My grandpa in front of the house
my mother and I grew up in •
room for three generations of stuff
Photo by Janet Lee Carpenter
Touring Trekker Trailers’ cute and efficient tiny house
70 sq ft • Photo by Amy Mauro
Now, I am not talking “tiny” house tiny, and those reading this blog who live in truly tiny houses may laugh at me. But I simply could not imagine squeezing into that place full-time. We never measured, but there is no way it was 1,200 sq. ft. I think it was closer to 1,000. Or maybe it just lived small. I got that idea from our friend Irene, who is a realtor and went to see the house with us. “There are tiny houses,” she said, ”and there are tiny houses.”
That got me thinking: there are more variables at work here than the fact that I’m a pack rat. Yes, I am dutifully and desperately trying to walk my talk and pare down. My attachment to things is fighting back, but I am making slow progress. Why is it that I can’t come even close to the folks who I admire that are living truly tiny?
But why do I need 1,000 sq ft instead of, say, 500? For me, the answer is that I do not have only my own stuff, but I am a caretaker for three generations of stuff. You’ve heard of the sandwich generation, caring for aging parents and young children at the same time? Well, I am a stuff sandwich. When my mom and dad died, as an only child I inherited all sorts of family furniture and memorabilia. My mother in turn had gotten a lot of it from her mom, and her mom from her mom, and back and back.
A triple shipping container house in St. Augustine • 960 sq ft
The Spring House in
Tallahassee • |
designed by Frank Lloyd Wright • 1,500 sq ft
Photo courtesy Spring House Institute