A One Bedroom Apartment with a Plant

If not a plant, then maybe fresh flowers.

Lately my husband has been urging me to prepare for the future.

“I’ll be dead in five years,” he says, “and you’ll be living in a one-bedroom apartment with a plant.” Have I mentioned his flair for sensationalizing? Probably comes from his taking in too many Business Week magazine covers. Oh, and if this talk sounds very dramatic, it is, but do appreciate that when there is a twenty-year age difference between spouses, there are certain realities that one needs to face. For this, I thank my husband: he cares about my future. I expect him to live to ninety-five, though, just as his grandma Mimi did. In her own house, as I recall, and with a firm grip on her marbles to the very last day.

Now, about those living quarters, you have to understand that we currently live in a four-bedroom, 5000 square foot house with not one, but two triple-car garages, one stacked on the other, and almost two acres of land. It’s a lovely spot. If I were a turtle, though, and this were my shell, I’d be completely immobilized.

Lately I’ve begun to think about what it would feel to live smaller and lighter, to trade in this house and my soccer-mom van, for more modest accommodation and a ten-speed bike. Or a Smart Car. Or – let’s dream both big and small – why not a hot red, Mazda RX-7 with a leather interior and a high-end sound system? No. Scratch the leather. Too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter. I may be sporty, but I’m all about comfort. And as for the van, let my clarify that my kids don’t actually play soccer. They cheerlead, horseback ride, perform musical theatre, and occasionally go for a ride behind their father’s wakeboard boat.

But back to that sparsely furnished picture my husband painted for me.

The image stuck. One bedroom. One plant. In my mind’s eye, I add a decent view, lakefront maybe, and a backpack. Light, easy, mobile. Not a turtle, but a hare. He never said it need be a shabby apartment, and besides, it’s my vision now. And I have to say, I love the feel of it.