|Jinny has been very ill and is currently undergoing rehabilitation in a Bangor facility so she will not be writing her article for awhile. She is making excellent progress and hopes to be able to return to writing her column in the near future... Adele.
Chuck and I have finally found a place to live and more or less moved in. There probably isn't anyone on earth who would consider it their dream house, but availability in our town is scarce so we took what we could get and are determined to make the best of it.
Our new place is small. Actually, that is probably being generous; our new place is minuscule. It is on the second floor so we had to drag all our stuff up like Sherpas up the side of Everest. We don't own a lot of stuff, our entire lives fit in one 9x12 storage room, but after a full day of dragging what we do own up flights of stairs, we wanted to throw about half of it out. By the end of the day I felt like the unfortunate Marley in Dickens's Christmas Carol, doomed to drag around a bunch of heavy junk for the rest of eternity. I was about as cheerful as he was about it, too.
The kitchen in our new home is so tiny that it reminds me of a galley in a ship, and I'm not talking about an aircraft carrier. More like one of those 40 foot fishing boats people take out on little overnight jaunts. It has a half-sized stove and a half-sized refrigerator, in fact, it is like a kitchen in a doll house; not enough cupboards, no counter space, one tiny little sink, and no room for a table and chairs. To be honest with you, I think that the average doll house has better cupboards. Nonetheless, I have thought up several clever ways to make the kitchen kind of cute, since cute is the only adjective that can be applied to it successfully.
The bathroom is interesting. It can't be more than about 5 feet across, with the tub taking up two and a half of them. Chuck and I were attempting to hang a shower curtain and finding the simple operation exceedingly uncomfortable. At one point Chuck spoke an explicative for which I severely reprimanded him.
"Sorry, Mom, but you just jammed your elbow into my sternum." He told me.
"How was I supposed to know that your sternum was there?" I asked reasonably.
"Given the size of this bathroom, there isn't much of any place else my sternum could be," he replied.
"Your last closet was bigger than this room."
I suggested that he find something else to do and I would finish hanging the shower curtain. I thought he had gone until I heard him grunt painfully.
"What's the matter now?" I asked. "Did I jam you in the kidney with my knee?"
"No," he puffed, "I am having a little trouble getting out. I seem to be stuck between the door and the sink."
I came out from behind the curtain to take a look. The only way to safely get out of the room was to open the door and step backwards to let it open completely. If you try to open it slightly from the side you will get trapped between the door and the sink with very little room to maneuver. Chuck is now 5'8" and weighs 155 lbs; he doesn't maneuver as easily as he used to.
We figured out how to get him out and made a mental note about exiting the bathroom safely. Once the shower curtain was up we moved on to other things. There is exactly one closet in the whole place and it is smaller than the bathroom. The only other closet-like space is a door that opens to reveal a tiny triangular shaped space which, cannot, even with the most liberal interpretation, be termed a closet. Chuck opened the door and stared morosely into the space.
"What is this?" he asked. "Is this where we are supposed to hide a body?"
"It would have to be a very short, skinny murder victim" I pointed out. "I can't think of a single person built for this space that I feel like doing away with."
Chuck just shook his head. He'd been doing a lot of that all day.
The bedrooms, of course, are tiny. We were in my room, trying to thread our way between the bed, the dresser, and plastic tubs, in an attempt to find anything that might hold the kitchen stuff. The only way we could get from point "A" to point "B" was to crawl over the bed. During one of these trips we managed to ram into each other and knock each other flat. It's tough jockeying for position on a postage stamp without making physical contact. We both just lay on the bed and stared at the ceiling, which appeared to be remarkably low. The entire place was beginning to remind me of that famous stateroom scene in an old Marx Brothers movie, where people kept coming in and things kept piling up until the place was jammed like a Japanese subway car. I could guess what Chuck was thinking.
"I'm sorry," I told him sincerely, "I wish that I could afford to rent a nice little house with a real kitchen and bathroom. I'll make this a home; I promise."
"Are you going to be living here?" he asked me.
"Of course," I answered.
"Then I guess it's home already." he said.
"It is," I agreed, "but not forever."
"Definitely not forever," he nodded.