Sunday, May 17, 2020

Budget Creativity

It has been a few weeks since we have to stay at home due to COVID 19. Yesterday I painted four outdoor chairs and created a mini garden near our common laundry room. Last week I visited a friend from a distance, I stood in their backyard for practice safety measures.  I really loved the way she had decorated it.   Under the covered area they had a large dining table and a Persian carpet.  It made it look homey.

After few weeks of isolation I decided to make my garden colorful and homey where I meet with my neighbor.  As I was painting the chairs I realized that I have done this kind of project before.  Two years ago when I did not travel overseas I pained some of my furniture.  I planted flowers, bought colorful tablecloths added life with a low budget.  I believe it is possible to remodel without spending a lot of money.

Several years ago I realized that whatever I enjoy now I started loving them when I was in eighth grade.  That's the age when our base gets established.  I attended Mariamian Armenian High School.  On the first day of school I chased to the fourth floor and grabbed the seat near the middle window.  I wanted to have the best view with access to open and close the large windows.  The classrooms had high ceilings.  From there I could see the mountains in the southeast of Tehran.  Also, we used to buy Burda German magazine where I saw studio apartments decorated efficiently. Before sleeping I was daydreaming how I would decorate that classroom if it was my apartment.   It was a big room with lots of potential.

During my teenage years sometimes when my mom was not home I would rearrange the furniture.  I have moved heavy tables and sofas from one room to the other and switched the dining-room with the living-rooms. My parents praised my efforts instead of getting upset. Even my brothers didn't help me. It was a surprise for everybody.  One year my mom made sofa and chair covers with a colorful fabric, very 1970s style.  I painted the coffee table's top yellow and the legs black. 

Painting and remodeling with whatever we had become part of me.  I have done it several times in the U.S. too.  Let's be creative, especially during these challenging times.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Our Senses Making Connections

It has been seven weeks since we have to stay at home due to COVID 19.  I have been  taking daily walks in the evenings and truly enjoy them. 

Our brains make connections and buried memories come back by a sight of an object or a smell.  Few days ago as I was walking in Glendale I could hear the doves.  They make a special sound, it is not a pleasant one.  Yet it reminded me of my childhood in Tehran.  There was a big park in our neighborhood with lots of birds.  Every day my brother and the neighbor's son put seeds in our backyard and the neighbor's balcony so the doves would come.  The young boys could identify each dove and had a unique name for them. 

As I kept walking I saw different houses and some of them reminded me of a special memory.  Our brains make connections.  In teaching we call it text-to-self connections.  One balcony reminded me of my Aunt Lusik's house in Villa Avenue.  Her third floor huge apartment had a long balcony with a nice view of rooftops.  On another walk I saw a large tree with a swing hanging from one of its strong branches.  That scene took me back to Gorgan, a small town near Caspian Sea in northern Iran.  When I was very young we took a trip and stayed with an Armenian family there.  They had farms, tractors, big trees and a cabin.  Their house was very different from the buildings in Tehran. Even though I was very young I still remember that trip.

Yesterday I walked in a different neighborhood and noticed special plants that reminded me of another sweet memory.  We used to go Karaj for picnics.  Uncle Andik cut some of those plants and took them home.  After so many years one little thing brought back all that.

Last week when I wanted to make Armenian coffee the smell of it took me back to a famous coffee store next to Cafe Naderi called Rio. Every time we walked past Rio Coffee the smell was mesmerizing.

It is interesting how our brain and senses trigger lovely memories.  I am aware of this process and I truly enjoy it.