In my previous post I wrote about the transient existence my Dearly Beloved (DB) and I have lived after we left South Africa in 1975. We didn’t particularly plot our lives to becoming global nomads. It’s just that circumstances led and we followed.
We’ve made more moves than pawns on a chessboard. The upside is the adventure of experiencing different geographical locations as well as cultures and cuisines… and I get to decorate a house approximately every five years! The downside is that a rolling stone…can give you a hell of a bruise! I borrowed that line from an episode of an All in the Family rerun. Yes, it’s emotionally unsettling not having the longevity and history of one particular place, especially in light of my fragmented upbringing of which I write in my memoir, An Immoral Proposal.
Most of our moves were work related, when DB’s engineering jobs led to three moves in Ontario, Canada and the fourth to the southern United States. We lived in some not-so-nice places and some wonderful scenic places – the house with the most stunning view being Clifton Hill, in Christchurch, New Zealand.
We spent nine years living in New Zealand that I’ve always viewed as a nine-year vacation. During our time there, we moved three times! From a million dollar view rental house, to the house we bought on Clifton Hill to the quaint cottage at the bottom of the Red Cliffs.
We regard our home ownerships in different parts of the world as being custodians of them especially with DB’s enjoyment of doing home-improvements. We’ve remodeled and renovated all the homes in which we lived, bar the one in Alabama, we had built. Whenever we moved to a new place, we’ve never taken the attitude that we’d just be there for a short time and we’d therefore not bother. We’ve chosen homes and remodeled them to our liking. With my love of cooking, the kitchen was always the first target for remodeling.
The kitchen in the half-a-million-dollar view house pictured above (the million dollar homes were on Scarborough Hill in the first photo) faced away from that fantastic view and was simply ill-designed. After DB got his hammer and tongs on it, it was brilliant. And that’s the view I had from my stove whenever I was cooking. DB is extraordinarily talented in home renovations. Wherever we’ve lived all over the world, he’s literally made the world a better place. At our present abode, he’s turned the old country kitchen into a beautiful functional one.
We never let the inevitability of moving hinder us from making home improvements or, for that matter, improvements in our own lives. As our motto to live by, we’ve adopted the poem Do It Anyway by Dr. Kent M. Keith. Even though we might probably move yet again in a few years, in terms of making home improvements for someone else to benefit, we’re doing it anyway.