After the Fact: Like sands through the hourglass


More than just the people who live in them, houses and clothes have much in common.  You may have even made it through high school wearing a size 2 Slim, but, by the time you reach senior citizen status, you’re lucky to get your pinky finger into something that small. Likewise, you may have started out “single” life in a studio apartment, but your collection of “good stuff”, by now, has blossomed enough to fill Buckingham Palace. If, like many, you started married life in a 2-bedroom shoebox, it took only the addition of one very small child to stimulate a move into larger quarters, something closely approximating the same square footage as the State of Connecticut. Or the San Luis Valley.

My son was not-quite 2 when we moved from our shoebox into a 3-bedroom ranch-style home. My kitchen had cabinets and drawers just waiting to be filled, a living room that dwarfed our furniture, a fully-finished basement with nothing in it but space and closets that held more hangers than some airports.

By the time Johnny was 7, we’d over-run the ranch and moved again. The new place had 4,500 sq. ft. The kitchen had drawers and cabinets just waiting to be filled, a living room that dwarfed our furniture, etc. 

My house outside Monte Vista is easily less than 1/3 that size, but I’ve learned (I’m working on learning) the secret: if it’s still good, take it to a thrift store. If it’s not, Waste Management provides these lovely poly-bins for trash removal and they don’t care what you put into it. (They’d prefer to not find discarded family members, however.)

If only it were as easy to downsize my wardrobe. Oh, I don’t have much problem giving clothes away, but larger clothes take up larger spaces. My height is in danger of being overcome by my width: things that will extend around my existing circumference would fit the up-and-down of my grandson, who’s a full foot and some inches taller than I am.  If I eat much more, we can take the “poly” off of “roly-poly” and I’ll roll rather than walk.

I exaggerate a bit, but I am no longer the slim, sylph-like figure I was at one time. When I was 6 or 7.

When I learned to sew, I could make a skirt with one yard of fabric. If it was extra-wide fabric, I could eke out a vest to match. While I don’t order from Denver Tent and Awning, I also do not shop in the “junior miss” department. I have become a “mature figure.” Which is just another way designers have of saying, “Gained a little weight there, have you, sweetie?” The sands of time have settled.

I still won’t go farther than my front yard in fuzzy pajamas and slippers that have ears like Winnie the Pooh, but my “dressing up” attire is more relaxed than the wardrobe I used to consider acceptable for going to work. I started sliding downhill as an art student at ASU and, later, as an art teacher. Everything looks the same when covered in paint or clay. Fortunately, my friends have weathered the storms beside me, and expect neither a spotless house nor a spotless me when they stop by for coffee. My daughter struggles mightily to keep everything picked up and put away. I’m sure she thinks we should be considering a move into larger accommodations. Maybe a barn.

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