Friday, June 13, 2014

Small is Better

Why do we always want more?  Advertising plays a role, always nudging us to do better, think bigger and have more that our neighbor, parents etc.  But when is enough good enough?

The American dream is to grow up, get an education, marry and buy a home.  Not necessarily in that order, but I remember my mother saying, 'when you have a house of your own you can do what you want, in this house you obey my rules'.  So from a very young age I wanted a house!  

When we retired from the Navy and settled down in New Orleans we bought a house.  A four bedroom, two bathrooms with an open plan living area.  Space!  While living in Scotland, we had a small home compliments of the government and looking back it was perfect for our family of three.  Downstairs was an entry that included a closed porch for entering, keeping the cold out. I remember the space along the stairwell, we had a dartboard.  180!  if you ever played darts you're familiar with that number.  A living room with coal fireplace that opened into the dining room and a kitchen.  In the kitchen was the washer and dryer.  Upstairs were three bedrooms...the third being no bigger than some master bedroom closets!  And the only bathroom.  Doors closed off all rooms to contain heat.  You only heated the room you were in.

But it was enough for us.  So what if our queen size bed was almost wall to wall?  And after all this time I do not recall closets...I'm sure we had them.  Even with the tub I don't think the bathroom was much bigger than what we have now in our RV.

So when we got back to the states Jim wanted to buy a house and to some degree I did too.  At least I thought I did, it's the dream of everyone right?  Our first rental was an apartment while we searched for a bigger place and waited for our household goods to arrive.  It was early summer and Sonsearae went to stay with her papa in Florida.  We slept on a mattress on the floor and dreamed of something bigger.

When our goods arrived we had secured a rental on a house that was huge!  Four bedrooms up with two full bathrooms.  Downstairs two living rooms, a kitchen and a dining room with a half bath and a grand entry (for us).  Big is good!  We didn't have enough furniture to fill the rooms!  I'm pleased to say that we didn't buy any either.

So while Jim worked I scoured the ads looking for a home for the three of us.  We looked and looked and finally bought a brand new 4 bedroom house with two bathrooms.  The living, dining and kitchen were all open with a cathedral ceiling.  Space!  A nice sized yard that grew to be a burden.  It's hot in New Orleans and it rains a lot.  Cutting the grass and maintaining the yard was a full time job that Jim grew to detest. 

As the years passed and we grew tired of the everyday maintenance of this money pit we looked into RVing.  We dreamed of the day we could retire and sell the house.

Downsizing was the best thing we ever did!

It doesn't matter if our lifestyle is right for you or if your home is bigger or smaller.  But look around and see if there is a way to do with less.  If you're not using something perhaps someone else needs it.  We tend to cling to items that 'we might' use some day.  I'll be you have some in your home, when will the day come when you'll need it?  Let it go, let someone else have it.  I promise you'll feel better!

We're in Damascus Virginia at Creek Side RV Park.  After a short drive of around 140 miles yesterday through some of the prettiest mountains we arrived around 1400.  Had a bit of a problem setting up as the owner kept engaging us in conversation!  No matter, Russell and his wife Susie are nice folk and we set a spell with them on the porch.  We all had cold drinks and the conversation was interesting.

Jim and I ended up eating at the local pizza buffet where I ate way to much pizza.  Jim managed to slip in a salad between pizza slices. 

We watched PBS, This Old House hour and Endeavour



“Having a dream is never a bad thing. The ambition that drives it, the inspiration that fuels it, and the milestones that make up the journey make for a rich life.”
~Michelle E. Black