After reading My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Stout (recommended as a novella, but I would say it’s a novel), I was intrigued by the continued story of the main character in Lucy by the Sea. Reading the sample, I was super intrigued as I realized I was now ready to read a Covid story. In fact, it’s got me thinking about my own awareness of Covid and the reactions we had back then.
We’d moved back to Las Vegas from Florida and were living in a rental, although I was missing the Vegas house we’d owned for so many years. It took awhile to sell the Florida house and so we were keeping ourselves busy househunting, although I wasn’t sure I wanted to own another home in Vegas after living through the housing bust and being underwater, anxiously awaiting the market to pick up again so we could leave. I thought maybe we’d rent this time so we could be more nimble.
But the rental sucked! It was in a very nice part of town, super nice neighborhood, and looked nice but so many things were broken and they had no intention of fixing them. The stove top, for one. We used the microwave, electric skillet, and rice cooker instead. They only replaced the leaking toilet and half bath vanity when the water department sent a notice to say there was a leak and must be fixed immediately.
I loved the casita–a separate building where I set up my studio, but the air conditioning wasn’t working and there was no heat. They finally did fix the A/C (law requires it), and I used a space heater in the winter. But then the sliding glass door that led to the casita went bonkers and wouldn’t close completely – at least, only with force that my husband had to administer. So I stopped using it.
We’d left a beautiful home behind in Florida and I desparately missed our French door refrigerator. This rental had one of those small apartment-like fridges. I was determined to have my own refrigerator, even if we had to buy one and squeeze it into that small space – lol! So we scoured the area for a better rental, and were just about to sign the lease, when something made me stop. Instead, we decided to go under contract with a new build, although it was a bit smaller than we were used to, but it was better, we thought, than a townhouse. Anyway, our house would be finished by the end of April.
And we all remember that March, right? Everybody was hoarding toilet paper and here we were living in a rental, about to move out, and we certainly weren’t hoarding anything. I began to use each square of TP with judicious care to make it last until we could get some more (and swore at all those people who were hoarding it).
My husband began to work at home. We were holding our breath waiting to hear if new construction was “essential” or not. What if they stopped building our house? Thankfully, it was deemed essential and we continued to hope that we would be in our own home soon. Having your own home suddenly seemed even more important than ever–to be able to control your own environment was at the top of the list.
Layoffs were happening all over, but, thankfully, my husband was also on the essential list. But somehow our builder rep thought he was on furlough so we had to set him straight right away. Don’t stop working on our house–we’re counting on moving in! We did hear rumblings of appliances being unavailable. Refrigerators, washers, dryers, etc. We opted not to go through the builder for those–otherwise, closing may have been delayed until they could get their supply. No, we went through Home Depot, and though there was a bit of a delay, eventually, we got them delivered. They gave us a refrigerator rental (yes, one of those small apartment-like refrigerators) for a couple of days.
As is true with every new house, it seems you must buy new furnniture to fit the new space. We donated some of our stuff that didn’t fit and bought new stuff, although the choices were limited.
Two years of living in that “tiny house” (the downstairs was the problem–the kitchen and living room were squeezed together with no dining area)–the rest was taken up by the garage. And with both of us working full-time in our adjoining spaces upstairs, feeling squished, and with companies more supportive of remote work, well, all this led us to moving back to Florida. Thankfully, we’ve always been able to have a larger, single story house with plenty of room for both of us to co-exist in our own workspaces in Florida. We took that window of opportunity and sold tiny house at top market value. But post-Covid brought its own set of problems. I’ll tell that story another day.
In the meantime, I might be inspired to get back to another manuscript I’ve started about living in a tiny space. My editor says proofs for “She’s Not That Good” should be coming within the week and I’m hoping the changes are minor and I can send it out into the world by the end of the year.