The stuff of life
How can one person have so much stuff? It’s been five weeks here at the new place (that was a fast month!) and I’m still only about 2/3 unpacked. It’s a space issue, primaily. I’m downsizing inside while upsizing (is there such a word?) outside. I’m losing a bedroom, a laundry room, a bathroom, and the kitchen/living room/dining area (a combined space) in my new place is smaller than just the kitchen I sold in 2007. Yes, there’s a twinge there, not regret really, but it would be nice to have a wee bit more room in the kitchen.
I am much happier though, with a smaller kitchen and home than the larger kitchen and nice home with the neighbors building on the property line and the lack of privacy. I’m sitting in my office now, with the dark outside complete and no weird feelings about the window being uncovered (blinds are up). The last “stranger” I saw out there was a bobcat, early one Saturday morning a few weeks ago. How cool is that?!! Now that’s my kind of neighbor!
So we’re all loving it, inside and out. Is it perfect? No. But it’s a great place to be for the next few years, with tons of potential. The to do list gets longer every week, with roofing, fencing, and appliances being the top priorities. I already got the fridge, and knew I’d have to replace the cooktop. After I moved in I realized the oven didn’t work. So far I’ve been making do with the microwave and the two working burners on the cooktop, but I’ll have to get an oven at some point. Oh, and windows. Almost all the windows (and there are a lot of them, for such a small place) are single pane, and need to be replaced with something that won’t lose so much heat (the furnace can’t keep up some evenings).
I’m still surrounded by boxes in every room. Slowly but surely I’m going through things, unpacking and sorting and often moving items out to the garage. I’ve taken several boxes to Goodwill (donation) – clothing and household items – and have more to go. I’ve been posting things on Craigslist and getting great responses; I recycled all my moving boxes to others who needed moving boxes and my futon frame went last week. My dishes didn’t get much response (service for 8), so I’ll probably donate them to Goodwill too. I have a dresser with a bad leg I’ll post on craigslist and my oak pedestal dining table and chairs as well. By then I should have room to park the car in the garage! Well, maybe after the dump run (futon mattress!).
I have boxes and boxes of books to unpack, and my shelves are already filling up. The office here has one wall with built in bookshelves, floor to ceiling (love this!) and I’ve already filled it. I have at least a half dozen more boxes of books. Time to do some culling, I think. The local bookstore had an ad looking for used books, so maybe I’ll see if they want some of the books I don’t really need. Or won’t read. Really, it’s been 14 years since I bought Frank McCourt’s first book, Angela’s Ashes, new in hardcover and I still haven’t read it. And I never did make it all the way through Cormac McCarthy’s Border Trilogy, and probably never will. His lack of punctuation irritates me – tons of dialogue and not a quotation mark to be seen. I suppose we should be grateful he deigns to use periods, commas, and question marks. I struggled through All The Pretty Horses, and got partway through Cities of the Plains. The Crossing remains completely untouched. It’s not as if his stories are cheery or uplifting either, however well written they may be.
Well, obviously I’ve already pulled some books for the bookstore. As soon as I get unpacked and settled a bit more I’m going to start painting. Not only is the wall color in most rooms disconcerting (a coral-y red in the bedroom and bathroom), but the paint job is horrid, with incomplete areas over the doors, as well as areas that need clean up and repair (looks like a child lived here at some point – drawing on the walls). I’ve been picking out paint chips and am looking forward to tackling this job in the summer.