Years ago I packed up my life and moved from Toronto to Ottawa to start a new life with Reg. As we get ready to move across the country, I can not help but get nostalgic. It will be our tenth move together.
Our first move was a huge challenge. We quickly realized that a one bedroom apartment was not big enough for the two of us. Especially after my piano arrived!
This is our front hallway. The kitchen is on the far side and the living room was to the left so every time we brought food in from the kitchen we had to shimmy down the length of the piano.
We would eat on my old futon that was on top of milk crates. Oh the heat of Ottawa can be brutal and in this apartment? There was never any air, even with all the windows open.
We used every surface we could as furniture including my old trunk and Reg’s luggage since there was no storage. But back to the kitchen!
Yes, this is the front of our kitchen. Where we stored stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. It drove me crazy but I was so happy to have my first kitchen, I tried not to think about it.
I loved having a deck right off the kitchen, we spent a lot of time out there watching university students walk home from class. Every time the #5 Bus would drive by over the sewer grate our entire building shook.
But I had a kitchen! A tiny sink and we got that microwave for $5 at the Ottawa South Neighbourhood Garage Sale. It had a hole in it but it was either that or nothing. Money was so tight and life was hard but I had my own kitchen. Too bad I knew nothing about food!
We lived on Kraft Dinner and perogies for a long time. And ate out at Subway which was just down the street. A lot. I remember using Reg’s plastic blender for the first time to make asparagus soup and I thought I was so fancy. But it turned into one of the first inedible green smoothies of all time. I threw my hands up in the air and said, screw it! At this time, food was a complete frustrating mystery to me.
We did our best to make it work but when the hot water stopped in the winter and we just could not take being crushed by stuff anymore, we planned to leave. It was a beautiful apartment but we just could not make our lives squeeze into the space.
I loved the tall white cupboards that housed my Mom’s teacups and items that I had bought over the years in anticipation of finally having my first kitchen. Sadly, I did not know what to do with it.
We were so elated when we moved out. We ended up just moving around the corner to my favourite apartment ever but that was also short-lived.
This has all been on my mind as we are decluttering our lives and getting our house ready for sale. It is very painful to a) depersonalize the big house we dreamed of so someone else can buy it and b) realize that we are going to go back into squeezing into apartment living. Even if we stayed, we would lose our house so it is time to go.
At least now I know how to live a true foodie life no matter what kitchen I end up in!