Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Living Small

Bessie is parked on the vacant lot next to my friend Sandra’s house. Sandra owns this lot and has nicely landscaped it so it looks like her house sits on one big lot. There is a separate driveway to this upper lot and it’s covered with a new coat of limestone gravel. This is a wonderful surface as it cleans off the soles of my shoes and reduces the amount of debris that I track in.

Bessie is nestled against a wall of cedar trees on the driver’s side and I can see the Bay of Fundy from the windows of the passenger side. I have opted to live in Bessie rather than join Sandra inside her comfortable and much larger home. I am living small.

Living small is teaching me a lot about the footprint I leave on this planet. I am acutely aware of each precious resource I use. Most of my resources – water for drinking and washing, propane for heat and cooking, gasoline for the generator and for driving – are stored in tanks. And every time I flush the toilet or turn on the tap, the waste water goes down the drain and into two other tanks.

I have a test panel that tells me when these tanks are getting empty - or full in the case of the waste water tanks. And each time I need to fill or empty a tank, I have to pack everything tightly away and drive Bessie to the appropriate destination.

There are benefits to living small. Two days ago I decided that I needed to do a good clean up. I tidied and stowed things away (there is only one place for each item to go so that part is easy). I pulled out the mats I have laid over the carpeted floors and shook them outside. I swept the carpeted floors with a whisk. I took a Norwex microfiber cloth and wiped all the interior surfaces. I sprayed Clorox in the kitchen sink to disperse the tea stains. My home was clean and tidy in approximately 20 minutes.

I must confess that I’ve tapped into Sandra’s power and use her shower. Last night I even snuggled up in her living room to watch TV while I waited for Sandra and her sister Heather to return from a shopping trip to Calais, Maine.

It was raining when I returned to Bessie for the night. I flipped on the furnace for a few minutes to dispel the chill, then snuggled into bed to finish Eric Clapton’s autobiography. The sound of raindrops on the roof lulled me to sleep in short order. Living small keeps life simple.

1 comment:

robyn said...

Dear Betty, I love this story of living small (I almost wrote accidentally -or not maybe -- loving small. I wasn't meaning loving small in a restricted way, loving small realted to the depth of consciousness and relationship to "matter" we have in living small. I am so glad you are writing - your way of writing puts me right there with you in all of these stories. I feel such an intimacy with you in this adventure and can see and feel everything you describe. \Love you, robyn