Thursday, May 10, 2012

Making the Best of Less

Can you make the best of less? Absolutely! It just takes some imagination and a willingness to see things just a bit differently.

A year ago, a month in advance of the time when I knew that my income would plummet to nothing, my adult kids, grandson and I all packed up and moved across state to an area where rents and utilities were much lower. An acquaintance of mine called me an 'economic refugee', lol.

From a three bedroom house with family room, garage and a large backyard, my son and I moved to a two bedroom apartment with four closets and a very small patio. My daughter and grandson moved into their own apartment, which I'm so happy to say, is directly below mine. I love it! I still get to see both of them every day!

Yes, I had to pare things down – a LOT. The month before we moved was full of giveaways, selling things on Craigslist and weekly donation pickups by Vietnam Veterans of America. It was a lesson in learning to let go. One of the things that I kept is this dining room table and it now graces my new apartment.
I can just hear the gasps! I can hear some of you thinking “Oh my! It’s SO ugly” or “How can she have that in her place?!” And, I’d have to agree with you on the ugly part, lol.

When I was first given the table years ago, it was already battered. I refinished and painted it and used it for a few years when my kids were young, and I loved it! Then it went into storage. The table top has numerous deep scratches acquired during one of my earlier moves, but I still kept it.

I gave my daughter my newer dining set and kept this one. Why? I can’t afford to refinish it right now. But, it’s strong, solid wood! It has two leaves that can be added when I have company – or when I need space for a project (especially cutting patterns out for sewing!) and then reduced again to a size that makes sense in my apartment. It’s already battered, so if I decide to create something or do some collage or art journaling and a bit of something attaches to its surface…well, it won’t be a tragedy or cause a flicker of irritation.

If you can see the decorative marker or little splatters of paint on its surface, those creative additions were supplied by my grandson (okay, and maybe a bit by me too!) who loves to visit and ‘make art’. He can paint, color and create to his heart’s content and not worry about making his Ahmmie upset!

And all it takes to transform my table is a tablecloth (and hoping no one peeks underneath)! If you hear of an ‘ugliest table’ contest though, let me know! And if you have a d├ęcor or furniture disaster that you’re keeping around, please do share.


  1. Cynthia, i love your table its perfect for what you need and that certainly in my eyes makes it beautiful. Also Its got 'Love marks' from your family and grandson and that makes it extra beautiful.
    I have never had a great deal of money and know perfectly well how to 'make do'. I have never bought a 'New' sofa or suite, or car. I have always had 'second hand' and used to joke about me being called 'Second hand Rose' lol. But although I would love to know what owning a dishwasher is like, or having a new dining table is like, it has never REALLY bothered me because I am rich in many other ways, I have so many people who love me in my life and have been blessed with one or two miracles too so when it comes to the material things, i never worry .... nothing beats a hug .... which i am sending you now my friend.
    hugs June xxxxx
    thanks for a beautiful post btw

  2. I think that the history in that table is more important than anything. It's still in one piece, and you can always sand it and paint it, but it has all your memories and good times attached to it, so I say keep it! :)


I enjoy and appreciate your comments and feedback. Thanks for being part of The Bottomless Heart!