Monday, October 06, 2008

Get Into the Groove

It is tough to blog after a hiatus. The hiatus wasn't intentional, but once the mental list of things to blog about grows to a certain length it becomes almost paralyzing to me. (I don't know what Jon's excuse is, but I have dibs on paralyzation.) It's kind of like getting into the gym; the longer you don't go, the harder it is to work out. When I do think about what to write first, I get all wrapped up in whether I should begin chronologically with the cool things we have been up to in the past few weeks or if I should just shut the door on the past and begin anew.

Several of our friends were out of town this weekend which provided us the opportunity to get some much needed chores done. I have been having minor (depending on your perspective, of course) freak-outs the past few weeks about the state of our home. Having three dogs including one whose winter coat decides to drop before winter creates a horrific amount of hair in our small space.

I've also been freaking out about how small our house is. When we bought it last year, its 1100 square feet of two bedrooms and one bathroom was one bedroom and one bathroom smaller than we would have liked in order to accommodate my home office and our guests. But, it was in a very desirable neighborhood close to downtown and close to BSU. It has good closet space, a 14 x 14 outbuilding we lovingly call "the cottage" since Jon converted it into a craft/yoga/work studio for me, and a spacious one-car garage. I have come to the realization that most of our space in this house is used not by us, but by our stuff:

  • storage of the art, furniture, and accessories that barely filled our 2300 square foot house in Raleigh which do not fit in our current home (but we might need someday!)

  • our overflowing wealth of tools and gear in the garage which consists of six bicycles (we ride them all: a commuter bike, road bike, and mountain bike for each of us), a motorcycle which does nothing but hold down the garage floor but nobody wants to buy, camping and backpacking equipment (different stuff, really), kayaks and associated clothing, snowshoes, Jon's snowboard, a 1975 tiller (runs great, small oil leak), an inordinate amount of tools and home renovation gear (tiling, drywall, plumbing, electrical work anyone?)

  • kitchen gear and food storage: I love to grow and cook food. Having a full pantry, putting up food, and having the tools to do so make me feel rich and content (as well they should). I embrace all methods of food storage: canning, our deep freeze in the garage, and drying.
I assume that in a past life I was either extremely practical or lived through some time of great need. I do not save everything, but I try to take good care of anything I do own and I strongly believe in reuse and recycling; if it is in solid working condition and isn't crap, I hate to let it go. Invariably, when I do, I find myself needing or wanting it at some point in the future.

Space is relative, I know. A friend and her family of four-soon-to-be-five recently moved into an even smaller home than ours and they are working it out.

All of this has been weighing on my mind lately as I yearn for the simplicity of life on the ranch; where the space for living is small and as big as we need, but the space to stretch out is farther than the eye can see, where we routinely find ourselves using decades-old iron and wood salvage and re-purposing abandoned buildings. Where every action has a purpose for which you tire yourself out until dark and beyond almost every evening. And most importantly, it matters.

At the end of this life, I want not to be defined by what I have, but rather by what I have done.


Anonymous said...

I'm not picky about what type of post. I'm just glad that I got a little glimpse of what you have been up to. My favorites are your vegetarian food posts.

Leah said...

Thanks for finally posting, slacker girl! :)
I know what you mean about having too much stuff! It's slightly crippling but the moment you get rid of it, you invariably need it. Minimalism is not my strong point! We should feel blessed that we have the opportunity to have too much . . .