By KATHY LILJE
With the renewed emphasis on togetherness and family interaction, family rooms and shared spaces in a home have flourished.
Companionship and close family ties are certainly important. But have we forgotten the merits of another basic human need -- solitude?
Every woman should have a by-invitation-only spot in her home where she can go to have a few minutes to herself.
I'm lucky enough to have such a spot. I created, with the help of family and friends, a room in a once cluttered attic storeroom. I have a comfy, but old, chair in which to read, knit or daydream, a bed for quick naps and a desk on which to write these columns.
I used a crocheted dresser cloth made by my husband's great-grandmother for a window valance. I found a place of honor for art created by friends, including a strange, but charming, rabbit sculpture a friend made in high school. Art and souvenirs of my life have been freed from the trunks and photo albums and make the room a living history of the people who have called that space home. The scale model of our house my dad made is on display and appreciated daily. Photos of five generations of our family complete the room.
What I don't have is a television, a telephone or the Internet. This is a place to escape the world, not invite it in. My only companion her is my cat -- whose quiet demeanor fits right in. In this dog-free zone, he can get away from the stress of his day-to-day existence the same as I can.
I know not every woman can have as much space or time to herself as I do in my two-person household. The hubbub of family life was not so long ago that I can't remember what it's like to have kids and pets constantly vying for my attention. I remember when the simple act of taking a bath seemed to be the cue for all hell to break loose just outside the bathroom door.
But, there's a place for you -- just for you -- somewhere in your house. Maybe the best niche is where no one else wants to be. A laundry room is a great place to retreat. The rumbling of a washer and dryer drowns out a lot of noise. Your family will be reluctant to venture in lest they be called upon to put away a stack of laundry.
A friend once told me she like to was dishes because she had some time to herself. With her hands immersed in warm, fragrant want and music she chose on the stereo, she could daydream to her heart's content. It was a sure bet no one was going to come into the kitchen until the last dish was put away because they knew they'd be called into kitchen duty. She even turned down her husband when he offered to buy a dishwasher.
Now I wouldn't go that far, but there is something to be said for any activity which ensures a few minutes privacy -- even if that something is only that you can come back to your family relaxed, refreshed and ready to be mom again.
See you next week.
And another thing. We're thinking of featuring some beautiful front doors from homes in our readership area in a future edition of DWELLINGS. If you have one, or you know where one is, let me know.