New York Rising has finally approved the paperwork to proceed with the elevation of our home. Our contractor wants to start now – before the freezing temperatures arrive. We have two weeks to pack up only what we’ll need for the next two or three months and move into a small apartment near town.
I couldn’t sleep the other night, making mental lists of clothing, medicinal items, towels, sheets, pots and pans and other necessities. How much is too much? And what’s a “necessity?”
Do I need the stoneware pizza pan, the Kitchenaid mixer, or the bathroom scale? How many pairs of black pants do I need? How many shoes?
I came up with this question to ask myself when I wasn’t certain if an item was necessary or not: Can I carry this item, by myself, up two flights of stairs into the apartment? And then I must imagine standing at the top of the stairs, asking: Do I want to carry it back down when we move out in two months, and then carry it back up another large flight of stairs into the elevated house? We will be up almost five feet – an extra eight or nine steps to the front door.
So the question remains: Is the TV a necessity?
I thought about the programs I watch every week and realized I could easily live without a TV for a few months. In fact, the quality of my life might actually improve without a TV in the house.
Every night, after dinner, we sit in our recliners and tune into The News Hour, on Channel 13 at 7:00 PM. We call it the Snooze Hour because we both end up napping through the entire show. With up-to-the-minute news blasts on my i-phone all day long, there is no news to report at the end of the day. Wouldn’t it be better to get up from the dinner table and take a walk, instead of napping on a full stomach?
As entertaining as Downton Abbey and other Masterpiece Theater productions are on Channel 13, I could just as easily be reading a classic novel during those hours. Wouldn’t it be great to move the bookmark forward and finally finish reading Jane Eyre?
Can I live without the daily exercise programs that are automatically recorded on our DVR but never watched? You bet I can. Living in tight quarters tends to force one outdoors more often, so I will probably take more walks into town to stretch my legs. More exercise, more vitamin D, and I might even run into another living soul and start a conversation.
Cooking shows? I don’t watch them. I prefer to cook in real-time with real ingredients and then eat the resulting product of my efforts.
Reality shows? Dealing with real-life contractors over the next few months will be enough reality-induced stress for me.
People talk about the great shows on HBO, but I don’t subscribe to HBO now, so I’m not going to miss something that I don’t have.
The decision was finally reached last night.
“This could be an adventure,” I told my husband, “to see how we survive together without the distraction of a TV. It will be a trial run for that retirement houseboat we talked about floating away on someday.”
Husband looks at me skeptically.
“We’ll have conversations with each other again – into the wee hours – like we did when we were dating.”
Husband answers: Only if the talking is over by 9:30. I have to get up early for work the next day.
“Maybe we’ll tap into our creative side – making puppets together (him carving the heads and me making the costumes) – like we did that first year we were married and too broke to buy Christmas gifts for the nieces and nephews.”
Husband twists his mouth around from left to right, which, translated, means: probably not.
“Maybe we’ll have more action – you know – together…”
Husband raises his eyebrows. Now I’ve got his attention.
“Remember our first apartment? We didn’t have a TV when we got married.”
“And you got pregnant two months after the wedding,” he reminds me.
“But, at our age, we don’t have to worry about that anymore.”
“That’s it,” he says. “No TV.”