Over the years of working with refugees from Burma, I have often wondered what their most important possession is. We have even made lists of the things that they bring with them as they flee the attacks of soldiers: a machete, cooking pot, tarp, lighter, rice and salt. All those things are essential for survival in the jungle. The same with medicine and warm blankets. These are possessions that give life.
My home is undergoing a rebirth. It’s painful, long and decidedly unpredictable.
Most people might call it a renovation. But it’s more than that. It’s a new incarnation of what was formerly four walls and a roof into a home.
The rebirth is born of necessity — a leaky roof, drafty windows and stained broadloom carpet that harbored more than I wanted to consider within its fibers…
When my husband and I bought our first place, my answer to that question would have been 440 square feet per person.
We had everything we needed in that space, including a spare bedroom for guests and enough “party space” for gatherings with friends. But it didn’t take long before the lure of our first house — an 1800s Victorian — made us feel as if we needed to double our living area to 925 square feet per person. (Sound familiar?)