Friday, March 02, 2012

I Prefer the Before Pictures

Yesterday, I was at the library, looking for a book (right, I never leave the library with just one book) to read over the weekend. I wanted something with pretty pictures that would inspire me, give me ideas, or just take me back in time. I found one by the editors of This Old House, and flipping quickly through the pages I saw pictures of the insides of old homes, specifically kitchens. They were old-fashioned looking kitchens just like the one I dream of. So I grabbed the book, along with several others of course, and headed for home. When I finally had a chance to sit down with a cup of tea, I opened up the book and discovered that those pictures that drew me in were the "before pictures." Sigh. They tore those kitchens out and remodeled them into more modern-looking, state-of-the-art kitchens, complete with shiny granite countertops.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person who wants a kitchen that hasn't been changed since the 1950s. For years, I've had this picture that I tore out of a magazine as an example of the kind of kitchen I want. 

Many of the items in this kitchen are new, but they are true to the spirit of an old kitchen. This is what I long for: sunny, cheerful and bright. I've always wanted a kitchen with a back door with a window in it, so I could hang a homey-looking curtain on it.

Yes, in so many ways, I prefer the before picture. Like many of you, I feel like I belong in a different time, and often find myself feeling out of place in this high-tech world of ours. I have been feeling very nostalgic lately, and have found through some research that nostalgia can be good for us. I'm often nostalgic for my own childhood, but I discovered that there is actually a name for my nostalgia for a time I never lived in: historical nostalgia. I hope to dig into this a little more. Maybe I'll figure out why I'm drawn to vintage tablecloths, aprons, and jadeite. And why I want to find an old farmhouse with an antique stove, sink, and clawfoot bathtub still in place, no remodeling necessary.

Do you ever yearn for an earlier time? Do you also prefer the before picture? I'm convinced that I can enjoy the blessings of my life and the times we live in, while finding a simpler way to live, embracing the spirit of the past.