Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Where I go to escape

I have a thing for summer editions of home catalogs. When I get home from work and sort through the mail, I'll place them to the side, to be savored after the kids have gone to bed. Then I'll lounge on our couch, a throw around my shoulders and glass of iced tea by my side, and gaze longingly at the deck and patio furniture, like this set from Pottery Barn.

I'll lust after trellises, like this $399 number from Grandinroad.

I'll ponder the allure of an outdoor area that requires curtains, like this scene over at Ballard Designs.

I'll swoon over planters, like this Horchow beauty.

And I'll stare and stare at the hammocks, like this $35,000 Hammacher Schlemmer work of art (handmade in Sweden, man not included, and is it possible to take out a mortgage on a hammock?).

I lose myself in these catalogs because, yes, they're beautiful and because they depict a lifestyle of lounging and lolling that's very different from my R&R one (Rushed & Racing). But they also take my mind away to a perfect place where there's no stressing over therapies, doctor visits, school reports and progress. There is no deflecting other people's intrusive stares or kids' jarringly blunt comments. Catalogland is not a place where a child could have seizures.

Come. Rest. Relax, these images say. Everything is OK.


  1. I'll split the mortgage for the hammock with you --

  2. I like to escape that way too, but I hate when I come crashing back to reality.

  3. Elizabeth: Awesome! I think our only little challenge is how we can share this. We might have to be a mutually convenient property to keep it on.

    And, yes, coming back to reality's not so easy.

    Where do the rest of you guys go to escape...when you're at home?!

  4. My kids are 13 and 16 now so I don't have the "after the kids go to bed" time to much. I do like to take a few minutes after they go to school and have breakfast looking out at the birds on the bird feeder.

  5. What a wonderful perspective! How INGENIOUS!!!! I wish I'd thought to approach catalogs in that fashion! I stopped accepting the junk mail entirely, not just for the "greenie" aspect but because I didn't want any tempting images nearby to make me feel inferior! I used to look at those catalogs and FRET because our tight budget would never have room for stuff like that--and I'm not talking about that insanely expensive hammock, either (though I'd take the occupant!). Everything was out of reach--everything. And I'd feel bad! The only way we'd have curtains outside is if one of the rugrats grabbed that old moldy shower curtain I threw out and hooked it to the backyard slide, or something! And then the snotty lady next door would be crawling up my ass about it!

    It's way too easy to settle into a paradigm of wallowing in a little "I can't afford that" self-pity, and that's what I did with those catalogues. I'd let a case of envy get the best of me...what a great lesson to start the day! Next time I see a catalog, I am gonna change the way I look at them and remember this essay of yours!

  6. I do this too! I also look at travel magazines and pretend that I've gone to all of the tropical beaches that are featured! Sad? maybe.


  7. Nothing wrong with escaping every now and then and this seems like a great way to do it.

  8. I like to escape that way too sometimes...but usually mine is a book or a mindless TV show!!

  9. Ellen, I think these catalog companies need to do a giveaway! Especially that first picture, I could totally rock that on our patio! LOL!

  10. The mortgage might be worth it if the man came with it.....

  11. AHHH... peace and tranquility!

    We have lived in our house for two years now and had such big plans for our backyard and patio. That is.. until, THAT part of the budgeted savings went to therapies and doctor bills.

    Thanks for allowing me to dream...

  12. I escape into music. Radio. I like that it takes me back to other happy memories instantly! I also am lucky that our little one giggles at songs out of the blue. I get a kick out of seeing which ones make him giggle. Then I slip back into escaping through the songs, especially from earlier years!

    On an escape related note Ellen, I've started my own stress management/escape for myself during Dr.'s appts, admissions, therapies (and ESPecially when I'm in conversations with people that are complaining about their active, typical kids!) - I escape and manage by visualizing taking a shot! First whiskey, then blue curaco, then gin, then raspberry sourpuss, etc., etc.!!! We have way too much responsibility to actually take a real shot any time we need one - but shutting our eyes and enjoying a shot really does make me feel better - hope it does you too!!! :)
    Even better...now I'll daydream that I'm sitting on that patio set sipping the shots!
    :) Rose


Thanks for sharing!

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