I read articles and books and blogs all the time–on many subjects, but including what is relevant to this post: fashion, architecture, home decor and on “lifestyle” (whatever that means exactly). And what I find are people living glamorous lives, in beautifully tailored suits, in high heeled boots, in cashmere so expensive it makes me shiver, in leather pants and fabulous cocktail dresses, waltzing around impeccably decorated houses that may be called “small” but are multi-storied and tallying in at thousands of square feet. Where is the clutter, I want to ask. Where is the pile of stuff by the front door, the chair in the bedroom so buried with clothing as to be invisible? And just where are these beautiful people going?
No matter how I search I can’t seem to locate the beach girl (all right–“girl” is a bit of a stretch but never mind), sitting in her tiny garden, wearing baggy old shorts and a big hat at the shore, and entertaining (outside because of Covid) in jeans and one of her good tees (not stained or stretched out). There’s not much available about living a full and expansive and incredible life in a 1000 sf cottage where the sound of the ocean is part of the permanent attraction.
So here goes nothing.
I’m living with my partner in a tiny 700 foot cottage that is soon (soon being a relative term) to be expanded to just under 1100 feet. I have a delightful, postcard sized front yard from where–if I stand up and position myself exactly right–I can see the water. We bought this house nearly twenty years ago and kept it for vacations. And then, this past summer, we sold our place in So Cal (a much bigger classic mid century ranch) and have crowded in with our belongings to this small place. (Only some of our belongings actually–we divested ourself of most of our things and also have a pod full of items in storage awaiting the promised remodel.)
I think of it as imperfect perfection.
This week, for the first time since Covid, I am hosting several small events in my even smaller yard. Everyone attending has been vaccinated and, in most cases, also tested. There will never be more than a total of 10 people. I’m telling my guests to bundle up. So today I’m cleaning.