Friday, August 16, 2013

It's a waiting game, but it's almost over!

Over two weeks in the new apartment and still no belongings. There are, I am told, few households moving to Montana right now and they are unwilling to send my stuff on its own.  It makes sense, I suppose, but it's getting a little frustrating.  I apparently thought the moving van would appear as soon as I wanted it to, as though it was existing in an alternate universe just waiting for me to say the magic words that would whisk it from the faeire realm and materialize it in my driveway!  Sadly that did not happen.  But...I finally have a date!  Not a firm, we-will-definitely-be-there date...more of a we-might-be-there-but-we-might-not date.  Sometime between the 18th and 23rd of this very month, I will finally have a couch, a bed, my dishes.  My spacious and virtually empty apartment will be spacious and empty no longer.  Where blank floor space now exists, there will be boxes upon boxes of things needing places.  Some things will never find places, at least not within the walls of my apartment.  Through yard sales and donations, I will eliminate anything that I don't need, love or have room for. Ordinarily I would hesitate to dispose of furniture that I might someday use.  But since I have made the decision to live smaller, I think it is important that the things I have fit the space they occupy.  I am adding new multifunctional and/or organizational pieces...a combination wine/liquor/china sideboard, a smaller desk, counter height stools for the kitchen island, a row of hooks for hats/scarves by the front door with a rack for boots/shoes below.

Meanwhile, in Southern California, my 84 year old mum is having the opposite problem.  After having lived for 12 years in a small house, she now has a spacious doublewide with tons of storage and room to sprawl. She texts me regularly (yes, people that age can text...they don't lose the ability to spell/type just because they are older!) to let me know about new furniture she has ordered and where it will go. She is delirious over the built in hutches that will give her so much room to display her tchotchkes and if I know my mom, she is planning on buying even more display cabinets.  I try to imagine myself in her shoes, not downsizing but upsizing and find the idea does not appeal.  More space=more space to fill with stuff that will need dusting.  So I am wondering, at what point do you stop admiring the collectibles you have accumulated over the years and instead become a curator of them? Am I becoming a Minimalist?  I don't think so, but I am keenly aware that eventually someone will have to sort thru my belongings, deciding what can be thrown out, what needs to be kept.  I would rather that person be me than passing the responsibility on to strangers or worse, my children. 

So here I sit at my new desk in my otherwise fairly empty apartment, waiting on a truck to bring me more stuff than I can possibly find room for.  I figure when the boxes start unloading I will either calmly direct the gentlemen as to where they can place said boxes or run screaming for the hills.  If I pass you in my mad dash toward Mount Sentinel, spare me a kind thought. After all, there but for the grace of God go you, my friend.

Friday, August 2, 2013

My Own Little Space

My dilemma over studio vs larger space solved itself this past week, with a little help from a friend.  Apartment hunting in a smaller community is not the same as apartment hunting in larger, metropolitan areas like Los Angeles or Austin.  There isn't an endless supply of places to live and premium apartments go quickly.  My friend's husband, who haunts eBay and Craigslist and who could make a very good living finding things on people's wish lists, found a newly listed apartment in a great location for a price I could manage.  I viewed it the next morning and rented it that same day.  Just in time.  My sweet retired show dog, Colton, is going on 13 now and the stairs at my friend's house were becoming increasingly difficult for him to manage.  This apartment is main level, so no more tortuous climb for him (or me). While not a studio, the apartment is by no means large yet not quite small, either.  At around 950 sf, it has an light, bright, open concept living room and kitchen, big bathroom and two smallish bedrooms.  There is a little patio with a yard for my puppy to enjoy and the assigned parking space is smack dab in front of the apartment...a definite plus. More importantly, the space just suits me! Sitting at my kitchen island last evening, eating pizza off a paper plate, drinking a very nice wine (thanks, Don!) from a coffee cup, it suddenly came over me in a rush that I am seriously, deliriously happy in this space!

When my truckload of belongings finally arrives from California, I am going to execute a thoughtful move.  My sister in law gave me the idea when she was describing how, after her house has been remodeled, she was going to take her time unpacking, keeping only what she really likes and really needs. All of the rest, those odds and ends that we acquire along the way, will be sorted into give away or sell boxes. I like that idea. Why put a muffin pan in my cupboard when I never plan to make muffins?  Why do I need 6 layer cake pans when I would rather poke myself in the eye than bake a layer cake?  I even have a little pan, providence unknown, that makes tiny loaves of something.  I don't know what since I have never made tiny loaves of anything. These things are going straight into the yard sale box.  But there are some things that I will probably never use yet I will also probably never get rid of.  A single crystal goblet, a silver tea pot, a cut glass punch bowl with a removable stand, silver plated cutlery, cutwork table runners, a crocheted afghan in eye-popping avocado and orange...all things from various grand and great grandparents.  All priceless.  I don't want to get rid of them, but have zero interest in displaying and therefore dusting them. There are also lots of things from childhood (both mine and my kids') that I will never, ever part with.  Everything else is fair game. 

Being in the apartment without my furniture is giving me the time to mentally place furniture and art work.  I know exactly where I want my things to go right down to the kitchen knives and my favorite salsa dish. When the moving truck rumbles into the parking lot sometime next week and the ramp clangs down, I will be ready to officially move in.  But I already feel like I am home.