The TV setup is a stark change from our home theater in Seattle and adopting a smaller, lower fidelity version of TV might seem like a negative consequence of moving. But it’s not. I enjoy it just as much. A movie is still a movie.
This is true for so many parts of the transition. Our home lifestyle is more compact, with fewer features and more disarray than we’d grown accustomed. But does it matter? Would 30% more counter space make us 10% happier? Doubtful. A dinner made in a toaster oven in a one room guest house can be just as delicious as in any other location.
Living in a relatively small space has its benefits. Cleaning the house is quick and easy. The rent is affordable and the constrained space means our essential belongings are never far away. But there is one thing that drives me crazy. It works like this…
The guest house is filled to the brim with boxes and piles of belongings in closets and a loft area. For the most part, the boxes will remain untouched until we move out.
Just after we moved in, we realized that a few random things were missing. In this case, it was a cocktail shaker. This set up a dilemma. That shaker is in the room, somewhere. Do we start the process of diving into the closets and boxes in search of it? Or, do we throw up our hands and do without? I often choose the latter because lurking within those boxes is the shaker and a high likelihood of serious frustration for me. For now, I mix cocktails in a measuring cup. It will appear, some day.
We both look forward to the day when we can once again have dinner parties and entertain friends over weekends. For now, there is a happy medium. Friends can visit the guest house overnight, but it’s strictly BYOB (bring your own bedroom). Our friends, Tony and Lindsay, recently visited with a teardrop trailer that they parked outside. It worked perfectly.
The temporary nature of this phase of our lives colors our perception of what’s needed, or desired. We will probably be in the guest house for another year and we have chosen not to invest in making it feel more home-like. We’ve hung no art on the walls. There are no plants or decorations. The guest house feels like a quick stop on a long journey and our goal is to get in and out without a trace. We are but visitors.
Living in the guest house is a reminder of how much of our recent lives have revolved around moving. Since acquiring the Yurt
two years ago, it feels like we’ve been floating from place to place. First, we split our time
between Seattle and Orcas. Then we moved to Orcas
and a few months later, to the guest house. In a year, we’ll move to the new house.
Two years of moving means that living in a state of flux has become a kind of lifestyle and something that doesn’t feel like a burden or trial. More than anything, it’s been a reminder of how lucky we are to have this opportunity.
Our friends Chris and Sarah (and their three dogs) lived in a fifth wheel trailer on their property for three years
as they finished their house. Their story seems to be closer to the norm on Orcas and we expected to do the same. We owe deep gratitude to the kind family who first offered us the space
We’re still settling in, but today it feels like the guest house is home. Almost everything has a place, a box, or a pile. And that’s okay. It’s temporary.
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