I am pleased today to welcome author Camille DiMaio. Her debut novel, The Memory of Us, recently came out and is wonderful. I finished it in one sitting and loved every word. You can buy the book here. Her next book, Before The Rain Falls, will be out in May of 2017. I especially love her guest post as I envision a California House, the same way she envisions her Florida house!
Don’t look in my closet.
Let me correct that. Don’t look behind the clothes in my closet.
Initially, it would seem well-organized. After years of being a real estate agent, I know that sorting things by color makes it look bigger, and creates the illusion that that I am more put-together than I am.
Behind all that is a different story.
Behind it is a jungle of household goods – towels, dishes, trash cans, shower curtains, pots and pans, and the like. For the most part, they were purchased in hues of light blue, khaki and cream. The colors of sand and water.
Why do I have enough things to fill a house buried in my moderately-sized suburban closet?
Because I have a dream of moving to a beach. And stocking it now makes the dream feel like the reality could be just around the corner. It is something that motivates me as I work, write, and homeschool my kids.
My husband and I have already scoped out some areas in Florida. It has low property taxes, no state income tax, and the gulf has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Oh, yes. I’d love to live there. I’d like the soundtrack of seagulls that plays in my head to hit my ears for real. The question is when.
I can’t move to Florida right now. Our four children are still at home – which I want to hold on to for every minute I can – and our business is well-established in south Texas. But I’m also not one to sit on my hands about things. So, if I can’t move to a house in Florida right now, I’ll start preparing for it anyway.
There really is a practical side to this. At least, that’s what I tell myself to justify the purchases. A couple of points in this regard: One – I can buy things on sale, usually at very deep discounts. Two – buying over the course of years means that when that inevitable and enviable day comes, I won’t have to buy a plethora of goods – wouldn’t that be daunting and expensive all at once!
You see, I told you that this plan makes sense. Right? Right. Just humor me.
I have gotten some great bargains. I bought a whole set of dishware for 80% off at Dillard’s when they were moving in the winter items. And of course, I’d want summery-colored dishes for my house in Florida! So, in to the closet they went. I have used Tommy Bahamas coupons to buy drinking glasses for nearly 100% off (I’m not kidding), and taken advantage of Buy One Get One Free offers to buy one thing I need for my home now, and one thing to save for The Florida House.
Every time I travel, I buy something small for the currently-mythical house. Someday, it will be filled with memories and mementoes, carefully cultivated by years of experiences with my family. I will sit with my mango juice on our screened porch, looking forward to our then-grown children and small grandchildren visiting and recalling the hot Texas summers in which I dreamed of this oasis.
But for now, when I pull back my clothes, I sit in my closet and lay out the things I’ve collected, basking in their future. Not because it’s “stuff”, but because they are the building blocks of a dream, and a piece of the dream happens every time I sit there.
And maybe, if you don’t think this idea is crazy, you’ll want to do it too, and you can join us some time under a canvas umbrella for a tropical drink and a nice conversation, spoken through salt-scented air.
What are you reading and where are you going?