I’m Michele LaFollette, a 57-year-old wife and mom with a pink shed and some free time. Two years ago my husband retired, my only child left for college, we sold our home and bought one less than half the size. Armed with Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and the will to live what William Morris advised “Have nothing that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful,” I set about to conquer the mountain of boxes the movers left stacked in our garage.
As I unpacked the last of the boxes, I realized that I didn’t have room for many of the things I loved. I’d tried to make do with hallway space and shared bookcases and cabinets. My husband took one of the three rooms as his study and implored me to make use of my daughter’s small room. But, she too needed her space even if home is no longer her primary residence. And, so it dawned on me one day as my husband shopped for a tool shed that I could create my own space. It was like Christmas morning the day the workers unloaded the pieces of my structure from their truck. It was erected by day’s end. Plywood floors and open framed walls… a 15×8 canvas!
My daughter grew up in light pink colored rooms until at the age of 12 she asserted her own aesthetic… blue and beachy. I loved her choices, but missed the pink. And, so today, with my primary work of mothering completed, I have created my own pink space to begin another chapter of my life. It seems incomprehensible to me that my life is more than half lived. Although, I feel perfectly content with my past, I also feel an almost youthful exuberance about what my “mature” years will bring.
The act of condensing my life down to the “beautiful” and “useful” has given me the impetus to start writing again. And, it has also provided me with the guiding principle for my blog… only the beautiful and/or useful for you, my reader! If you appreciate stories about family and friends, the antics of puppies, the beauty of flowers, the challenges of life, the truth about loss and the company of other women, you will enjoy my world. As Audrey Hepburn said:
“I believe in pink!” I invite you to join me in my pink shed.
An update: I’m nearly 60 now and I no longer live by the sea. My husband and I moved to Sacramento, California, the state capital in November 2018. My new home is completely different. It’s nearly 100 years old and large with lots of small rooms. I claimed a tiny hallway office as my own and immediately removed the orange wallpaper and replaced it with pink, of course!
As a creative person, I continued to need an outlet but I found it difficult to write amidst all the boxes and all the changes in my life. I love interior decorating and so my home has served as my blank canvas for the past year and a half.
Now that I’ve found friends and made my home comfortable, I’m feeling drawn back to this space. The written word is something that I cherish. And you dear readers, are most appreciated. I hope you’ll come along and join me for another chapter in my life.