Domestically, it was always a challenge, and so I did not collect many personal belongings. When I got married, I had a Samsonite ladies suitcase in powder blue and it contained a set of clothes for church and two other changes of clothes, my letter writing supplies, a notebook, a Bible, personal care items like shampoo and soap, my winter coat and boots, and a few other things. My husband took me shopping but the clothing was just not suitable at the time, so I asked for a sewing machine instead.

 

That sewing machine served me well no matter where I lived, because it fit nicely on a table in a camper or on a picnic table outside. I used it in an apartment to sew quick curtains and furniture covers to make the place look more homey. In those days people were still using tablecloths and so I enjoyed hemming a square of fabric just to put on the table.

 

 

Another thing I found very helpful in a temporary situation was my correspondence supplies and scrapbook things. Although the beautiful papers and pens we have today were not available, (the scrapbooks were just filled with brown pulp paper and had ugly covers) I enjoyed using a fountain pen - they were not expensive - and what was called resume paper, on which to write home.

During those years of less than permanent settlement, I sent bulky letters to my mother, pouring out every detail of my situation. She in turn would tell me of her earlier days when they didn't even have running water. On the margins of my letters I doodled pictures and designs, and sometimes enclosed pictures clipped from magazines.

 

 

Today we have the internet where we do not need to feel so isolated, and I know that helps when you are in a temporary living situation. The internet certainly would have helped years ago! Going to like-minded bloggers and seeing their beautiful posts is like visiting with a good friend.

 

On the internet there is no difference between the park resident or the castle dweller. What comes through is your tastes, your manners, your likes and dislikes. Your personality and your spiritual values are more important. I realize many ladies post scenes of their lovely houses, while some viewers are temporarily without a real home, but it is nice they share their lovely homes. It is like being invited to a nice house to visit.

 

On visits away from home, I look for things to do that my hostess has probably no time for. I usually ask if she has any mending or buttons or any kind of hand sewing done. While she is busy with something else, I sew on the buttons and we talk. In a temporary living situation, I want to make life better for the hostess. At the end of my stay in a temporary place, whether it be a camping area or other place, I try to arrange to take anyone who has waited on me or served me in any way during my stay to an afternoon tea, or purchase a picnic style afternoon tea to take to them.

The main point is that in any temporary living situation, whether living with your sister's family while you are waiting for a house, or whether on a business trip with others, a Christian woman has an opportunity to be an influence to promote whatever is good and lovely. If you go into a temporary living situation, be strongly aware that people around you, even your family, can feel tense and it can cause disruption and quarreling. That can be prevented if you remember two things: do and say what is the most polite, and try to look to the comfort of others, not being a burden on anyone.

 

 

In temporary situations, you have probably given up a lot. Maybe you have stored or sold your furniture and packed away most of your clothes and valuables. There is one thing you must try to hang onto, and that is dignity. It is tempting to be more casual and forget who you are and what you represent. It is important to have a strong sense of what kind of person you are and why, and to maintain your manners and a sense of propriety. If you let down on that, you can become a victim of camp gossip and rumors, as people can sometimes build a kind of opinion of you and spread it. To prevent it, maintain good habits, dress properly and have a schedule, if possible.

I knew of a lady whose husband had to spend a few weeks away from home for a temporary job. She stayed in an inexpensive motel with him. Because the room was so bleak looking, she brought framed photographs, a pretty quilt, a plant and some other things. I remember visiting her there and noticed a tassel hanging on one of the doors, and a painted plaque in a standing frame that said "Home Is Where the Heart Is".

 

Temporary situations may just be having to live in a motel for awhile when waiting for a house to be ready to move in to, or maybe on a business trip where you will be in contact daily with others in the same company.


Keeping your dignity means dressing well, having regular meal times, and finding interesting things to do that

use time wisely. Others are watching you and will tell a talenof your life in these temporary situations. Take your water colors, crochet, reading material and other things with you, like you used to on summer holidays, and put your mind to something.

 

Hopefully, you will come way from your temporary situation with a notebook full of paintings or a scrapbook, a little quilt, or maybe some pretty blog pictures. Hopefully, others who live in close proximity will be looking at their ipads and iPhones and minding their own business, making it easy for everyone to enjoy peace and quiet.

 

 

 

18 comments:

Linnea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linnea said...

Thank you Lady Lydia! I found your post highly encouraging. We will face the kind of temporary situation you described next fall (2,5 months), and your post gave me many ideas how to prepare for that time.

living from glory to glory said...

Dear Lydia, Great words to help and guide while vacationing while being in someone else's home also.
And it is wonderful to see a bit of other lives and bits of their homes through blogging. I love to be reminded of things we may know, but situations can bring on extra stress at times in all our lives.
Loved this! Blessings, Roxy

The Retro Homemaker said...

Great post! We will still be living in a temporary place before we buy our own house someday. Can't wait! But before then, I make sure I make our home a real home.

MM said...

What a wonderful, thoughtful article. Thank you for writing it.

Susan said...

Thank you. I will be reading this many times and making notes for inspiration. You are a wonderful writer and you speak right to my heart. Blessings.

LadyLydia said...

Linnea, if you ever find yourself in the same situation, guarantee the next time is a lot easier and and enjoyable because you know better what to do.

