Step Into My Office

Yes. I’m doing a meme. Specifically, I’m doing the show-everyone-where-you-blog meme, which is going around in several different iterations.  I don’t normally do memes, because they require that I do them in a more or less timely manner, and that never happens. But I’m doing this one because I’m all writers-block-y this week, and because my office was more or less clean to begin with (a rare occurrence), so I figured I’d better take pictures before the kids come home with backpacks full of school papers that will clutter up the desk.

So here’s my office (click the photos to enlarge).

This is the view from the doorway, standing just behind the baby gate that keeps my kids from coming in here and trashing the place.  I have a big desk, because when I’m working I like to spread my papers out.  Nearly all of the furniture is from IKEA, because my hobby is buying and assembling cheap furniture using only an Allen wrench and instructions that don’t have any words.  The chair, however, was ridiculously expensive (but worth it).  I bought it 10 years ago, when I started my own business and had no children to spend my money on.  The print on the wall on the far right is a view of the main reading room of the Library of Congress, where I used to do research when I lived in DC.  The print on the other side of the wall is a 1873 map of Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota that shows the railroad lines.  It’s handy to have up when I’m doing research.  The window looks out into the backyard, where I watch the squirrels attack my potted plants while I work.

These two big black file cabinets have a lot of research stuff in them.  When I started doing genealogical research, everything was on paper.  As a result…well, I have a lot of paper.  The picture over the table is a bird’s-eye view of Mankato, Minnesota from 1870.  My family lived there then, and you can see both their house and their church on the map.  It’s pretty cool.  The wagon on top of the file cabinet is the original Clue Wagon.  It’s actually a doll wagon, and I got it at a kids’ consignment store for $4.99, the week I started the original Clue Wagon.

The bookshelves are mostly filled with genealogy books.  I have lots of genealogy books.  If you look closely (or click to enlarge), you can also see the aircraft models from my old airline job on top of the shelves; I put them up there because my three-year-old was obsessed with them.  The print here is another birds-eye view, of Minneapolis (my original hometown) in 1892.  The little grass-looking thing next to the light is a charging station.  The cords come up through the grass and you put your stuff there to charge.  I love it.

This is where I actually sit and work.  There are usually more sticky-notes on the monitor than this, but it was really windy here a couple of days ago, and some of them blew off.  The bureau behind my monitor is actually a desk (that top part drops down), and my 5-year-old daughter sits there and “works” on her computer early in the morning while I work on mine.  Beyond that is one of two closets, because this room was originally the master bedroom when our house was built in the early 1950s.  Later they expanded the upstairs, so now we have three bedrooms upstairs and this one down here.  The previous owners used this room as a den.  Now it’s an office.  That’s one of the cool things about older houses…you can see them change with the times.

What does YOUR office look like?

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