I spent last spring visiting individuals that live in Tiny Homes. It’s been a popular topic for the past several years. My first visit was with Eric who is living on his 17 Acres, purchased several years ago with an earthship on it. Within days of walking the property, which had been for sale for a long while, he decided to purchase it. He was able to relocate all the tiny homes on wheels which he had built over the past decades. Today, his adult children have tiny houses on the property. One of them currently lives in the tiny home she was born in. His son is in the process of building an Earthship with his girlfriend. Eric has many plans to keep building including a dance hall which will host a local dance fest.
Second stop, the restored log mountain homestead which at one time housed a family of twelve. Early European settlers to Colorado. It now belongs to Chris and Dante. Standing in the original part of the home it’s apparent that this two hundred square foot house built for twelve souls or at seventeen square foot per person was anything but spacious. A two hundred square foot tiny home for two at one hundred square feet per person is quite spacious compared to the per person footprint of the log cabin’s original inhabitants.
As I was finishing up writing this story a friend of a friend mentioned a woman that I was interested in tiny homes. Valerie called me and we met and I instantly fell in love with her Airstream. She moved into the Airstream with her husband six years ago when the economy tanked and they have lived in it ever since. Valerie was very gracious and open about her experience living this way she says, “heat this winter was a propane heater briefly before bed or when making my coffee in the morning, and showering was done at a friend’s house or at the Laundromat where I do my laundry. I found that when it was getting dark and cold it was time to go to bed or snuggle up with a movie, book, journal or time to write someone a letter. These are the very things I enjoy but tend to put off and I was actually getting to do more of them.”
The common denominator heard from all these small dwelling enthusiasts is that they want to tread lightly on the earth, keep life simple, focus on quality of life not the size of the checkbook. Lack of financial resources has contributed to the ingenuity of many of the people I’ve visited. It’s allowed for more free time to volunteer, pursue creative endeavors and for some the ability to focus on living a slower, more mindful life.