Roxy, Retro, MM, Susan, I really appreciate your visits.

Alex said...

Yes, it's true, dignity can be maintained, even if you are temporararily in a situation not of your choosing. A home can boil down to two or three carefully placed, welcoming things, like a pretty cushion or a jam jar of flowers...plus INTENTION to make is a haven, as you rightly say.
I once lived in little more than a shack while my husband was settling into a new headteacher job.
It was in the outbuildings of one of the schools governers very gorgeous manor house! Insects didn't seem to think it was off limits! There was a drippy hole in the roof, but it was just about habitable. We cleaned and cleaned, put our few things around and made it ours (it was free, so saved rent) We started in August but moved out by the middle of Jan, as
it really became cold. We were so glad to get our new home, eventually, but I look back on those days as quite fun!

I did enjoy your thoughtful, and thought~provoking post,thank you!
Blessings!

Mindy Roberts said...

Thank you for this. I was just thinking the other day about our family's summer mission trip and how I need to begin preparing myself for the week or so with 5 or 6 people living in a 33' long travel trailer. We go with a group that spends 5 weeks out of each summer building a church building. Most people choose one week per year, although some are able to do more. We always go the first week and we love it, but last year I wasn't mentally prepared for this and really missed out on a lot of the fun of visiting with our friends because I had to retreat to my little house so often to get my bearings so to speak. This will be our 8th trip. My oldest son is graduating high school this year and has a summer job lined up and may not be able to come with us. That will be hard, but I've known for years that this was coming. I pray that he will want to join us as often as possible as he matures and will be able to do so, especially when he is married and starting a family. That will be bliss, won't it?!

Lynda Brandly said...

Hi Lydia!
What a thoughtful post! My daughter and her husband had to stay in her in-laws basement for 18 mos while they waited on the Lord's direction. They really grew in their trust for God in that time and also in their appreciation for things that they had formerly taken for granted. Thanks for your thoughts!
love and blessings~
Lynda @ Gates of Crystal

anonymous said...

Yes, I agree with Lynda, that is a very thoughtful post and you are wise beyond your years Lydia.

Its good to hear of all these ways to make bright spots in our lives during temporary situations.
Thank you for sharing.

Mrs. J.

Sarah said...

This describes my situation as we are temporarily living with my parents to aid them as my father goes through aggressive bladder cancer. We have a garage-turned-apartment attached to their house, and share a downstairs bathroom, so it can be quite awkward if we do not act as if we are at someone else's house!! It is true that you have to keep to a schedule and dress appropriately as if you were visiting someone's home, not living there 24/7. I find that when I let my guard down, it begins to feel like I am a teenager again in my parents house! I do not like that, as I have a husband and two sons now. I try to pitch in with cleaning up their house by vacuuming on a normal basis and keeping the bathroom clean. It can get close-quarters and tense sometimes, but it is all in how we conduct ourselves, for sure! Lovely post.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

> I seem to be unable to post a comment on your blog, but I write today to let you know how meaningful and uplifting your web site is to me. I am a wife, mother and grandmother, and your posts are the first thing I look forward to during my computer time. Your descriptions of home and ladylike dressing are very inspiring. I appreciate the time and effort you put into these posts, and am so thankful to you. I especially enjoy your themes of making things nice on a budget, and "blooming where you are planted." We were a military family and moved often, and I had to do some creative fixing up sometimes!
>
> Thanks again for all you do, it is a great blessing to many, and to me, specifically.
>
> Have a happy day!
>
> Kind regards,
>
> Peggy Carlson
> Fredericksburg, Virginia

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
What a timely article! We leave next week for 3 weeks in Nigeria as support team. My husband does the work needed and I support him. I have a lot of free time. I had not thought of setting a schedule for myself. That is a great idea. I have tucked into my luggage a crochet project, water colors, and Kindle. Looking forward to a change in my day there as this is my third trip.
Thanks for all you share.
Marylee M.

Jill said...

Lady Lydia,

This is an important topic because most of us have experienced temporary living situations. Edith Schaeffer in the book Hidden Art speaks about temporary living and how to prepare simple meals in a motel room or a place without a kitchen. She also lit candles and brought a tablecloth with her as she traveled with her husband!

We have some very happy memories of our times in missionary training with all our earthly belongings in storage. We had more time to get to know others because we had less to care for and there was no reason to shop or plan for things for the home or yard! So, it can be a great blessings.

Jill Farris

LadyLydia said...

Jill, amazing house a house full of things can absorb all your time. I get up in the morning and start shifting things around for whatever the agenda is for the day. I once stayed in a camp for several months and decided to do something every day as a record of my time there . I came away with a nice journal and a scrapbook and several stitched items.

Renee said...

I really appreciate this post because I have found myself in temporary situations quite often in certain seasons,traveling,living overseas for short or extended periods. It can be quite trying but it does take fortitude to keep a thankful patient attitude. Lydia I have read your posts for years and this is the first time I have commented. Thank you for sharing your posts are always so uplifting.

Shirley said...

Thank you for the wonderful encouragement Lydia. I will be leaving for 2 weeks to visit family for 14 days.
It always has potential to be stressful at moments.
I am praying to be a blessing:)

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