Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Reflection: Coveting Ming Lo

The school year is coming to a close and we've been focusing on just living in our space for the past month, so I have not actively been documenting all the progress we have made, although we've just tackled little things here and there.  Closing up the school year has been my number one priority for the month of May.

Today, I read aloud Ming Lo Moves the Mountain by Arnold Lobel.  I marveled at the simplicity of the story and how it captured my attention, but what I loved most was the simplicity of Ming Lo and his wife's house.  It was hand built, small enough to take apart and even carry away from the mountain they wished to "move."  Even their possessions could be bound and carried with them, their house in tow in their arms.  Talk about having a mobile home; in my eyes Ming Lo and his wife had it made!

The simple-loving person living inside me, probably camping out in a claustrophobia-inducing corner somewhere, coveted that little stick and leaf shack, coveted that all of their possessions could fit in bundled sacks.

When people have asked how big our "apartment" is, I answer that it is 600 square feet.  The response is usually a euphemistic, "Oh, what a good starter home size."  I'm not a social genius, but I know they mean to say, "That's small, but you're just starting out, so it's okay!"  My reply is usually something like, "It's really a perfect size for us.  Just right!"

Though I mean this with all my heart, lately our home has felt too big.  Someone out there may be asking, "How can 600 square feet for a 3 person family feel too big?"  The mass of stuff I find we can fit even in our small kitchen, even in our small bathroom, and dresser-less bedroom is astounding.  I feel like we need to purge even though we've barely begun.  One month of living in 600 square feet and I feel overwhelmed.

I suppose this is a result of having only had a bedroom to my name before.  150 square feet has been my largest area of responsibility for years, and now, 600 square feet to furnish and organize and maintain seems such a daunting task, and I know now a large home is not for me.  Our 10 square foot refrigerator and freezer, even after 2 weeks worth of grocery shopping looked like a dorm fridge this week:
10 square feet of refrigerator/freezer space is more than we really need.
Our meats are frozen, separated in 1/2 pound or portion size containers and labeled with the date of purchase and price per unit.  All the produce we need for 2 weeks fits mostly in the crisper/humidifier drawer; the rest is kept in 2 kitchen shelves, or our pantry.  :)

Though I love living in 600 square feet, my dream home would probably be a 400 square foot cottage or apartment, or a 300 square foot Ming Lo style cottage that I could take apart with which to "move mountains."  For now, Ill be happy with my ample "starter home" space, which is plenty space for me and my little family.  =D

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