Back when I was pregnant with my first daughter in Rochester I listened to a lot of Bjork and nearly named the baby Isobel but then thought better of it. I didn’t want to tell a story ten years later that began with “Well, we named her after an obscure song written by an Icelandic singer who was popular in college…” This past Christmas, at the suggestion of my cool 12-year-old sister, my mom bought me TOMS shoes for Christmas. It was a sweet gesture but I politely asked her to return the shoes because they’re ugly, flimsy and make me look like I’m pretending to be 19. I used the money to shop the sales at the grocery store and bought a few weeks worth of pork roast, split chicken breast, ground sirloin, beans, rice, onions and potatoes. Those shoes are expensive and I wonder how well they hold up in the developing countries they’re sent to. I try to avoid investing too much in popular culture because its impact rarely lasts. Yet once in a while something trendy will truly pique my interest and I completely buy into it.
When I was a little girl I spent a lot of time in the car traveling to see my grandmother in Fort Ann. It was a very long drive. I always looked for a familiar landmark to tell me we were close: a tiny house that I imagined was the home of the Three Bears. For years we drove by and I longed to see inside this miniscule cottage on the corner. It’s a good thing I didn’t because I’m sure it was full of rusty, dirty lawn equipment and smelled like Miracle-Gro and that would have really ruined the magic. But perhaps that little gardening shed (along with many childhood books featuring tree houses, stone cottages and forest cabins) is the source of my love for cozy little homes. In each new place I live I always scope them out: shady yards, simple architecture, plenty of windows and a secluded, peaceful atmosphere.
In the last year or so I became aware of the Tiny House craze. It really started with a fun story I read about a couple who built their own teardrop trailer from scratch, a very impressive feat and a super cute camper. From there, the tiny house community came out of the sustainable woodwork. I realized there was a real, live tiny house right down the road from me in the form of a geodesic dome, overflowing with flowers and hanging plants. In my mind I would alter the layout of our current home to determine how much square footage we could lose without losing our sanity. I started to see my dream home ambitions materializing.
It seems we are off to a good start having three girls share one bedroom for the past three years and me having an obsessive compulsion to downsize everything. We are not building our own microscopic mansion– yet. But just knowing that there is a market out there supporting really, really small home design gives me hope that some day my dream of living in a stone cottage in a gorgeous landscape will be a reality. For now, I am content with what we have (well, not the fuel oil bill that comes with it). And for a good laugh about life in a tiny house there’s always that Geico commercial we all thought was a real ad for the most ludicrous reality show ever.
Are you living in your dream home?