Courtesy of RentCafe

The first place Bernd and I lived after we got married was a very small bachelor apartment in Santa Ana, California. It was about 500 square feet and inspired efficiency and organization in all things. It didn’t always work out that way, but we did our best.

Courtesy of This is the kitchenette in the bachelor apartment with part of the living room and a peek into the bedroom area. The bathroom was off to the left in this photo. They never did turn the apartments into condos. But it served to get us to move on.

It was all on one level. You’d be hard pressed to put 500 square feet on two levels anyway. Although, I think that some tiny homes do that. But the access for the upper level is more of a ladder than stairs and the upper level really, well, isn’t a true upper level.

After nearly five years of living in that tiny place, the owners of the apartment complex (it was a huge place called Versailles on the Lake … not as hoity toity as it sounds but there was a man-made lake), announced they were going to turn the apartments into condos and did we want to buy. For what they were asking and the size of it, we thought they were insane. So we started looking for something we could afford that was also bigger.

We found that in Walnut, California. We bought a condo that was a little over twice as big as the apartment. It was on two levels. The two bedrooms (original floor plan had the one huge bedroom split into two) were upstairs with a full bath. The master bedroom was large. The bathroom could be accessed from the master or from the hall.

This is the closets picture I could find of the stairs in the condo. I always thought the space underneath would have been better as an enclosed storage space.

The kitchen and dining area and living room were downstairs along with a half bath. It was palatial and we didn’t mind the stairs.

We lived in that condo for nearly 14 years and then we got tired of Southern California. We traveled a bit in Arizona and decided we liked it a lot and moved there. We stayed in a small condo with a lot of our stuff in storage for about four months before we found the house we wanted to buy.

The living spaces in the house were all on one level. It was kind of nice. Bernd thought it would be good since we were getting older. There were some stairs though.

The stairs off the deck on the left of the photo were only about nine steps. We had to rebuild them at one point. That was an interesting learning experience.

The large deck on the back side of the house had stairs down to ground level. And on one side of the house, there was a series of gentle concrete steps leading to the walk-out style basement.

These are the concrete steps down to the walk-out basement (no access from inside the house).

That house was even bigger than the condo topping out at about 1,600 square feet. Adding in the full basement (about 400 square feet of that was finished as a shop), we had way more space than we thought we’d ever need. We managed to fill it up anyway.

We lived in that house for almost 28 years until we got tired of the way Arizona was going. We looked around online at lots of different states and finally we settled on Wyoming where we are now.

Steps up to the front door. None of our house is actually underground. There is no real basement. Just two levels … upper and lower.

We didn’t really want stairs in our next house. We are pretty old now and stairs can be a problem as you age. But I’ve come to realize something a little bit odd. I don’t think a house is a proper house if it doesn’t have stairs. I like our stairs. For a while, they vexed me when a drug I was prescribed pretty much ruined my joints … all of them … fingers and toes as well as the major ones. So going up and down those stairs was difficult, slow, and very painful.

These are the stairs from the back door out of the office where I am currently working on this post. Best shot I’ve got of them. There are something like fourteen steps.

But I never once wished we had a house that did not have stairs.

This is looking down at the foyer from the upper level.

This is looking up the stairs from the lower level to the foyer. Maddie is happy we carpeted them. The rest of the house is all laminate flooring. I hate carpet. No way to really keep it clean.

I can’t say why I feel this way. I really only came to the realization that I do this very morning as I was heading down two flights of stairs to the lower level where the laundry closet is. It’s sheet washing day today.

Most of the homes where we live here in Riverton, Wyoming, have stairs. It just seems right somehow.

You never know what will happen, but we figure we will spend the rest of our lives in this house with its stairs up to the front door, and stairs to the upper level, and stairs to the lower level, and a long flight of steps from the back door to the ground level. And it’s my contention that instead of being a problem, the stairs will help to keep us fit, younger if you will. Well that and the cat and the dog.

So stairs are in my life for good. And it’s good.

Published by Dianne Lehmann

I'm a writer. But I'm also a wife and a mom to a couple of fur babies. You could call me a cook (but never a chef, I'm not that good) and provisioner as well. Laundress? Yeah. Probably. I design jewelry and I crochet. But mostly I love to write. I love words and how they sound. I love their meanings and origins. I love stringing them together. And of course, I love to read. Thinking about it just now, I realize that what I love most is life and the people around me with a special place set aside for my wonderful husband, our adorable dog and our inscrutable cat. It's the world and the people in it that fuels my writing. So thanks to you all for being the amazing beings that you are.

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