Living in a new house means that all the old belongings feel new again, too. The ancient plates and towels and dust pans acquire a subtle hint of gentility and no longer seem quite so squidgy around the edges. The furniture which over the years began to seem not so comfortable/cute/easy-to-clean reminds you why you thought it was a good buy in the first place.
Some things, however, do not transition well from one house to another. Window treatments would be one such thing. It would seem, based on my big box of curtains, that every builder custom designs their own window frames: short but wide; double wide and three quarters high; tall and narrow with a gap between; crank opening outward; sliding; tilt top opening; sash hung... all of which influences how you cover them. And cover them you must, or you may as well put seats on your front lawn and invite your neighbours to come and enjoy the show of little boys crying after lost Wii soccer games, or grownups cringing at American Idol auditions.
Such is the case with our front window, a lovely bay affair in the living room. We moved in at Christmas time, and Oma had bought us a sweet little table-top Christmas tree. It filled the window very nicely, taking care of the fishbowl feeling. When it began to list a little too much to one side, tt was replaced by an enormous red poinsettia which saved our neighbours from the sight of us behaving like fools during the Super Bowl spectacle. It, however, lost lushness as it dropped leaves and required watering (if a thing doesn't cry in this house it is just plumb out of luck) so it now sits shriveled in the garage and the empty window nicely frames our shenanigans for any and all who pass by.
Into the curtain box we dipped and found a suitable set. Very good. But there is the problem of missing curtain rods, without which curtains will sit in a puddle of fabric on the floor. So, after considering the options, a pursuit of curtain rods was undertaken. In a new and unknown town, this means a lot of toing and froing, trial and error. Does this particular chain store outlet carry the items found on the website? No, no they don't. Back in the car, drive to next place, try again. Who knew that curtain rods were a rare commodity? If a store was discovered to carry curtain rods, the choices were sure to be paltry. And if an acceptable curtain rod were to be found, purchased and brought home, it was sure to be a ridiculous contraption of innumerable moving parts which took 2 people half an hour to repack so it could be returned to the store whence it came.
Day two of the great curtain rod hunt entailed the search of six stores. That's one more than five. Go in, wander around, search, ask for help, jolly two little people along, go back out to the car (which involves the strapping in of two reluctant and wiggly boys), drive to five more stores and do the same thing all over again. But then, success at store number six! Curtain rods were found, purchased, brought home, and after a great deal of time, several tools I don't have the name for, two people, and a step ladder, the rod is up. The old curtains now look fabulous, just as if they were made for this very house. So not only do our old things look new again, but they help the this-close-to-caramel coloured walls feel exactly like home.