I’ve mentioned before that I live in four places every year. Part of this wacky and wonderful life I live allows me to seasonally relocate. I’m in the same places every year, mostly during the same dates, with some slight shifts due to construction projects or meetings. However, key to my living a great life, and doing what I love for a living, is the fact that I’m actually pretty low-maintenance. Three of the four places are playhouses, attached economically if not also physically to our businesses in those locations. The fourth is our dream house, but that is another story. (I should say here that there is also a fifth location, currently for sale, and you should buy it from me.)
But these playhouses are not without their issues. We leave them locked up and winterized for 8 to 10 months, and hope that whatever folklore we’ve heard about Bounce dryer sheets or moth balls as rodent repellent has proved to be true. Then upon arrival, deep cleaning, and the search for leaks or wire repairs commences. I reacquaint myself with the contents of that closet and those kitchen cabinets, bring in the tubs of office and pantry, and then settle in for the season.
In my experience the key to having enough to meet your needs is to seriously analyze your needs.
I need a clean, dry, pest-free space in which to sleep, office, and cook a healthy meal. I want to walk to work as often as possible. My space for entertaining can be a picnic table outside, as our schedule keeps us in extremely temperate areas all year long. I need to have months at a time when I do not work on “work” but on my pet projects and other personal interests. I have all of these things. My schedule is not so tight that I cannot attend to repairs and upgrades myself. Today I was in a crawl space under our NY place trying to track down a freshwater leak. I was being very thankful that I was only dealing with mosquitoes and spider webs, rather than in TX where just about everything is poisonous, and dark spaces are coveted by scorpions and snakes. I still haven’t located the elusive water leak, but I’ve eliminated a couple of possibilities. ::sigh:: Until I find it, I’ll simply turn on water as needed for showers and dishes. That may sound like a hardship, but one of my favorite playhouses actually has no running water, and the kitchen is in a remote building off my deck. But that place is *adorable*, with tons of personality, just like that blind date you didn’t think you’d like, but really might propose later because … well … you know … *adorable*.
So my own definition of luxury is expressed with a calendar rather than a catalog. We make our living in half of the calendar year serving food at theme parks and other outdoor events. We spend the rest of the year researching the best way to do what we do, attending art shows and other festivals, tradeshows and workshops. Our niche is so specific there are no single trade organizations or publications that apply. We’re piecing together the expertise as we go along, now 23 years into this career. We enjoy Spring in the Southeast, Summer 40 miles from Manhattan, Fall in horse country, and Winter at the beach. Seasons will probably always be proper nouns in my world. That is luxury.