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.