Yesterday my friend Joe Hagy, aka "Cranky Old Man", posted about all the things he didn't have as a kid growing up in the 1950's....things like color TV, Netflix, cell phones, FM radio, air conditioning, a car with power windows and lane departure warning, etc, mainly because those things hadn't been invented yet. I grew up without those things, too, and we were still happy as could be. Today we have two of everything, and lament the fact that we don't have three of everything like our neighbors, the Jones's. 'Merica!
Six years ago we sold our 3500+ square foot home and moved into a two bed / two bath apartment. It was supposed to only be for a year until I could find a suitable lot and build us a home more appropriate for two people. It turned out I / we liked the maintenance-free apartment lifestyle. It didn't take long, however, for that second bedroom to turn into our catch-all / junk room, so after another "stuff purging" we downsized again into a smaller but nicer one bedroom.
Now here we are about to downsize again. This time it was prompted by the fact that the $10 BILLION dollars worth of new construction going up within a mile radius of us, and the 8,000 new permanent jobs that will come with it, are making our little utopia a congested nightmare. Plus, management seems to think that our community is now worth its weight in gold. It isn't.
Last week we went through every box, every cabinet and drawer, every closet and nook and cranny, and simplified once more. What we've found is that if you downsize in steps, it's much easier to accept.
We've gone in six years from one huge rolltop desk to two smaller desks, and shortly to just one. Much of our furniture, none of which held any sentimental value, was given away to family and friends, sold on Craig's List, or put into storage for later use, except "later" never came.
We decided we didn't need that extra blender, or the food processor, pressure cooker, or the toaster oven that we only used twice to melt cheese on open faced roast beef sandwiches. Ditto for the two extra coffee makers that were made obsolete (according to my wife) by the new model that George Clooney was hawking on TV, the extra set of cookware and dishes and drawer full of dull knives, and all those old towels that two people will never, ever need.
Most of our books long ago gave way to Kindles, and a Bose radio brings us magnificent sounds that belie its tiny size. I also finally gave up hope that all those pairs of jeans I saved that "shrank" in the dryer will ever somehow stretch back enough to fit my 2016 waistline. And as much as I've cut back, K has cut back even more. :)
This time we're giving up about 200 square feet, but because it's arranged much better, and without any long hallways, I think it will actually live larger. Plus we'll now have an on-site dog park, a "pet grooming station", and a gym with actual instructors. (And you know how much I love exercise....I could sit and watch it for hours!)
So how many more downsizes are there in us? Where will this all end? Maybe....
Umm, probably not. Looks like a lot of maintenance. How about....
....the Ultimate Woodie? No? OK, I have it....