Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Pluses and minuses

Most things in life have pluses and minuses. Most every choice we make has a cost of some kind. Inspired by my recent move and this post of Kerri's, I've been trying to look more closely at the pluses than the minuses in my life.

For example, my new kitchen. I didn't realize that I had a palace kitchen in my old house. I knew it was big, and nice, but I didn't realize how much so till I moved in here. This is the smallest and cruddiest kitchen I have ever tried to cook in. Except, maybe, in a vacation cabin, though I haven't spent much time in vacation cabins. There are two sets of cabinets, both cheap and flimsy, and they don't match. Some of the cupboard doors look as though they had been chewed on by an animal. If I have my drain board up on the counter (which is my habit because I hate drying dishes), I have no space to cook. Truly, no space.

Somehow, I missed these flaws when I looked at this house in February. Oh, I knew about the ugly lime green countertops and backsplashes, but such things are relatively easy and cheap to change. But how did I not notice the chew marks? Or the fact that the corner sink setup is designed to get water all over the floor? I figure I am either really unobservant and looked too quickly, or God blinded me to because this was the house I am supposed to live in.

But... just to the right of the refrigerator there is a nice french door that goes out to my lovely, shady backyard. It's a really nice yard. My yard in Oregon was bigger, and more fun for the kids, but this yard... there are no mole holes in it! None! The grass is smooth and soft; we can walk around in bare feet. My old yard was bumpy from the mole holes and full of crabgrass, with no shade. Now I have shade trees and a nice spot for the hammock, and some pretty hostas in the corners. There is space for more plantings. We can easily eat outside now. In our other house, the backyard was not easily accessible. How can that be, you ask? You go out a door, and you're outside, right? If you had ever been in my house, you'd know what I mean. In order to eat outside, we had to sit on a hot, exposed-to-the-road deck or on the back porch. The back porch was shady in the evenings, but to get there from the kitchen we had to walk downstairs and through another room. That doesn't sound so bad but when you're trying to get food, utensils, etc. to the picnic table... it's not worth the hassle. Here, we are steps away from dinner outside. Or breakfast, as we are doing this morning before it gets too hot.

Of course with less space in the kitchen, there is less to clean!

For the past 3 mornings I have gone, alone, for walks. This has been a dream of mine for a long time. My new neighborhood is made up of quiet streets with pretty houses that are interesting to look at. I wander and ponder, thinking of inexpensive ways to personalize the front of our house. Wondering if flower beds in front would be worth the work, or if there's another way I can inject color. My old house was on a busy, windy, narrow-in-places road that was not so pleasant for walking. Walking is my favorite form of exercise, and I need more of it. During the move, I lost 10 pounds. All that packing, loading, unloading, stress... now I need to keep the weight off (and lose some more). Starting the new habit of walking will help.

When I looked out most windows in my old house, I couldn't see any other houses, just trees.... it was beautiful. But here I see pretty houses with flowers and green lawns. I see the homes of sweet older ladies who have already befriended us. We lost some privacy, but are gaining some friends.

I know more pluses and minuses will come up. But now I have to make cinnamon toast and get back out onto the shady back porch and read some more of Mathilda to my children.

1 comment:

Becca Beard said...

I was glad to visit your blog today and see that you guys made it to PA and are already starting to enjoy life there - here's to more good times to come!