Sunday, April 09, 2017

Measuring a Life

I officially took possession of Tiny. I use the word Tiny as a comparative to Sprawl which is my existing dwelling. I am sprawled out over:

(1) A saltbox house
(2) An off the grid cabin.
(3) A large garage
(4) A barn
(5) A baby barn shed.

I take measurements of Tiny. And then took them again, blinking in disbelief. Nothing from Sprawl quite fits, I think. And then I think: Help!

I look at the freshly painted walls, a lovely lemony shade. And fresh carpet, kind of grey-blue. And then I look out at the southern exposure view, lashings of sunshine. I look up at Signal Hill in the distance. And think: this is truly perfect. You won't need drapes, says the Administrator, as nothing overlooks you. There are lovely white opaque blinds on the windows, you can keep these if you want, he says, they're brand new from the previous tenant who never quite moved in as he had a heart attack and stayed in Ontario.

He tells me I should be around next weekend as there is Easter Dinner for all the residents in the community recreation centre downstairs. Free. What? I ask. Oh, all festivals throughout the year have a free dinner for the residents, he responds. Bonus.

I texted my friend who introduced me to this building a few years back and we met for coffee. I'd forgotten how much we laugh together. How alike we are in many ways.

Her place, similar in layout to my apartment is zen like in its simplicity. I aspire, I tell her. Tips, please.

In this new age of digital access, physical books and movies become redundant, we agree. What are my treasures? Pictures, my writing life and its accoutrements.

What defines me? How do I measure my life without the extras?



PS As I write this there's a film crew, cast and extras of 12 around my house. Filming a wedding scene. Using two of the bedrooms and my living room and many outside shots. They're all so young. Well, yeah. I don't see too many elders making movies, do you? Shame, really.

31 comments:

  1. Your new place sounds divine. I am a tiny bit envious of a new space to fill with just the things you really want and need. We did that with the studio apartment in San Francisco. It was a wonderful magical time. But, financially, we could not keep paying the high rent in SF and keep the house in Fresno, so we returned to the sprawl.

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    1. I think the reality is catching up with me now,D. But excitement too. Sprawl is just too big. I'm on over 7 acres here.
      And simplifying is a goal to be desired.

      XO
      WWW

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  2. Oh the excitement of it all! I'm going to miss your yellow house, without ever being there.
    And I can comment again because magically my iMac came on, again, yesterday. WTF, I say. WTF. But good. Thankyou to my house elf, I guess.
    -Kate

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    1. Oh good, you're back on line, like 100% and not 20%. House elves are good. I must make an altar to my new one.

      XO
      WWW

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  3. thinking of you
    and have thoughts of doing what you have done
    but you much younger
    and do not know if I can do again, like I did 9 years ago
    at 72
    This cottage was smaller 8 years ago when finished
    thought I would continue to be the same
    and seems age 79 brought a total change with arthritis and falls.
    I check
    seems less cost to stay here with a little help
    then move, downscale again.

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    1. It's a dilemma alright Ernestine. I just know my health can't maintain me here and the loss of Ansa, even though anticipated, shook me to my foundations. Truly. And my bad fall on the ice also.

      My distance from my medical people is also a huge factor. What is right for me might not be for someone else and you seem well taken care of in the woods.

      XO
      WWW

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  4. Your writing table and chair and another comfortable chair in which to knit, bed, bookcase, small table and two chairs, bedding, kitchen stuff that you use, dishes, clothes, computer, and lamps. Do you still have a guitar? That would be it for me unless I did not need kitchen stuff...and yarn...

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    1. You'd laugh if you saw my writing table in front of my glorious window. 7' long. I'll have to redesign my writing area in Tiny.
      A friend is getting me a small rolling craft cart for the new place. I'm seriously thinking of no couch or sofa. Just a few comfy easy chairs and a large ottoman.
      It's fun planning it out.

      XO
      WWW

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    2. I've lived in one room for over 20 yrs now. No couch. It looks like a chair gallery here. I have five! Two are going! And tables. Three. One on each of three walls, a bank of ceiling to just above the floor windows on the fourth, overlooking a mighty fur-trade river. Taa daaa. Nature is the artist. No bakey/blendy/mixy things on the counter. Coffee fixings, and a vase of parsley. A bed in the nook. Period. No drawers or shelves. I have four outfits, all black of course. Since they are all spandex, the don't even need a laundromat, or to be hung. I follow Heather Malick's dictum: clothing draped here and there. Oh Leonard did that too. Good company.

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    3. That's very interesting. And inspiring. Not sure what you mean by 'bank of ceiling'. Your room might be a studio loft? We all.have too much clothes. I have minimised but not enough.

      XO
      WWW

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    4. Windows take up most of the wall. A "bank" of windows. A view, and the light, make all the difference when you have a small basic space. Not sure what the real estate industry calls the style. I think a loft has a bed area above the living area. When I moved in from a family sized apartment it seemed like a matchbox. Now, my various infirmities make it seem expansive. A very good thing with a few chairs and three tables, means I don't have to hobble more than a few steps between stations of my life. Like you I hate canes. Furniture is goood.

