One lovely irony to this adventure is that before we move into a brand new, 4 bedroom, 2800 ft², 2 1/2 story home, we will have lived five months or so in a 280 ft², two room cottage…with 3 dogs. (Our last house was 2800 ft²). Bedroom, a one ass bathroom, and a kitchen-living room-dining room- office encased in knotty pine, on a shaky foundation so when the dog scratches the cottage shakes. My hats off to those among the small house movement who can accommodate their lives to this meager kind of space without committing spouseicide. We have managed living here 7 weeks with only a few squabbles, mostly because I get overwhelmed.My kitchen consists of a stove-sink-refrigerator all -in-one unit that has two somewhat workable burners, a sink, 3 inches away, that drains at a glacial pace, a refrigerator that freezes those poor items in the back, and a 1 ft² freezer that needs defrosting every week, leaving a puddle on the floor, or food gets lost in a icy snow bank. (This is Maine after all) I was a professional cook for 8 years. I can move fast in a kitchen if I need to but I don’t have that luxury any more…there is no room to move. I have to move books off the only table to find room for a cutting board, put away dishes drying on top of the burners, and slow down my cooking and simplify the dishes in order to stay sane. And then I have a chocolate lab up my butt looking for affection, attention, or just waiting for me to drop a crumb. It’s enough to make me start throwing dirty pans again
(See that was the great thing about being the only line cook on a shift, breakfast in my case. I could throw pans, curse, and grumble at the servers and as long as the food got out with no complaints, I was golden. Admittedly not one of my finer moments. I did eventually learn what the true nature of hospitality was but it took a few years.)
So we are living in a small space.
The new house will hopefully accommodate our extended family and be able to house many of them on sofa or murphy beds or even air mattresses. We both value family greatly and would love to see this house come alive with people as the old camp used to. This house is grandfathered in to this lot and should we have decided to build a smaller house, we would never be allowed to regain the space of the original. But it does seem a bit obscene. We are only two people after all, how much space do we really need? She’ll have an office, I’ll have a tv room and maybe an office-attic space. This is no McMansion surely, but it brings to light the amount of home we cherish in this society.