As I write this, I’m sitting at the dinette of our RV. From here, without getting up, I can

  • Open the window to my right
  • Adjust the blinds
  • Turn on the large fan with the switch behind my head
  • Reach around me to check the room temperature
  • Plug things into 4 outlets
  • Get the dog’s bowl
  • Turn on the lights over the table
  • Turn on the ceiling lights
  • Reach around and get things out of the fridge (as long as I know where they are, I just got some coke)
  • Reach up and get into DW’s possessions (mine are over the couch, where DW is usually sitting. That does not make sense, so we should switch them around)
  • Turn on the stove or oven (admittedly not so useful since I can’t reach the pots from here)
  • If I got the remote at hand (which I do) I can also turn on the TV.

If I get up and take one step, I can …

  • Get water.
  • Start cooking (I’ll basically be in the “kitchen”) or operate the microwave to make instant coffee (I just rediscovered it. I used to drink this in grad school.)
  • Check the RV stats (gray and black water + gas) and complain to DW about the gray water tank being full again.
  • Turn on the water heater and pump.
  • Turn on the central heat.

This is all very convenient! The funny thing is that I used to live in a big house and there one had to get up, walk, stoop, and stretch to reach over to get things. Basically each space or position was good for just one thing. There was a space in front of a desk where one could work. There was a space to sit and watch TV. We used to combine the TV space and the eating space and thus we never used our dedicated eating space. Too, there was space where one could stand to open the windows, one for each window, although sometimes that was out of reach because it was blocked off by furniture and thus those windows never got opened and rarely got cleaned. Often I would simply not get something because it would have required me to get up and walk to get it. Other times I would simply forget where something was located and would thus have to walk around searching for it. There was also a lot of cleaning associated with maintaining the walk ways between the spaces I generally occupied not to mention cleaning the different spaces that got dirty at different rates. It was an inefficient form of living. In retrospect I must have lost a lot of time merely walking around between my possessions and perhaps even more time filling the space with possessions I did not use.

On the other hand, big spaces keep you busy, so if work is your thing, living in a large space might be for you. It is also good for the economy although perhaps less good for the oak trees that used to occupy that space.

Originally posted 2008-10-29 05:31:10.