Seven Lessons I’ve learned by living in a small space (95 square feet, more or less) for two months (so far) with my husband:
There’s only one cook in the kitchen. Literally. The kitchen blocks both the door to the RV (the big door) and the door to the bathroom, so timing is important, sometmes even imperative. If I need to continuously stir something, communication is important. “Little door, coming through” is a cry you don’t need to hear while your hands are busy in the kitchen, the phone is crocked under your ear, and your nose has started to drip.
A comfortable bed is essential. Ours is a little too hard for me, just right for Elliott, but I’m growing accustomed to it. What’s harder is that I’m used to a king size bed, and I sprawl. Right now, I’m too leery of getting comfortable because if I shove Elliott too far, well, there’s a five-foot drop on the other side of the bed. Despite his snoring in my ear (earplugs don’t seem to work as well at a six-inch range), I really don’t want him to fall out of bed. Till he starts snoring, anyway.
Warmth is also necessary. Maybe someday I’ll get used to cold, but in the meantime, I–the nonmechanical one–have had to learn how to turn on the propane gas, the gas heater, the water heater, and the oven. And they all operate differently. I’m still scared of the water heater, but the others I’ve mastered. I suppose it’s an important skill, should I ever be deserted in the cold isolation of a rural area in an RV I have no intention of driving all by myself. Also, we’ve used up our first tank of propane and will need to get more, which entails driving down hairpin curves on a narrow mountain road because the delivery trucks don’t come this far. I would suck at boondocking.
The world does not end if I don’t shower every day or if I wear the same clothes (more or less) three days running. Unless I go running, in which case (men sweat, women glow), I’m lighting up a five-square-mile area at high noon. But trail running isn’t happening here (not with scraped knees and bruised ribs from my last attempt), so the world is safe from my armpits for a few days more.
Headphones are essential. I like to read–okay, I love to read–but reading while listening to the latest sample of Audible’s Daily Deal at high volume is not conducive to comprehension. Hence, earbuds, headphones, or some other way of muting the noises coming from Elliott’s devices. I’m sure he doesn’t want to listen to my Barry Manilow anymore either.
Stir crazy is directly related to sunshine, and television doesn’t help. We’ll ignore the fact that there is not much on television worth watching (I made Elliott watch Shirley Temple’s Heidi yesterday) and not everything on the Internet is worth perusing, and jump right into the fact that staring at each other over our respective computers after many hours does not lead to endearing looks of everlasting love. More like, “It’s raining and cold out there. I’m bored,” sounding much like small children in need of entertainment. I used to tell my kids, “I’m not here to be your entertainment system. Boredom comes from within.” The words have come back to haunt me.
I don’t need whatI thought I did. I need fewer t-shirts but maybe more sweatshirts, given the recent cold weather. I miss my sewing machine and I miss kitchen storage, but beyond that, pffffft. But what I haven’t spent on kitchen supplies, I’ve probably spent on kindle books. I certainly don’t miss cleaning a big house, my garden (that’s a surprise, really), or mowing the lawn. You win some, you lose some.
We won this one. We’re comfortable with each other–and each other’s foibles. You can’t hide much in 95 square feet.