Life as a hobbit

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We love our new home. It has everything we need, but on a smaller scale than our old home. However we've discovered one drawback: It's made for giants.

Tall people don't have it easy fitting into a world made for shorter folks. Here is a photo essay of some of the genuine struggles tall people have with everyday things.

But we have the opposite problem. Don and I are hobbits. We're not exactly three-foot-six (how Tolkien defined the species) but sometimes it seems we're close. I'm 5'2", Don is 5'6", and we've learned step stools are just going to be part and parcel of living here.

Yes, this is one of our best friends.

Consider a few things that are literally beyond my reach in our new home.

The outdoor thermometer. Someone fastened it at least six feet up on the wall. We haven't used this thermometer because neither of us can see it easily. (Yes, we plan to lower it.)

This is the refrigerator that came with the house.

It's a fine refrigerator, but because the freezer is at the bottom, I cannot reach the back of the refrigerator's top shelf. I need the step stool.

Or consider the microwave. Way above my head. Does the rotating tray need cleaning? I have no idea. I haven't climbed the step stool to find out.

In fact, the whole kitchen is a huge challenge.

The upper cabinets are so high that I can only reach the lowest shelves. Therefore almost every cabinet is empty (items are stored in the pantry instead).

Our eventual goal for the kitchen is to remove all the upper cabinets (Don can use them in the shop) and install a shelf, at a convenient reach for me to reach, around the entire perimeter of the kitchen walls above the counter. Just think – it would give us room for artwork on the walls!

As for the wonderful pantry Don built – well, it's perfect. He built it just the right size for halflings. I didn't realize this until some neighbors (husband and wife) came over to visit and we showed them this customized storage space. The husband's head literally brushed the light, and he was by no means excessively tall. But hey, it works for us (though I need the step ladder to reach the highest shelves).

Even the bathroom offers challenges. We have a wonderful shower with a removable shower head – and it's juuuuust beyond my reach. (Don can reach it easily since he's got four inches on me.)

The previous owners left some door hooks inside the bathroom door. The left-hand hooks are too tall for me to reach. I can reach the lower hooks on the right-hand side, but not the upper hooks.

So Don sweetly installed some hooks for clothes at a more convenient level for me.

Last year, we purchased some inexpensive patio furniture we use indoors. It's fine furniture, but even the seats are a little too deep for comfort, so I use a pillow to push me forward whenever I sit.

We had some lovely neighbors back at our old place, and they had an enormous sectional sofa in their living room. During visits, I had to perch on the edge of the sofa, otherwise I'd be almost reclining if I sat back. The husband in this case was 6'7" in height, so those sectionals were perfect for him. Not a good fit for halflings, though.

So that's life as a hobbit – inconvenient at times, but not insurmountably so. And on the whole, I'd rather be a hobbit than a giant.

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