I have two new reading obsessions that have me caught up in two incongruous – and yet completely equally unrealistic – personal fantasies.
The first one is my sister’s fault. Every time I hang out with her she happens to mention once or fifty-two times how much she loves Design*Sponge. When she was here for Canadian Thanksgiving, she pulled up this before and after post and all of a sudden I was HOOKED! Tell me that this post doesn’t make you want to buy hundreds of broken down chairs and yards of fun fabric! In fact, doesn’t this chair of mine just SCREAM “before”? Maybe a little paint. Maybe sew a new slipcover for the cushion. Out of canvas I already have upstairs. That I stamped in fabric paint with home made potato stamps. Maybe.
Surprisingly, that isn’t the unrealistic fantasy. Oh no. Every morning when I read Design*Sponge I find myself dreaming of transforming my long narrow upstairs bedroom into a fun and funky craft room/office. I’m envisioning walls lined with fabric covered cork board cut into great shapes, and my huge drafting table filling up one whole end as a table with hand built shelves for storage under it and hanging lighting above it. I envision all of my craft projects and supplies organized and laid out for ease of use, and Jonathan’s painting supplies in their own bins and pretty jars on shelves.
And then, I read posts like this one and all of a sudden I want to transform my back yard into a hedged, vegetable garden, slate lined paradise. Wouldn’t a hedge look nice replacing the fences at the front and back of my yard? What about a rainwater garden along the back corner, and filling in the creek with large rocks and building a bridge over it? And a raised bed vegetable garden?
In the evening as I’m feeding cheesedoodle his before bed snack, I am reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I’ve started it seven or eight times, but now that I have it on my PDA, I’m almost finished it. I am wondering, however, why people keep talking about the pursuit of the “great American novel”. Clearly Atlas Shrugged deserves the title. Every evening I drift off to sleep with dreams of writing a novel that presents the synthesis of Rand’s economic and political views with the spiritual depth and insight of the Puritans. It would be the “anti-scarlet letter”, the capitalist, calvinist Narnia. It would be my one great work, and it would fund my husband’s seminary career, and is necessarily CLEARLY a calling of God on my life. (By the way – please tell me I’m not the only person in the world who loves Ayn Rand, Thomas Watson and Design*Sponge! Anyone? Anyone?)
These are my fantasies – the wild concoctions that float, dart and pile up around my brain. One afternoon I found myself in a reverie in which I sat in my fully renovated office/craft room, writing my Greater American Novel while negotiating speaking deals. I was snapped out of the fantasy by my very real son blowing a raspberry with a mouth full of sweet potato. The mackerdoodle was giggling crazily, the dishwasher was making some weird sound behind me and I was covered in a fine mist of sweet potato puree and baby spit.
I realized that I’ve renovated two houses and the whole time I was doing it what I really wanted was to have someone who would spit food at me from a high chair. I’m still reading, but right now I’m living the dream.