It is day three in my tiny apartment. A 500 sq. ft. apartment that makes me feel as if I moved to New York City, not Denver. Traffic at all hours of the night, miniscule kitchen space, and a bedroom that barely stretches to 9 X 9 feet.
I have kitchen accoutrements that would feel comfortable in a large gourmet kitchen complete with a center island and double ovens. Instead, I am using every resourceful cell in my brain to organize, and every nook and cranny to store my pasta maker, rice cooker, large oval platter and a third set of dishes and hand blown stem ware.
As I unpacked items and realized I may not even use them in this small space, I thought perhaps I should get rid of the kitchen items that had taken me years to accumulate. Most people would look at their current single situation and think. “it’s extra baggage.”
In my mind, I don’t want to let go of these. I see someday my residence being comfortable again, where I can have dinner parties for 6-12 people. Where I will be cooking for two days and preparing for an alfresco dinner outside in the mosquito less atmosphere of the mountains.
I see friends around the table and my lovely life partner sharing in the delight of presenting wonderful food and wine and talking about interesting subjects all evening long.
So I cram, devise, and yes, reluctantly repack some of the items I know I will not use (the large white ceramic platter that could host a large turkey) away.
I will entertain though. I will have neighbors over, new love interests over, and friends to partake of bread, wine, cheese and yes, some of my gourmet creations.
Feeding others is such a part of who I am that to not have some small place to feed would be like telling me I couldn’t breathe or walk.
Though I am sitting in my apartment with 15 boxes to go and an un-assembled dining table that I have no idea how I am going to set up, I’m planning on baking cookies this weekend and giving them to every person who lives on my hallway.
And to put a positive spin on my tiny place, I’m pretending now that I live in Paris. That having a small pierre a ‘terre is an adventure.
In 1995, when I was in an apartment that was less than 900 sq. ft. with three young daughters, I would tell them we were living like Japanese in such a small place. They would go to their fathers’ house every other week where they all had their own bedroom and bathroom. I reminded them we were on an adventure and to be grateful for what we had, closeness and a great home-cooked meal every night around the table that was made for two people, not four people. It didn’t matter. We were together. We made elaborate birthday cakes, and fancy meals. My middle daughter occupied the “dining area” with a fold-out futon, while the other two slept in a trundle-bed that once the lower bed was pulled out, we could not close the bedroom door!
Secretly, I was scared and felt alone. I was working at Barnes & Noble for 21K a year and barely scraping by. But I was happy that we were together and every week they came home, was like heaven for me. It was heaven for them as well.
So, as I unpack yet another box, and have found my lovely couch underneath all the towels and wrapping paper, I am feeling grateful and yes, perhaps a bit more at home.
My friends all tell me that I have the ability to make any place a jewel box, a beautiful and serene place. I am beginning to feel that way about this place. All the while, I am keeping my sights on the home where I can entertain (and use the large white ceramic platter) to feed a crowd!