Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Castles and Peasant Huts

As we plan our vacation, other than train schedules and hotel reservations, we are not going to be confined to any set agenda. However, each of us will have a few places in mind that we have to visit. For me, it's Sacre Couer and DD2 Notre Dame. DH and DD1 just want to take it all in, but are bound to have a few places by the time we leave. I had a long call with DS Monday night as he had a day off after working all weekend. Top n his list is to see a few German Castles, not the ones maintained pristine, but in their nearly 1,000 year old state. We were planning to just use public transit, but I think in Germany we may end up getting a car so we can get out of the city and into the forest and find some of those castles not as easily accessible, but listed on maps and such. 

Castles are fascinating tome as well. I remember touring the Tower of London and thing how awful it would have been to live there. No warmth other than the roaring fires and any wall or floor rugs, nothing cozy or intimate at all. While of course not there, there were renderings of where the peasant villages might have been in proximity to the tower. They appeared s simple structure with billowing smoke coming out from the lone fire and heating source, most likely cramped with too many people living in side. Somewhere at that time must have been the regular size homes. Homes where royalty and noblemen did not live, but were at least with enough size to have a small amount of privacy between adults and children, and separation between where families slept and where they prepared meals. 

I think abut housing today. I feel like our house is the "just right" size. It was large enough that our kids had their own space, but small enough that to watch a football game or movie together, we needed to be in the same room. I remember though our first house, while not a peasant hut, for a short time we had four of us, two adults, a toddler and a newborn, living in less than 650 feet. Our just right house, even without the lower level finshed off as it is now, felt like a castle when we moved in. As the kids grew and a a third child came, we debated moving up, but ended up as readers know, staying put and have been here for over 27 years. 

We  just spent back to back weekends at DH's brothers for a birthday and confirmation. Our house would fit in his twice, with room to spare. There are 6 bedrooms, four bathrooms, two family rooms, an office, and a pool table room. Other than for a tour, I've pretty much only been in the open concept kitchen, eating area, first family room. Literally, their family would either need to scream at the top of their lungs to find out where each family member might be, or as I've seen, text each other! They have a large family of four kids and both parents work at home sometimes, so for them, they feel the amount of space is needed. To me, as beautiful as their house is, I feel a bit like I would if I lived in a castles in 1027. 

Space needs and preferences are all perception. My daughter has a pleasant 2 bedroom approximately 680 square foot apartment. She has two bedrooms, one of which she uses as a studio, and loads of closets plus a storage space. For a singe woman who is a bit of a minimalist, it feels so much larger than the square footage indicates. Her friends have been wowed by the amount of space she has. My son's apartment is almost twice as big, but he shares it with two roommates, all his photography gear, extra appliances his chef roommate has, and gaming systems that men of their generation like to have. DS describes his place as small. It's perception and relative to the circumstances. I'm just happy both have safe and clean places! I remember DS college years apartment-not fondly. 

My meandering post is just to make the point that we all have our own castles, or huts, or something in between. If it provides shelter, makes us feel safe, and reflects our life, it should be a satisfying place to be. If something is missing, as I often feel is the case, before looking at trading out or trading up, I need to find what isn't working and fix that. We now we are most likely not going to live our our days here, but until we decide to make a move, I hope to do a better job making my house our just right house for us. 

16 comments:

  1. Back when the Tower of London was doing business people used to have their animals living with them too! We've come a long way since then thankfully! My home is about 1300 sq. feet which at certain times feels small but most of the time seems just right and will continue to be just right throughout retirement.

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    1. That would be insane, but what would they do. It was their livelihood.

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  2. I have no idea how big my home is but suffice it to say homes in Europe are generally much smaller than in the US because we don't have the space. Not that I need any more of course. I also don't know much about your itinerary (if you want to send me your email address in my comments I would love to take a look at your itinerary - without publishing either that or your email address). In any case, I don't know how close you will be going to it but the Château at Neuschwanstein was the inspiration for Cinderella's castle and it is MAGNIFICENT. We took my in-laws and they were in awe. We also ate at the foot of the mountain rather than further up and I was determined to eat German food - not tourist rubbish - it was sublime! Just throwing out ideas here. Anna

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    1. I find rooms are more efficient in the European homes I've seen. Each has a purpose.

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    2. Oh and I'll see if I can find your e-mail via your site contact and send you our tentative itinerary. Keep i mind with 5 of us, we are staying fairly high touristy, but hope to get off the beaten path a bit.

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    3. Comment don't get published on my blog unless I release them so you can send it that way if you wish. I won't publish your email. Anna

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  3. Adequate space and territory is very important both for the individual and for a country.

    Wherever you go on the trip, make sure your cameras are ready to shoot. The pictures are the best part of what remains from the vacation.

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    1. Though in nice weather, the whole outdoors can be part of our space. I just get cabin fever after a long winter and a big house seems too small.

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  4. Our home is entirely too large for the two of us, but we will stay in it as long as Mom is living in her home since I can be at her front door in 3 minutes in an emergency. When she is no longer living there we plan to sell hopefully to someone with kids because it really is a perfect house for kids. Then we plan on keeping the lake place and getting a condo or apartment in Portland, because time does not stand still and we want to be around Pip more.

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    1. Ours will be too large once all the kids go, but it is the right size if they visit. I like your plan.

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  5. The only space that I want to occupy on the Monopoly board is a little little corner of a single square that's a coffee shop. XanthoMax by Elevacity | Xanthohumol Super-nutrient Antioxidant & More.

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    1. AHh yes! I am currently in a wonderful one in St Paul.

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  6. I am very fortunate in that I have two, very beautiful homes. We did this with a lot, A LOT of planning and intention, though. Getting to the east coast place has proven tricky lately, so a decision will eventually have to be made as to where we want to stay permanently when school isn't a concern. I like my home, and try to stay close. I put a lot of time and effort into keeping it nice. One thing I never quite understood is why people go to such financial extremes to purchase/furnish a home, living beyond their means, and then are never there.

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    1. I was raised by a mediocre housekeeper and I am a poor house keeper, but try. I know I work a lot of hours, but do really enjoy my down time at home.

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  7. As an expat who lived in Frankfurt Germany for 12 years there are some reeeaaally old castles right on the Rhine if you were to take a cruise. One of them used to be a Hostel. Having said that I agree with Neuschwanstein if you get that far south, if not look at Heidelberg or Marburg. My favorite museum in Paris just be Orangerie. Just play it as it goes, in 12 years I still have not seen it all. Budapest calls to me all the time. Sigh.

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    1. I looked up Neuschwanstein-beautiful, but we won't be that far south. I saw Marksburg and Eltz Castle witihn an hour or so drive from Bonn. They both looked interesting.

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