One of the very best things about my current digs is that there is a lovely window over the kitchen sink, looking across my little yard into a tall cedar hedge. That hedge is a constant hive of activity. It houses umpteen squirrels, blue jays, cardinals, mourning doves, chickadees, and the occasional raccoon. As a result, it also attracts all of the neighbourhood cats. Never a dull moment in that hedge. On a sunny day, it’s a real thing of beauty.
I’ve lived in places without a kitchen window before, and I don’t like it. I don’t have a dishwasher (well, I used to, but I divorced him at the turn of the century. That’s another story…). Doing the dishes is tedious indeed staring into a cupboard door. I don’t mind doing the dishes by hand, actually, I quite enjoy it, and I think dishwashers are a bit wasteful for the small number of dirty dishes I generate. I could be wrong on that, I’ve never actually looked into it, but it seems like an awful lot of water and electricity that I really don’t need to use. For a larger family, it’s probably more cost effective, but for me, it’s too loud, clunky and complicated. By the time I ‘d rinsed the dishes, stacked them, and got the thing going, I could have done them already. I wash, Jesus dries. Easy peasy.
I think I have to leave this place in the fall, when Elliot goes off to university. It’s a three bedroom townhouse, and my rent increases every year. Since Elliot turned 18, I stopped receiving the Child Tax Credit, and once he moves out, I won’t be getting child support for him, either. I don’t really need three bedrooms. I’d like two, one for me and one as a den/guestroom, but three seems excessive. Also, I have a full basement, mostly full of junk I neither need nor want, and again, once Elliot is out of the nest, there will be a paring down of stuff.
I worry about having too much stuff. I worry that one day, I may die, and someone will have to deal with all that STUFF. Well, one day I inevitably WILL die, I suppose. I think it would be better to die possessed only of things which are meaningful, useful or beautiful. There is no reason to keep anything else. It just becomes a burden for someone else.
I’d like to stay in the complex where I live now, but it’s exclusively three-bedroom units. It’s well run; the superintendent lives on site. The staff are friendly and helpful. It’s safe. It’s right on the edge of a humungous park. Someone else cuts my grass and shovels my snow. My neighbours are pleasant, but not intrusive. They are quiet adults, for the most part, in my section of the complex, save for two charming little red-headed girls next door, who are never any bother at all.
I’m far enough from downtown to feel safe, yet close enough that I can walk if I want to.
I moved here when Elliot finished public school, as my poor little house was falling down around me and I didn’t have the money to fix it. I regretted selling that house, in some ways. My kids grew up there. It was in a lovely, quiet, older neighbourhood, close to the school. It was a sweet little one and a half storey built in the 1920’s, with ivy climbing up the front and a lovely porch, like a family of fairytale bears lived there. I still miss it sometimes, but it was the right thing to do, selling it, and I got out JUST before the market went tits-up. I paid my debts, and put money away for the boys for school.
The right thing to do now, I think, is to move again, somewhere a little smaller, simpler, more affordable. I don’t like moving. I don’t like the slugging involved, and I don’t like the emotional wrenching. I’m a homebody at heart.
But, when I do move, I know this: I want a kitchen window.