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    5. Yes I do love the light in the new place. A bonus truly. I've been looking at corner desks on line. Ones with lots of storage, more difficult to locate than I had imagined. Just looking at ideas right now. I may find stuff second hand/flea market, carpenter-built, which would be my first choice.
      XO
      WWW

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  5. I clicked on Signal Hill. Looks like a beautiful place.

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    1. It really is Tom. The icebergs are rolling at the moment and the crab boats left today.

      XO
      WWW

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  6. Fun for Old Man and me to know that you have a view of Signal Hill! His sister lives on Quidi Vidi Rd. We walked up Signal Hill when we visited her several times. Happy memories of walking around the harbor. How fortunate you are to get to live there! You will be happy in your new place.


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    1. I overlook Quidi Vidi Lake too. Small world indeed. Loved the trail around SH. And the marvellous trails through the city.

      XO
      WWW

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  7. Nothing from Sprawl quite fits? I hope you can find some really nice substitutes for your new home. And yes, a great opportunity to scale down to a zen-like simplicity.

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    1. And a chance, as a friend of mine always said when change was happening to "reinvent myself."

      XO
      WWW

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  8. OOOh! New hone sounds delightful, WWW. A chance to experiment with minimalism! I've often fancied that - it's a daydream only though, as I keep collecting artwork from our antique/vintage store visits. :-) Maybe one day!

    A film crew there? It'll be a lovely memory to take away with you - and one with a result you can watch, often.
    Do let us know the film's title; - you might have done so already, but I've missed it.

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    1. No. No title yet T. they will send me copy of film which I will use, maybe, to see this place. I am not a minimalist either, a condition though, devoutly to be wished. I will post progress on the Everest Climb of this :)

      XO
      WWW

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  9. We downsized three years ago now....and I can tell you it was quite something. We cut our footage by half and had to get rid of so much "stuff" it was amazing.

    I have not regretted it once since there is so much less to care for. Hope your move gets sorted out and it is an easy transition for you.

    Jo

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    1. Interest Jo. I have calculated that including writer's cabins and all the outbuildings I will be down to about 1/6 of current space, not counting land. Nature abhors a vacuum stuff.

      Goodonya that you managed it :)

      XO
      WWW

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  10. Be as simple as you can be;
    you will be astonished to see
    how uncomplicated and happy your life can become.
    ~Paramahansa Yogananda

    You will remember my simplifying my life by getting rid of a number of things including my treasured books. I still have to be ruthless in getting rid of reading material like some magazines with very good articles in them but I don't regret having simplified my life to what it is now. You too will get there with some ruthlessness. You might like to visit http://www.theminimalists.com/minimalism/

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    1. Thanks for the link Ramana. I already minimized on my move here and truly, I don't have a lot of the accoutrements I had then but still. A one bedroom apartment!!!

      XO
      WWW

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  11. I always thought you'd just always be there and one day I could take a trip to Newfoundland and visit you. And now you're leaving your lovely home! Not that I blame you, comes a time when the home maintenance is just too much. I'm there already but the dog you know. Needs a house and a yard.

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    1. I know Annie, I thought we'd be hopping that old ferry and visiting each other too. The best laid plans. Many of my old gang were trying to come here and Old Father Time interfered. I guess the power of Now comes into play more often that we choose to acknowledge it.

      XO
      WWW

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  12. What a great view to have.

    I was just talking with my husband about how once the last kid is gone (which won't be for another decade) I want to distribute their stuff to them and pare down our own. We aren't hoarders by any stretch, but still have more stuff than we actually need.

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    1. Thanks SAW. I know. It is weird what gathers in the corners of one's life. I have boxes and boxes of family photos and 100s of journals I am going to burn in a ceremony with a friends. Most books and movies I am giving away and already started that process.

      It is good to look ahead.

      XO
      WWW

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  13. Take pix of all your treasures. Give the treasures away.

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  14. Even one acre is beginning to be too much for us. I'm forcing the "five things a day" method of downsizing. We have some time since we can't explore all options just yet as long as our elderly 90-pound golden retriever is still with us. I wish you well with your new home. I know it's always a bit of a jolt to move, even when we want to move. On one of our moves, I opened a bedroom door to check that everything was out and the carpet vacuumed. I swear I heard the echoes of girls voices through the years. It was an unexpected sensory jolt that I'll never forget.

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  15. I suppose you have heard of that book by Marie Kondo, Spark Joy. I found it surprisingly amusing. What happened to the Japanese is that they starting being able to afford stuff but had no room for it and now have to de-clutter their lives. What she gets right is that we have to be clear about what our emotional attachment is to the things we own.
    For now, I am happy with my home and hope never to have to live anywhere else. Our daughters were here recently and did a lot for us in the way of cleaning, organizing, etc. We are very much missing our cat, Freddy. We might arrange some day to co-own a cat or dog with a neighbor.
    Your new home sounds lovely. Really, I wouldn't mind living in such a place.

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