Thursday, November 07, 2013

Downsizing

I live in a cinder block cave. The three bedroom apartment we now live in has cinder block walls, and a bit more than one-quarter of the square footage our house did. The master bedroom is only a bit smaller than the one we had before, and one of the bedrooms is about the same size as the smallest bedroom we used to have, although it has more closet space. The final bedroom is about the size of a walk-in closet. There's barely enough room for my middle daughter's bed and shelves. We put her dresser in the closet so it wouldn't block the outside window. If we could get her to keep her room clean, it might seem bigger than it is.

There is a small closet in the living room that is plumbed to hold a small washing machine. It's barely big enough to hold the washer, and close the door. I had to get new hoses, with 90 degree connectors, to get it to fit, though.

 There's a spot for a gas dryer, as well. Outside on the porch. I've hung clothes outside to dry, but never taken them to an outside dryer. Its' pretty well protected from the elements by the upstairs balcony and a dividing wall, but I think I'm going to get a tarp to cover it, with winter coming along. There's also small storage room, just off the back porch, opposite the dryer. Trust me when I say it's packed to the ceiling.

 The kitchen has taken the most adjusting. It's tiny. The refrigerator (standard size), sink (two basin) and oven/stove are butted up against each other, wrapping around the corner the sink sits in. On the other side of the stove is a counter top about the size of a movable chopping block. That's it. No more built in counter space.

 To cope, we've gotten creative. There are, thankfully, plenty of cupboards that go nearly to the ceiling. There was also room for us to stack a few large storage buckets in one corner, and put in a freestanding shelf against the wall, opposite the stove. We've also turned an aquarium stand into a microwave stand. Putting the cut-out from a sink installation on top has given us a bit more counter space. The bread-machine lives under the microwave, on the floor.

 Parking is weird, too. It's been many years since I lived in an apartment, and at least those had assigned parking. Not so, here. There is resident parking, but I'm not guaranteed to have a space of my own. There are a few parking lots adjacent to our complex, but the one that's closest to our apartment is shared by the football stadium. Every time there's a home game, I have to move our van so the university can sell the parking space to some rabid football fan for $10.00. I also can't get to my apartment easily because the close down the street that runs in front of it. All the better to control access to the game and sell the almighty football tickets.*

 In spite of how different it all is, we're getting used to it. The university shuttles are reasonable, at least during the day, and the city has free public buses. The routes and stops are a little screwy, but we're coping. The kids have made friends very quickly, the neighbors are nice, and I love my classes. My wife and I have both found work. It doesn't pay as much as we really need it to, but at least we're employed. All in all, I'd have to say my life is pretty good. Busy. Weird, when compared to our old life, but good. Now if I could just find more time to update my blogs, regularly.

 *In case you're wondering, I really don't like American football. Yeah, it's nice when the college team wins, but to be honest, that doesn't happen very often.

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