Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Entire Apartment Is My Laundry Room

When you make the decision to move from the 1800 square foot Rambling Farmhouse with a barn and garage on 12 acres to the 600 square foot Cute Apartment on the second and third floors of a Victorian on a small city lot, you tell yourself that you're going to have to give some things up. You can't take the chickens. You can't take all the books and all the toys and all the dishes if you still want to be able to walk through the apartment.

Even though you know the loss is not in vain, after all, you are trading these things for other things: You will be close to the art museum, and the tea and yarn shops, and the bakery. You will have busses and bike lanes. There is a note of melancholy in the catalog of things you know you will have to give up. You know you will miss that which you are trading away.

The more I am here, the more I realize that some things don't need to be given up, just remolded. Take, for example, the laundry, one of the few household chores that I enjoy. At Rambling Farmhouse, I have a system of hanging laundry inside and outside on racks, hangers, and clothesline that is nearly Byzantine in its complexity and is customized to the space there. Decisions of whether to hang and where take myriad factors into account, including, but not limited to: level of sunshine, time of day, relative humidity, fiber content, and garment construction as well as total volume of laundry and urgency of need. It is a system years in the making. I find myself at square one again in the new space. Here, outside is not really an option, and the washer and dryer are in the entryway closet, so there is no way to sequester the laundry in a room of its own.

Yesterday, as I was doing laundry, Adam asked how my laundry room was working out, and I had to laugh. I had just put the smallclothes in the dryer and hung the dress shirts and dresses on hangers on the shower curtain rod in the bathroom. I was in the processes of putting the kitchen linens and t-shirts on the compact drying rack in the kitchen next to the window with the fan blowing out, hoping to draw air through the wet things. The entire apartment is my laundry room and it's working just fine.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The New Girl

I hate being the new girl, not knowing the lay of the land in the group, not seeing familiar faces. One of the things that bothered me about living in Michgan is that, even after 10 years here full time, I always feel this way: at church, at La Leche League, with my husband's friends. I have always felt welcome, but I also always feel new.

Recently, we hosted the monthly meeting of a sustainable food group we joined in February, and there were two families there who were newer than me. This week I stopped downtown and ran into four people I know. I'm not the new girl! Finally!

But next week, I start all over again. In a new city and a new school, back to being the new girl. *sigh* At least Adam will be in the same boat. Remind me again why I'm doing this?