At a gathering recently, I was talking with a very nice woman I had never met before. It was the ordinary sort of chitchat exchanged when people are just getting to know one another. And then she asked me about my hobbies. I drew an absolute blank. Do I have hobbies? Did I ever? I shrugged, laughed and asked her a question that drew the conversation in a different direction and it wasn't a big deal. But I think about it later. Do I have hobbies?
I actually looked it up. A hobby is something a person does regularly in their leisure time that they enjoy. Well, if that is the case, my entire life is a hobby. I enjoy almost everything I do every day! Hey, I'm not retired, I'm a hobbyist!
I read, I write, I take photographs, I walk, I bake, I cook......apparently those are all hobbies! Cool. And while the dictionary didn't say so, I will venture that a hobby does not have to be done alone. After all, my sister and I hike and take photographs together at least once, nearly every week. We both enjoy those activities so I suppose those are hobbies that we share.
Tim and I enjoy some hobbies together too. We both take photographs, we read, we travel and explore. But one of the things we both enjoy doing the most is going to model homes and open houses. I'm not sure if you looked at a list of hobbies that this activity would be alphabetized with the rest, but I think it qualifies. It's something we both enjoy, we do it together and we do it regularly enough that I think we can officially call it, a hobby.
I'm not sure exactly what the draw is. I mean, we do get great decorating ideas. Those model homes are decorated by professionals. They make those houses look amazing! Which is of course, the intent. To make the homes they sell looks as appealing as possible. They give us great ideas too. But sometimes even just regular open houses do that too. With a house that might be similar to ours, occasionally we find ourselves saying, "hey, we had that issue too. Look how they solved it! Brilliant! " Or conversely, "whoa, our house looks so much better!" And frankly, there is a satisfaction in that too.
But also we have an endless resource for the possibilities that exist for our future dream home. Tim and I have been doing this for nearly a quarter of a century together and the entire time we have been designing this mythical house. The plans change as new ideas present themselves and as we have moved from place to place and as kids moved in and out and as we have grown older but when we finally hit that big lottery win, we will be prepared!
I am not certain how the people in charge feel about us attending these events but I'm fairly certain that at model homes at least, they expect a certain amount of people who are just looking. Everywhere we've ever lived there has always been an annual event called, The Parade of Homes, where everyone is encouraged to stop in and admire various model homes around the area. Sometimes cookies and little chilled bottles of water are even offered. Now if you didn't want me there, why would you do that?
We are always gracious. We don't touch anything, we are respectful and courteous, we wipe our feet before entering and leave wet umbrellas on the porch. We always mention the parts we like about the house, the décor and/or the floor plan or perhaps even the area. We try to be good guests.
And the best part of this "hobby"? It costs nothing at all. And for a cheapskate like me, that's like catnip to a cat. As hobbies go, not too bad.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.