We, as I put it, “carefully edited” our belongings, sorting them into two categories, either in or out (as in out in the garage, or out in one of the storage spaces scattered around our orbit). So we surrounded ourselves with our favorite …
A little more than a year ago, we moved into what I — of course affectionately — call The Shoebox.
Due to various and sundry factors (primarily economic), we had no choice but to surrender to the tiny, little house surrounded by the yard we couldn’t give up — all the while somewhat smug in our ability to downsize, to economize our space.
We, as I put it, “carefully edited” our belongings, sorting them into two categories, either in or out (as in out in the garage, or out in one of the storage spaces scattered around our orbit). So we surrounded ourselves with our favorite things, our most precious art, Blissy’s most-loved toys and books.
That end table we didn’t really like? Out. Decorative pieces that were just decorative pieces? Out. Bookcases full of much-loved tomes? Never unpacked from our move. Even out-of-season clothes and infrequently toted purses went into tubs in the garage.
But as the months crept by, things crept in. First it was the desktop computer — rationale: all our music was on it — that found a place on the washing machine. Then the shoes that I had to wear to a party, a purse that perfectly matched an outfit on a certain day. Brad’s strange fitness contraptions found a home wedged between the dresser and the bed.
And the detritus stayed, and grew and grew, until our shoebox was bursting at the seams.
The end of summer signaled the end of our endless outdoor space — claustrophobia set in. I missed my books. We missed having closets that didn’t explode when opened.
Back in our smug days, we reassured ourselves that, someday, the things we’d become accustomed to would, again, feel like luxuries — two bathrooms for a family that sometimes measures five bodies on the same day, closets to accommodate clothing for all seasons, a washing machine without a computer mounted to its top, space to host a glorious dinner party for 10.
And that’s the funny thing: While we’re as absorbed in paint colors, tile choices and design as ever, there’s a feeling of gratitude, of excitement, that is sometimes missing.
So when what Bliss calls “The Diggers” arrived Tuesday morning, there was a celebratory mood. Bliss pulled a chair up close to the dining room window and proceeded to watch the tractors move earth, ever patient as they broke through the roots, rocks and frozen soil. Brad stayed home from the office to help demolish the paver patio we had painstakingly laid a mere six months earlier, and I took any chance I had to drive by the house to check on the progress.
Others may shake their heads, wondering how we can so look forward to the mess, dust and destruction that construction inevitably means. But we’re looking at the enormous pile of dirt, the gaping hole in our backyard, and seeing endless possibilities and the end of claustrophobic winter evenings — and no more peeing in the backyard (which, certainly, only happened in emergency situations.)
Have I mentioned the closet?