Sharing Space

jen austinBill and I began thinking of buying a house in the Phoenix area as far back as 2007. But it was my sister Jen who convinced us that the time to act was upon us in 2010. She called me up one day and said, “We are crazy if we don’t take advantage of the housing market in Phoenix and buy something. Let’s go in together.”

Hmmmm. The idea had some merit. In fact, after talking about it some more, we all decided it was a heck of a good idea. And so here we are.

While Bill and I are retired and therefore are able to spend the winter here, Jen has one of those inconvenient things called a job and, while she visits as often as she can, mostly she makes her share of the house payment and wishes she were here. It won’t always be this way.

I will admit that in the back of my mind, I have wondered how it would work if we all lived here. We tease Bill about his sister wives, but we don’t want to actually face that scenario! The answer to the question, of course, is that we don’t really know. But one thing I have witnessed is that when we have been together in this house, we get along just fine. The house, though small, is divided. If you go down one hallway, you are in the McLain wing. If you go down the other hallway, you are in the Sanchez wing. Doesn’t that sound like Downton Abbey? Never mind that the house is a mere 1,300 square feet or so. And there is no downstairs for the ladies’ maids and/or Bill’s valet. Rats. I will simply have to continue to dress myself.

Jen and I are no strangers to sharing space. That is true of all of the Gloor siblings. There are four of us, and the boy didn’t come until the end. We grew up in a house that probably wasn’t as large as our Arizona house – maybe 1,100 square feet or so. We had three bedrooms, and one bathroom. Yes, it’s true. We had a solitary bathroom in which we all had to get ready each day. And you know what? I never remember there being a problem. But it’s probably why you don’t see any of us spending a lot of time in a bathroom primping even today.

new house kitchen south west

This is the kitchen area. The little table which seated six was in that small area by the window.

A few years ago, Jen was visiting Columbus with a couple of her friends. They pulled up in front of our old house to see how it looked, and the current homeowner noticed she had a stalker. Since it was Columbus, instead of calling the police, she came out and asked if she could help them. Jen explained that she had grown up in that house and was just looking. The woman invited Jennie into the house.

Well, it was a blast from the past, that’s for sure. Jen’s take: “How in the world did the six of us ever live in such a small house? And how did Mom make

Here is the living room in which every important photo was taken.

Here is the living room in which every important photo was taken.

dinner in that tiny little kitchen? And most of all, how come I remember it being so much bigger?”

For many of my formative years, there was a double bed (not a queen-sized), and a single bed in one bedroom, in which three of us slept. The second bedroom had one bed and the inhabitant of that room changed. For a bit it was my baby brother’s nursery. When he was old enough to get out of his crib, I recall that he slept in the same room with Jen and I for a short time while Bec enjoyed her own bedroom as a teenager. I don’t think that lasted long. Once Bec left for college, Dave got his own bedroom.

So do you see the common denominator? Jen and I shared a bedroom for much of our lives, and for the bulk of the time we shared one bed. I, in fact, shared a bedroom with someone until I finally had my own apartment in Leadville when I was 22. Never spent a night without someone in a bed next to mine. I had a roommate in the dorm and again in the sorority house. Funny. I never gave it a second thought.

While all of our grandkids live in homes considerably larger than the one in which I grew up, it’s strange in this day and age that each of the three households with kids involves bedroom sharing. But the reality is if you ask the kids if they mind sharing a bedroom, they will all enthusiastically proclaim they don’t mind a bit. In fact, it makes them happy. That might change when they’re teenagers but for the time being, they are content with the arrangements.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not considering sharing a bedroom again with Jen. I’m perfectly content with my current roommate. We’re used to hearing each other snore. It’s just fun to reminisce about sharing space.

And, of course, since Easter is upon us, I’m also thinking about sharing food. Generally, whether we eat breakfast, brunch or an afternoon dinner, there is ham involved. It’s springtime after all. Ham is not my favorite food, but I enjoy it once or so a year at Easter. I buy a spiral-cut ham at Costco or the grocery store and make my own glaze.

Orange Glazed Ham


1/2 c. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

1/4 c. bourbon

3 T. Dijon mustard

6 lb. ham

whole cloves


Preheat oven to 350. In medium bowl, combine orange juice concentrate, brown sugar, bourbon and mustard. Mix well and set aside. Push cloves into the ham and then pour orange juice mixture over the meat. Cover with aluminum foil, tenting it in the center so it doesn’t touch the ham. Bake at 350 for two hours, basting with the pan juices every 30 minutes. Let stand, covered, 10 minutes before serving.

Nana’s Notes: The cloves aren’t mandatory of course. I like to use them because I think they pretty it up and because my mother used them. If I’m serving the ham at a brunch, I put it out with small rolls and condiments. Yum.

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