The Office


It’s full of dolls on shelves. My photos hang on the walls next to paintings, an original Donald Duck cover art print, a signed Leonard Bergman print of Jerusalem. More dolls, some in a cabinet, some just standing wherever there’s a bit of space, and the clock chirps each hour with a different bird song.

My cameras are everywhere. The bookcase is mostly full of boxes containing software I haven’t gotten around to installing. If I wait long enough, it will be obsolete and never be installed. Protein bars, sports drinks full of electrolytes. The modem and router live next to the printer. Tired keyboards that still work and I hang on to lest we have a keyboard emergency. A variety of long dead cellphones here, there and elsewhere. A paean to the speed at which technology changes.

Manuals I wrote, and manuals for equipment and software I haven’t had for years. A few pieces of antique glass and pottery.

More dolls.

Manila envelopes, spare ink cartridges, reams of paper and a variety of medications, flashlights, old toys, and art that I wish I could afford to frame. Some of my friends are artists … they gave me wonderful artwork, but I’m too poor to do anything but feel bad that it isn’t on the wall. But even if I framed it, there’s no room to put it up.

My world, in one room. My room. It’s cluttered, needs to be repainted because Peptol Bismol pink is not a color to live with long-term. I can’t remember what I was thinking when I painted it this color. Maybe I felt it was cheerful. It is very cheerful. Exceedingly pink.

The little dolls live all together in a cabinet. Tightly packed, but I’m sure they don’t mind. Maybe two dozen more live in boxes in the closet.

My desk is huge and made of solid oak.My favorite pair of computer glasses fell behind the desk in July. It’s now September and they are still there. I can see them, but I can’t get them. No one can reach them and the desk is far too heavy to move without disassembling it. So there my glasses remain. Maybe, someday, we’ll figure out how to get to them.

There are many things back there. It’s quite the treasure trove of lost items. Permanently lost, probably.

This is where I write, edit photographs, listen to audiobooks and answer email. I play online Scrabble, pay the bills and manage the household. The house is my home, but this is my home in my home.


18 thoughts on “The Office

  1. I would need to know more about your site before I agree to anything. I’m very cautious about this sort of thing. Please send my your web site link so I can see what you do and figure out if we have anything to share.


    • Note the discernible lack of details in the photos. I had to do a good deal of cleaning up just to get this far. The first set of pictures I took showed me I needed to do some serious junk dumping.


  2. A smile comes over my face when you write about your office. There’s something warm and fuzzy about surrounding yourself with familiar things, things that you’re passionate about.

    I don’t buy things anymore. You see I literally live in one room, or 182 square feet, a 13.5′ by 13.5′ sub-studio apartment. I recently watched an interesting documentary about living in tiny houses. Granted, they were small, but not compared to my place. My friend Warren and I sometimes like to walk through Ikea’s room displays, looking for ideas on improving our situation. We both get a laugh out of the posted square footage in each display because we know that much space would become a luxury to me.

    Still, “I have my books and my poetry to protect me…”. My desk is actually comprised of two filing cabinets with a cherry desktop loosely placed atop it. Every square in is used. Everything has its place. When I hear you speak of outdated software never installed I think about software that actually made it on my computer that never gets used. There’s the Dragon Dictate voice recognition package that I had to have for example.

    I’ve been living in this tiny world for more than 3 years now, alone, content. During the 8 month rainy season that defines the Pacific Northwest I admit I do get “Cabin Fever” at times but then I can enter the huge world of books, the internet or even a movie watched on my 37″ LCD TV hanging on my wall in front of me.

    You come across as a content person Marilyn, secure in your world, in your marital relationship, with friends online as well as off. I thank you so much for sharing some of it with us in a very intimate way. 🙂


    • I have very few friends I see in the flesh. One close one and even her intermittently. She’s got a lot of her own problems and life gets in the way. Many have moved far away and more have died. I used to see the distant ones but long trips are not in our cards anymore, nor theirs. I can’t walk well either. It takes he fun out of traveling. I’ve been disabled for many years, but I never let it stop me. Now, I just don’t have a say in the matter. The body wins. But otherwise, yes, I do love my life. I hate being poor and wondering whether or not we’ll make it through any given month … but that, unfortunately, is the life of the majority of retired people I know. Your life is fine. Have you ever seen typical “senior housing”? For a single, 182 sq. feet is generous, trust me.


      • Time permitting you might enjoy watching a YouYube Documentary on living in tiny dwelling at :

        It’s amazing house nice they have it in teeny tiny places. Europeans and Japanese are forced to be economical but have embraced the thrifty lifestyle. We Americans waste so much it’s a crime against our planet and nature.

        I am handicapped by my finances. I own a 72mpg highway capable scooter and a 40mpg SmartCar. I take in $1600 a month on a fixed retirement income. I can’t afford more than one full tank of gas a month at around $35 and stay within my budget.

        It does annoy me that I worked hard for 42 years and must live like this and I undertand I’m not alone. My seniors group at McDonald’s are all in the same boat. We all help each other make it.

        So, save your sanity & blog! LOL 🙂


          • I am not trying to get off the hook. I am currently following 5 Blogs and looking for more so I have a chance to even pick from a group. I could use any suggestions for more.

            Following: catnipoflife, Christine M Groye, Fortyteen Candles, clotildajamcracker, & Hot Rod Cowgirl.

            Although I’ve found a few blogs on Stumble I like there are none that get personal like the list above. None of my friends blog.


    • It is the biggest desk I could find: 5 feet long, 34 inches deep. It could double as a helipad. No drawers. I have a cheap 3-drawer bureau for a supply cabinet that gives me a place to put the printer, router, and modem. On the desktop, a carved elm antique Chinese money box full of USB cords, power supplies, etc, and 2 antique vases for pens. The room is a backdrop: the desk is a star :-).


    • Tried that. They don’t make coathangers like they used to. They all have those cardboard inserts, so they aren’t very long. I need one of those grabber things they use in stores to get things off high shelves … or someone with extra long arms!


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