Tuesday, May 20, 2014

(Almost) A Year of Simple Living

Last summer, we decided to relocate the family to be together, moving from a 2200 square foot house to a two bedroom apartment in a new city.  It was a big change. Three boys sleep in one room, with about one foot between the beds. The garage is too small for our cars, so we were scraping windshields every morning all winter. We all learned patience and bladder control with one bathroom, five people, and a cat. Even the cat had to wait for the bathroom from time to time.

Tomorrow morning marks the end of our journey as we close on a new house in our new city.

Although I had doubts along the way, more than a few, the experience of living small has been something that changed all of us, probably forever.

1) Never underestimate the importance of a couch. We didn’t have furniture for the first five weeks in the apartment. Not having a decent place to sit in your place is harder (no pun intended) than any of us thought. We bought bean bag chairs, but they went flat after three weeks or so.

2) Same for a yard, or a square of driveway. People grill out in front of their garages, surrounded by a line of other garages in a parking lot pretty far away from a table. I hate it when the kids play outside, as all they have is the parking lot, which is not safe.

3) We don’t just love each other, we like each other, too. There has been no privacy for any of us in the last nine months. We laughed more often than we thought possible and grew closer. Perhaps because for some time, we were the only people we knew in town.

4) Being together is what is important. The darkest days were when the cat went missing. While it was hard to be away from him, not knowing if he was ok was what made a couple of us cry in the night. His return was the happiest of days and melted even the most cat hating family member. (Otis loves you too, Dean).

5) I don’t need half the stuff in my kitchen. I couldn’t bring everything, since the kitchen in the apartment is 1/3 the size of that in my house. I took the essentials. The only thing I truly miss is the George Foreman grill. Yeah, it surprises me, too. I miss it more than a microwave.

We won’t move first thing tomorrow, as I have some things to do to this house before we move our life and excessive stuff in. It could be a few weeks, perhaps as much as a month. I think I should leave a note of apology on the door of the apartment directly under us upon moving out. They put up with a lot with us.

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