On evenings with no meetings, events or house guests, all of which have occupied every night this week, I walk to the other end of the block after work to visit my tiny house-to-be.
I’m usually at the job site at least once during the day to check on what’s happening and answer questions. The place is full of noise, activity and people working. All of which are good.
But in the evening, it’s is quiet, all mine. I wander at my leisure and admire the day’s progress. I pause to get the feel of a room and imagine myself living there.
This evening, I finally had time to stroll down for a visit. It was a special pleasure to follow the path along Ditch Creek, because this little urban creek, dry for ten months from July until May, is running again, burbling along.
Our terrible drought isn’t over, but an inch of rain in May rejuvenated the springs that feed the creek. It feels like life is returning to my world with its flow.
I’m still not finished with the finish work on the current house, the wonderful place my love built for us, but I can see completing the last major project in the new few weeks. That makes it easier to enjoy the project of the new house.
As the tiny house takes shape inside, I’ve begun to envision precisely where furniture, art, clothing, linens, pots and pans and kitchen stuff, books, and other special things will go.
In particular, I’m getting clearer about how much more downsizing I need to do to be able to comfortably fit into 725 square feet of house and 384 square feet of studio/guest space.
(“Comfortable” by my definition means “no clutter.”)
For instance, my current kitchen boasts 26 linear feet of counter space (including the double sink and five-burner gas range top) with cabinets below and above (all except the 5 feet of breakfast bar/peninsula).
My new kitchen will have 12 feet of counter space with cabinets below and open shelving above, plus 4 feet of kitchen island/breakfast bar with cabinets below.
It’s a different configuration, so comparing the two is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. (Yes, they’re both fruit, but….) I figure the new kitchen will have about half the storage and counter space as this one.
It’s well-designed, so I’m not worried. Still, I need to decide which of my kitchen things and dishes I really want to take with me, and find good homes for those that aren’t necessary and/or favorites.
As I sort through, I’m setting aside some special family things for Molly and my brother Bill’s three girls. I’ve put aside a few things for friends too. Mostly though, I’m sorting what I won’t move into two categories: worth taking to Free the Monkey, an excellent local consignment shop, or still useful but better donated to Caring and Sharing, the Goodwill-type store.
It’s not as difficult as I thought it might be to whittle down what Richard and I accumulated over the years. I work at it a little at a time. When I can’t make a decision, I envision my new kitchen as it will look, and then imagine placing the particular object there. If I can’t see it, it probably doesn’t belong.
If I still can’t decide, I either set that particular thing aside or take a break.
The important things stand out. They’re either associated with family, or they have a special story from our nearly 29 years together, or they’re just particularly lovely and/or well-designed.
The truth is though, it’s all just stuff.
What I won’t leave behind when I move are the memories, the love we shared, and the community and landscape that nurtured both of us.
Those are what really matters.