What would you do if you lived half of your life in one place and the other half in another?
When would you ever feel at-home?
Where would you keep your “good stuff?”
For Debbie Arnold, author of the DiningwithDebbie blog, this describes her last three years. She and her husband live in Benton, Arkansas during the week and for three weekends every month they trek it up here to their future retirement spot on beautiful Beaver Lake. As a bonus, this gets them closer to their grandkids because her daughter and family have roots in Fayetteville.
Even though she told me that she and her husband are still in the process of adding to and making this feel more and more like home, her passion and energy when talking about her love of this space contradicts. To me, it already feels perfect.
“It’s very easy to work in, this kitchen. And, I don’t have to walk myself to death like you do in a large kitchen. When we found this place and started remodeling, I wanted it to be easy, casual, full of bright light, and comfortable.”
Perhaps the biggest burning question I had prior to visiting with Debbie was wondering what she would deem as a kitchen “essential” in a part-time home. After all, she is a food blogger and by definition is expected to have a plethora of gadgets, references, tools, and pantry items. At least, one would expect as much.
As we walked around her kitchen, dining, living room, and back porch, it struck me that there were seven essential themes.
She has a space that captures light and is wide open.
She has a space that is orderly and can be kept clean easily.
She has plenty of room to entertain the grandkids.
She knows how to efficiently stock a pantry.
She believes that gadgets must be functional, fun, and sometimes worth having duplicates in both homes.
She knows that when you live on the lake, you must invest in outdoor grilling and smoking.
She believes that herbs are essential.
|basil and rosemary|
The moral of the story comes down to this… when we think about life and our “stuff,” what do we really need? Debbie and her husband have figured it out.
Their part-time kitchen deliver full-time service.
That is inspiring to me and I hope to you as well.
Eat well, my friends. Eat well.
PS:: Debbie was a guest on the morning segment of THV11 News in Little Rock this week, making roasted banana and toasted walnut ice cream. In case you wondered, yes, both homes have an ice cream maker.