Is A Shack A Home?

Sunday, December 13, 2009
When I was in London, Ikea had a rather convoluted commercial that often played before the feature presentation at movie theatres about what made a house transition from being a house to being a home. Yesterday, Andy and I made some progress in transitioning the Shack into a home. Family friends of Andy’s have been holding onto an extra full bed. We picked up it yesterday and replaced the heavy, sagging valley of a mattress that’s been in the Shack for years. This morning Andy and I woke up well-rested and free of back pain. The new mattress inspired other tidying up: all the linens were washed, the piles of crap that so quickly accumulate about the Shack were sorted through and put away, the bathroom scrubbed out, garbage and recycling taken out, and the floor swept. It all looks so much better. That said, by the time the Shack truly becomes a home, it will probably be time to move out and neither Andy nor I are dreading that day. Just a few more cubic feet of living area would make a huge difference.

We ran some more errands over the weekend as well. We took down one of the deer stands yesterday. I’ve made a start at lining the felted caps I made for Andy and Dad. Right now Andy’s testing out the flannel prototype. I like the way the lining looks, but it may be a little too snug in Andy’s cap. The Christmas cards are mailed. The bird seed has found a new home outside which frees up a bit of space inside.

In the last few days, the lake pushed up a layer of slush that has frozen relatively smooth in the middle of the bay. Yesterday evening, I strapped on the skates for the first time this year. Andy’s just getting over a cold I now seem to be contracting in a mild form. It’s frustrating to have limited lung capacity on top of already being in not great shape and the skates are dull enough that I don’t trust them completely on the bumpy surface. But it feels good to be on the ice and it makes me long for a smoother surface.

When I came home from trivia on Thursday, it was 48 degrees in the Shack. By the time Andy got home, it was 43 degrees. We have off-peak electric heat which is meant to charge when electricity’s at its cheapest and store the energy for when you need the heat. Unfortunately, we seemed to be requesting more heat than it had charge to give. After some tinkering around, Andy got it charging properly and when we woke up the next morning, it was 70 degrees. Hopefully we’ve gotten the problem figured out; winter’s just beginning.

Andy’s back at work today and that means I should be too. However, this morning I’m feeling a stronger pull to finish Anne Lamott’s Blue Shoe, which I’ve been reading for the last couple weeks. I only have 40 pages left and although that wouldn’t take me terribly long to read, it seems awfully decadent to spend the morning reading while giving absolutely no pretense to writing. At the very least, I’ll blog before I finish the book. Book club has motivated me to devote a bit more time to reading decent literature and Blue Shoe has all the elements I enjoy in a modern novel: a complex mother, family secrets, and an awkward heroine.

I need to track down an interviewee sometime today. The interview itself will likely take little longer than 15 minutes, but for some reason I’ve been putting it off for months now. Best to get it over with so I have something to work on tomorrow.

Off to feed the birds.

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