Time to Circle Back

When we moved here last spring, the furniture I bought for our living room was more stop gap than what I really liked. My sofa was on it’s way from the US – it’s took the long way around –  and I was going to build around that when it arrived. But for those who read this blog back then, you know it was 3/4 of an inch too large to fit into our apartment – by any means contemplated, and I contemplated them all. So, I sold it to some people we know from Seattle. Boo hoo. But this means our furniture ‘stop-gap’ has leaked into the Fall, and we’ve been making do with stuff I was OK with when we spent most of our days outside or on the other side of the world. Now? Not ideal.

I have very specific requirements for a sofa (my previous one ticked all the boxes) and I’ve had my eye out for a new one that meets most of those. The most important requirement being that it fits into the apartment. Miraculously, I have found just such a sofa, tailor made for me, and it will arrive next Tuesday.

It’s funny. I was trying to get them to deliver it by Thanksgiving. I’ve done this before with a new dining room table back in the US – squeaking it in before a big Thanksgiving dinner. But then I remembered, Thanksgiving is an arbitrary measure. There is no ‘Thanksgiving’ here. And it’s never been my favorite holiday, anyway. So it’s more important that it actually arrives before we leave for Ireland in a few weeks.

I also ordered a new arm chair and a buffet for the dining room – Yay! More storage. And even more important that those things, a console for the entry way. We have been managing our house keys by leaving them in coats and jeans. I find them in the laundry and we hunt for them before we leave the house each time. All because we haven’t had the wooden bowl in the entry hall to pop them in when we come through the door, like every other house we’ve ever lived in. 

Its funny. I love living in a smaller space. We have what we need and no more. It’s weirdly zen, and there’s freedom in that. But it requires us to ensure our storage/organizing systems are, well, more organized and more systematic, apparently. Jeff has been all over that lately.

We went to El Corte Ingles at Nuevo Centro. They’ve got a great kitchen department and we needed some things for the kitchen. I had a list and started making my selections. I wasn’t going crazy with the superfluous. But I noticed Jeff in front of one shelf in particular as I finished up my selections. He looked into my basket and shook his head.

‘What are you getting? It’s all mismatched stuff.’ He pointed out with disdain.

I looked at what I had chosen. ‘I got each item for a purpose. I know what I need and what we’re lacking in our small kitchen. I don’t care about matchy matchy.’ 

He shook his head. ‘But it’s not a system. Look at these.’ He indicated the containers and jars on the shelve. ‘Now these all go together. And they open with a half turn.’ he demonstrated and turned the lid so I could see the inside. ‘And they have a gasket. They’re not going to leak and moisture isn’t getting inside. It’s an actual system.’

I looked down at my hodge podge of jars and what-not and shook my head wondering how many times he could possibly use the word ‘system’. Of course, he was assessing the engineering quality of kitchen storage. But it was more than that. It was all designed to go together. The pieces were interchangeable and the care and thought that went into it appealed to his sense of order. So we bought his system and now my kitchen is perfectly organized, and he feels a small sense of accomplishment when he opens the jars of coffee beans and cardamon every morning to make me my cafe con leche.

But I get it. We all have our things. And my ‘thing’ will be arriving on Tuesday, when I’ll be stretching out on my wide seat sofa, drinking said coffee. And finally, the world is back to normal; for which I am very Thankful this year.

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