Back to Basics

It seems we have put behind the wintry blast of the several days ago, and are back to the jolly spring weather of May.  This is good, because our house does not currently have heat beyond an electric radiator or two.  And we’ll be moving in two weeks from now.

We did buy this house to be our home, after all.  And our current lease runs out on the 1st.  The summer in Buffalo is a wonderful time, and a little camping out will be fun.  Fortunately, the front two rooms of the first floor remain undemolished, so it’s there we’ll make our stand.  Thinking of it as a pioneer-era cabin trapped inside an old barn makes the move into an American adventure.  It also makes you think about what you really need to be reasonably comfortable.  Protection from the weather, clean water, something to eat, somewhere to sleep, somewhere to sit, a good book or two.  And someone to share it with.

These tight quarters present an interesting challenge in terms of furniture arrangement.  Living well in small spaces has always been a fascinating art to me.  Architecture and design in Tokyo or some of the denser European cities is, at its best, a no-wasted-space bonanza of shelves, hidden storage, and this-folds-into-that ingenuity.  Well we’re not doing any of that, but we can still look there for inspiration.  Efficient living, on the cheap.  Hand-me-downs have been critical here.  For starters, we have the bed.  A sleeper couch that has been in my family since the Flood now sits in front of the porch windows, allowing either a comfortable place to put guests while entertaining, or a much comfier sleeping option than the twin bed we currently share.  Improvement already.  Next there is the drop-leaf table my mother gifted us a few weeks ago.  It has a formica top so, hey, no coasters.  The leaves are dropped by a clever mechanism which I won’t attempt to describe, but it does not require oaths to operate and that is dandy.  Add a mismatched pair of dining table chairs and you have a place to read a book while eating a bowl of noodles.  We also have a “portable kitchen”, which is a cabinet on casters which holds a few dishes and such inside, and microwave (gift from friends) and toaster oven (Salvation Army) on top.  Also, we have an electric kettle for hot water, a great find at the Salvation Army “As-Is” store on Military Rd.  That place is full of diamonds in the rough.  Add a set of shelves holding various dry food items and you have our parlor, the larger of our two rooms.  The other room we call the office, and it holds the desk and filing cabinet, where the deed to the house and a copy of The Last Whole Earth Catalog are stored.  It is the room under the stairs, and it also has a neat little closet under said stairs, so we even have a place to hang up a nice shirt.

And that’s it for now, except for the temporary bathroom at the back of the house.  But living at the house will certainly provide further motivation to fix windows, build a kitchen, build a better bathroom, paint the house, and on and on.  Stay tuned.

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3 thoughts on “Back to Basics

  1. We still have that small drop in bathroom sink, plus a shower head if you want them. Also a couch (which will give me a reason and time frame to get a new one) and probably a fridge too. Also let me know if you want to borrow stuff, like a camp stove or whatever.

    • Yes! Should post about that soon! It’s like camping so far in terms of basic amenities, the neighbor kids couldn’t believe we didn’t have a TV and I was like yeah… we don’t even have hot water 🙂

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