Gabe, upon making our first trip inside a certain *container* store in town yesterday: "I have no idea why some people from other countries come here and feel overwhelmed by America's abundance...So what if we have a giant chain of stores devoted entirely to selling stuff to hold all of our other stuff?" Then he and Ellis wandered off to judge some more while I just marveled at all of the previously unknown ways to organize my stuff.
I saw a guy on tv the other day who designs, builds, and lives in homes that are like 100 square feet. He had closet space for his spare wardrobe, bookshelves for his book collection, a bed/loft, seating for multiple people, a sparse kitchen with a tiny refrigerator, a water jug with a spout sitting over a sink drain, a toilet, shower, and a little front porch. Somehow, despite my American upbringing (and constant dissatisfaction with my wardrobe) his home was more appealing to me than a large home.
Gabe and I jokingly/knowingly exchange smirks when people come to our home and remark at how "cozy" it is, because we both know that's the socially acceptable term for small. I guess "cozy" is better than "snug" or "claustrophobic". Our home is cozy. And small. At least by most common standards here. We are three people (one of whom barely tops 20 lbs.) and an 8 lb. cat living in about 1000 square feet. Our bedroom serves as my studio/sewing room, Gabe's office and library, and of course our love nest. Gabe wants to stick some exercise equipment in there too, which I have always opposed. Ellis' nursery is also the guest room.
I remember coming home from building houses for some families in Juarez, Mexico years ago and sitting guilt-filled on my bed crying about how blessed I was to have my home. (I never claimed I wasn't a bit emotional and dramatic at times) How long did it take to return to the mindset of wanting more? A bigger house, a better kitchen, a car with fewer dents...Not long, I'm sure.
Anyway, I saw this guy in the ultimate "cozy" house and it was charming and respectable. How can you not respect someone who chooses to use less---resources, energy, space, self-importance---in a world that almost always focuses on more?
So, at this moment, I like our home. Our home has character and it's where Gabe and I first lived as a married couple, it's the first place Ellis lived (not counting the NICU for the first 6 weeks of her life...). Chances are we will move to another home in our lifetime, so while we're here I want to remember to appreciate what our home IS, and not worry about what it isn't.
On a slightly similar note, Gabe saw a sign near a new housing development offering "Free Solar Systems!" That. Is. Awesome. No one else is offering that. Maybe solar panels, but entire solar systems?!! Sellers are getting really desperate and generous in this housing market.