Wednesday, May 23, 2012

3 Gens 1 Roof

For years I have loved the mag; This Old House.

The latest edition had an article that hit home- the secrets to three generations living under one roof, happily.

First, I thought I should have gotten on that article submission cause I know some tips, or  at least some comical stories, that would entertain readers that happen in a house with that many generations living in it.

But the magazine focuses on renovations. So I shouldn't have been surprised when I opened up to the article's page and there was a smiling family on  big, spacious porch.

It turns out their secret was to move and then renovate an old, house; essentially making it new. Which is what I am convinced the mag should be called. This NEW House. It was old but now it's NEW.

It throws in some Dr. Phil-ish adages about ways to test "family dynamics" by living together and such. How several individuals ranging in age AND disposition and the discussions and decisions that need to be made when renovating are enormous.

-Never mind that two of the individuals have degrees in architecture and interior design. The Patriach, Donald, said they took a "casual organic approach" to the "transition".


The only organic parts my fam has to put up with are my plants.

Donald was referring to not putting everything "on paper" and taking their time with making their dream vacation home, where each was in it only 1/3 and that made it easier to cope with eachother; and keeping the "old bones" of the houses rather than running a bulldozer over it and starting from scratch.

So, for us, minus degrees and firms based in architecture ,we have kept our original OLD HOUSE.

Instead of renovations, we have gotten rid of things that aren't necessary.

For example: More than 3 pairs of shoes.

1. Closet space can go a long way for storing all your stuff without the hassle of too many shoes or clothes to go into it.

2. A constant state of re-arranging what you've got: this means that as you live with the 3 different gens for some time you start to calculate ways that all your stuff can better fit in the small space you still have to work with. And this makes for trips to Wal-Mart for plastic containers.

3.Instead of knocking out a wall and adding on the kitchen  so it would be bigger, we just implement a "standing room only" policy for big get togethers. So far it seems to have worked out- if you get to the table first and land a chair, or opt to eat in shifts.

There are more tips, but I'm saving them for when the magazine calls and ask me to do a free lance article on my inside knowledge on the subject.

In all honestly, looking at the spaciousness that Donald and his wife, his parents and the 2 grandchildren had to move about ,was making me slightly jealous. But it bordered on disgusting when I found out that they only did this gig part time- as it was a "summer home" in a popular vacation/resort area and not a necessary year round deal.

Of course their happy!

Thankfully the magazine redeened itself for me by including a great article on herb growing; which I can still do in my old house, and thus keep looking forward to future editions of the magazine.

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