The first time i saw a tiny house was in an edition of This Old House. I think. I looked at that glossy photo of freedom and, like most people I’m sure, I thought, “Oh how cute! That would make a neat playhouse!” But on the raw edge of my mind I could feel the pull of the tiny house movement.
I bought my house in 2005; a small 1100 square foot bungalow, tucked into a beautiful neighborhood in the Idaho Falls Historic numbered streets. It was such a rush! I was so proud of myself for reaching out and grabbing that ultimate goal of the American Dream. I gave no thought as to how I would pay for it; only that it was mine. I was the only 20 year old I knew who owned her own home.
The rush of home ownership swiftly wore off as I struggled to make the mortgage payment, fix things that were broken, and clean that 11oo sq ft. Not to mention taking care of the huge yard that went with it. It soon became the norm to not have any cash to myself. I could no longer go and do the things that I wanted, like watch my father play with his blues band because I couldn’t afford a $3 beer. As the walls of my dream home closed in on me, I began to feel suffocated and crushed by the weight of my mortgage. I sought a way out. How was I going to find a way out of my claustrophobic seclusion if I couldn’t afford distraction? I found freedom within my self-created prison walls by designing spaces that would allow me to do what really mattered to me. I remembered that photo and I dreamed that home was mine.
An enticing part of the tiny house movement is the sheer and almost utter freedom that could accompany it. Freedom from debt, from life sucking time wasters like tv. Freedom to be able to spend your money on what you want instead of on what you must. As I continue to struggle to maintain my big house and get it ready to sell, tiny home living becomes even more important to me.
I think though, the thing that lures me in the most, especially in the case of tiny mobile homes, is the ability to hitch my house to my truck and hit the road. I’d be at home everywhere I go! After being tied down and feeling like a cornered animal these last three and a half years, I think it would be almost sensual to be so free! Sometimes I think it would be so fun to learn to read palms and just up and leave and become a gypsy. Kind of like joining the circus, even to be sideshow entertainment would be preferable to being cloistered all the time. To be able to just pack up and go visit my family in Washington or my best friend in Nevada, or go see every national park in the USA if I wanted, would feel something like a good stretch after a nap.