“Downsizing” is a relatively new term, but it’s been going on forever. The old folk sell the farm and move to town. The widow empties her big house and gets an apartment. Retirees decide that an RV is all they need, now that the kids are gone.
Everywhere I go, someone is downsizing. Yard sales are filled with personal things not needed in smaller, more efficient quarters. My brother and his wife no longer have a house; my sister sometimes talks about selling hers.
Me, I’m not so sure. Our two girls are out of college, working, and living on their own, but Laurie and I still cling to the three-bedroom, two-bath, two-story house that has been our home for so many years. It was built in 1876. We have trees, a yard, purple irises, a little patio and a big garage.
We don’t love the heating bills, the taxes or the “to-do” lists, but we love our house. It is filled with things that bring us beauty and ease and a sense of place. Whenever we go on trips, we smile when we unlock the front door and step back inside. It is our cocoon, our kingdom, our home.
I can see the benefits of an apartment: No snow to shovel, no yard to mow, no leaves to rake, no roof to patch, no gutters to clean, no drips to fix. If something goes wrong, call the landlord. If you don’t like the neighbors, move. It’s no big deal.
When I was a kid, we lived in apartments and we moved a lot: two different schools in first grade, two more in second, another in third, another in fourth, and another in fifth. I envied children who lived in houses, with both parents.