Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Adventures in tiny living: When the bathroom is out the front door

I am a frugal woman living in Wisteria Cottage, a compact 540 square feet artist's studio with no kitchen, running water or bathroom.True, I'm saving money, but I'm also learning to cope with the challenge of making trips outside to the "big house" where my daughter lives when I need to use the facilities.

I grab my house keys and flashlight if it's dark.If it's raining, I put on my rain coat. If it's raining hard, I pull on my rain hat and maybe even my rain boots. Then I walk 37 steps from my front door, brush by overgrown vegetation, often through the web of an enormous, brown spider that builds his web across the path I need to cross to use the loo. Thankfully, I'm not one of those women who is afraid of spiders and other bugs.

Then I open the gate to the back yard, walk more steps to reach the back deck, then through the back door to the main house.That door is newer and opens easier. But sometimes, I've waited too long and I'm in a big hurry to open the door.

Sometimes I awake in the night with the urge to use the bathroom and I ask myself: "Do you truly, absolutely have to go?" Most of the time, my answer is: "Yes!"

I keep essential showering toiletries in a plastic tub in my cottage. In the morning, I add a towel, washcloth and clean underwear and then trek to the main house to take a shower, make my coffee, start my day. Sometimes, I get all the way to the main house and realize I forgot a towel or underwear. Both are essential after a shower, particularly since I have to walk 37 steps outside in front of inquiring neighbors to reach my bedroom and clothing.

I've become the queen of improvisation. But sometimes, enough is enough. A wash cloth makes a lousy bath towel.

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