Monday, July 20, 2015

Blocks & String

Tonight we went out on the lawn and measured out the house. A collection of paving stones, baler twine, and 2x4s mapped out our future home. A wee nook for a kitchen, a set of curving stairs, a tiny laundry room ... it all took shape out on the lawn. Then we went into our Glamper and measured those rooms to get an idea of rooms with actual walls ... it all seems clearer now ... small but functional and cozy. And it will seem huge after living in the Glamper for 4 months, lol.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

"So ... could you live in a tiny house ?"

Sitting in the living room in our way too big old house, feeling like I'm being crushed by all the "stuff" we've accumulated in 30 years of marriage , that was the question I asked my husband. His answer ... "yes". And so the conversation began.
Me : "Why don't we build one ?"
Him : "Okay." ... "Where ?"
Me : (deep breath) "Here. We tear down the house."
Him : "Sure."
And that was it. We both felt a huge sense of relief, a spark of excitement, and the thrill of a challenge.
We live in a 2 story 2600 square foot house that is over 170 years old. There were 20 rooms in the house when we moved in. Part of the house had been an old general store. It was huge, we were young and maybe (lol) a bit naive. It was rough but we were looking through young excited eyes. It would be magnificent ... and what would it take to fix it up, a year maybe ? We were in !
No furnace, just a space heater. No light switches, just shoelaces tied to pull chains. The only tub was a copper liner in a wooden tub with a garden hose attached to a tap. No cupboards, few closets, old lino flooring, cracked plaster. The list went on and on ...
It has been 29 years ... several freeze ups, small floods, snow drifting in windows ... we have replaced windows, gone through several furnaces, shingled the roof, added siding, painted, carpeted, put down tile ... and are still nowhere near finished. Actually the first roof is now 28 years old and needs to be replaced. So some of the work is even due for a redo ! We were hard core collectors, yard salers, acquirers ... ( some might say hoarders but that seems so harsh ...) and we have filled many of those rooms. We have stuff  treasures that we haven't looked at in years. There are actually rooms that I haven't been in in years ! We basically live in a few rooms now so it isn't much of a stretch to live in a small house. We are at the point that we need to invest a lot of time and an equally large amount of money to get this place fixed up and done. And then we will have a huge house that we have stuffed with things and struggle to heat, clean, and keep up. The choice seems clear, easy and exciting !
Why not sell the house and build elsewhere ? Because we love where we live. And buying that huge falling down monster house so many years ago has given us a piece of sea side property that we could never afford to buy now. There is no other place we would want to live.
Our view from the front step ... heavenly. 

And so our journey begins ... in the next 10 months we will purge as much as possible, edit and eliminate, and find creative ways to save and earn money. Our goal is to build this tiny dream as economically as possible and fill it with only the things we truly love and need. This is our story ...