Our son forwarded an email from his girlfriend, flagging us that the author of this book was going to be speaking at The King's English Bookstore here in town.
She had become aware of our mission to find a house that wasn't big enough to house a small university, and thought we might enjoy hearing what the author had to say about the idea of living both "small" AND "smart".
Sounded like a perfect date...so off we went to see what we could see.
King's English is in an adorable cottage-y part of town.
(It felt like old home week to me...I was a school librarian in the past and also focused on Children's literature in grad school. It was wonderful to see old favorites and new titles by some of my favorite authors.)
Lovella of course.
(Can't wait till the 'Lil Farm Hand can start going ratting along with the rest of the family someday....Lovella...wouldn't this be just the PERFECT lap book to read to him?)
Anyway, back to the talk on Smart Houses. The author is an architect/engineer who built a perfect efficient house for her mom to live in, but sadly her mom had to move to assisted living anyway.
The author then moved into that space, and applied her professional training to addressing the question of how to best outfit a house for efficiency while being mindful of space usage.
She started the book ten years before the big "Green" movement, and she is somewhat astonished to find that her "sustainable" thinking on such things as sheets and mattresses is now quite hip.
I found her thinking about such things as sheets and mattresses as related to the nightly "freezing cold...now I'im baking" challenges of menopausal/postmenopausal womanhood to be very insightful.
She lists 98 items that a house should have, (assuming you do not bake food, her publisher made her create a separate list for the "must bake" crowd.)
Bernie and I are enjoying considering her ideas, and finding ourselves right on board with most of her suggestions. She is quite witty as she goes about deconstructing why we have been sold on the idea of anything labeled "plush", and why AND how we became wired to think of acquiring new or seasonal items constantly, (such as sheets and dishes).
Bernie and I have enjoyed our "Baronial" phase of life in Texas, where furniture and serving pieces and EVERYTHING was bigger and bigger.
Now we are thinking more along the lines of "plain and simple" "will last forever" "won't take up space/easy to move" and definitely NOT grand.
I have mentioned that I raised our kids in a 1,100 sq. ft. house, with a one car garage and no laundry room or basement, haven't I?
I really do know how to live small and efficient.
(and we actually begged our Texas real estate agents to show us small houses...our Kingwood house actually was quite small by Texas standards.)
I think a lot of us boomers are ready to rethink our housing and to make some decisions about our abodes. The Internet has loads of articles about downsizing...and the MegaMcMansions are languishing unsold in many locations.
The thinking is a work in progress with us...but it certainly did provide us with an opportunity to get out and have some fun at the local book store.