Tuesday, June 9, 2015

My Wasted Space

As a boy, I grew up knowing to be frugal, yet I always yearned for the midcentury-modern, Eichler home of my dreams.

I dreamed of the perfect wife, the perfect kids, the opulence the American Dream promised, and believed that if I worked hard it would be mine.

I worked hard to get a degree and to become a top-notch teacher—which was and is my calling. 

To this day I birddog excellence in the classroom with my students.

That's not bullshit taking.

That's reality. 

I'm one of the teachers who is NOT phoning it in.

I play hardball.

While there are haters out there who think I am the problem, that I’m overpaid, and deserve to be horse whipped, I’ll say that I give twice in service for what I get paid.

Teachers are not well-paid. 

I am fortunate to be middle-class. 

The twentysomething I was knew so very little.

I like my profession.

I find it funny how my priorities have changed over the years.

In 1989, I had the house I live in built and chose a ranch-style floor plan because I love the rambling nature of such houses.

I represented success to me.

At the time, 2,100 square feet was pretty impressive for Bakersfield. And 26 years later, my home is still pretty nice, if I do say so myself


Today, you need to surpass 3,000 square feet to be impressive in Bakersfield.

That makes my home less desirable in the market.

The “me” of 1989 would have moved up to a 3,000+ square-foot house. 

The “me” of 2015 thinks my home is double the size I need.

I keep the house only because it is my daughter’s home (i.e. the one she grew up in).

I don’t have it even remotely paid off because divorces—even amicable ones—are expensive.

I am very thankful though of the cupboard space my home has because all of my prepper supplies are stored and literally no one would know I prep.

I do love my home.

Here’s my wasted space.

Winter dogloos in summer.

Water bowls for the hounds.

A mailbox stove project.

Oranges from my tree.


It’s a covered patio that I’ve always wanted to enclose as a room.

I’ve always dreamed of making it a dining room, but changing priorities have changed me.

My current thinking is to use this space as a greenhouse cum winter dog shelter.

I will never rip up my backyard grass and go farming. 

My dogs deserve better and I will always have dogs.

What I am contemplating is tearing out all of the ornamental plantings in the massive flowerbed and using that as my farm.

If—when I do that—I will need a place to start seedlings.

I have the space.

I just need to get the right contractor to help me make it a reality.

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