Saturday, June 11, 2011

Memorial Day Remembrance

My one week business trip to Barcelona in mid May disrupted our family routine. We did not plan special activities for the Memorial Day long weekend. So the weekend was almost no difference from a regular weekend, until Memorial Day afternoon.

On Memorial Day afternoon, we worked on a small family project of reorganizing our family room via furniture rearrangement. This reminded me of my mother.

My mother liked to make changes to her home by rearranging furniture and decorations. I remember that we made changes to our two rooms in an apartment every year since my 4th or 5th grade. Mom would be an interior designer every time we made the change: she would draw her floor plan on a paper, the children would help to measure dimensions. Her main objectives of the re-arrangement were to make changes and to make the room appear open and large. She might change her mind a bit, or the children made small suggestions when furniture was roughly in new positions. We always tweaked furniture or decoration positions from floor plan until the room was felt right. Since none of us was strong, moving furniture around was actually a very big deal for us. It was worthwhile though - every time the move itself was an excitement, the effects were multiple - the rooms were refreshing and familiar at the same time; the changes actually made us feel a sense of renewal! and the room was cleaned thoroughly.

Lily initiated the Memorial Day project some time ago since she wanted to change TV's location from east wall to north wall of the family room. I started it by proposing to her to make the move that afternoon.

Our initial plan was to rotate furniture in the room by 90 degree - TV from east wall to north wall, love seat from south to east; large sofa from west to south. Justin and I moved the TV and sofas into their new position; every move revealed dirty carpet, and lost items. The carpet was vacuum cleaned and all the moved items were dusted off thoroughly. He then left for his friend's house for a project.

After the move, the family room felt crowded, smaller than before because west wall was empty and east wall was cramped. So Lily and I moved love seat from east wall to west wall; adjusted tea table orientation, moved end tables around. Now the room looked much better. Lily went back to her work. I stood there, looking at the new family room. There was still something not quite right - center of a picture frame and that of TV were not aligned, and then there was a large empty space at northwest corner. The alignment issue was easily resolved.

Still standing in the breakfast room, I was thinking about moving a plant at the front door entrance to the empty northwest corner. Lily suggested to place a big tree at the corner instead. A large green tree at the corner was like a final touch of a beautiful drawing, it made the family room look and feel ideal for me.

Lily liked the new family room very much. Justin marveled at the new family room when he came back from his excursion. When he came back to the house again after evening soccer play, he kept exclaiming that the family room was nice and cozy!!!

It was not an ordinary weekend after all: a pleasant remembrance of my mother, a great team work with Lily and Justin to make our home better.

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