This old house
I’ll never forget that cold, rainy day in late October 2005 when the last of the boxes with all my worldly belongings made their way to the Urban Cabin. I left my keys inside the cozy apartment I’d lived in for ten years and shut the door.
I drove the mile between my former abode and my new home, the Urban Cabin, where Big Papa had had been a solo camper for two years, put my key in the lock, turned the knob and entered new surroundings and my new life. Big Papa and I nervously surveyed the boxes covering every nook and corner. And then we stared at each other.
For a single guy, the Urban Cabin offers a luxurious amount of space, a large living room and dining room, an enormous kitchen and two petite bedrooms. Before I moved in, we’d joke that the dining room was just the room you walked through to pass from the front door to the kitchen. It held a table and an assortment of bicycle tires. Now, you couldn’t see the window with all the boxes, furniture and clothing layered a mile high. I’m sure we both silently worried, “There is no possible way all this stuff will fit inside these four walls.”
Fast forward four years. The Urban Cabin is comfortable and homey. We’re not up to our necks in nic-nacs. We managed to find places for a little bit of his and a little bit of hers. I bid a fond farewell to piles of things that I realized I no longer needed or wanted. It was cathartic, actually, to purge. I’m sure there’s more we could sell or give away, but we’ve made considerable headway over the past few years living under one roof.
One of the first things that crossed our minds when we started to talk about becoming parents is, “Where are we going to stash the kid?” A kid who needs a place to lay his head, much less a place to store his toys, books, stroller, car seat, changing table, potty seat and clothes.
The Urban Cabin has exactly two tiny closets that fit neatly inside the two tiny bedrooms, one of which now accommodates two office desks, file cabinets and a couple bookcases. In the bathroom, a clawfoot tub sits ten inches from the sink and eighteen inches from the toilet. 111-year old fir floors have worn to a burnished hue and also manage to leave decent-sized splinters if we slide, rather than pick up our feet, as we walk from room to room.
It didn’t take long before we realized we’d need to find new digs or do some digging to turn the Urban Cabin into a space that works for three. We spent a few months dipping our toes into the real estate market on weekend mornings, while pondering whether to dig down, build up or expand out on weekday nights.
In the end, we chose to stay. And so begins our remodel adventure.Add a comment