From Big to Tiny

A lot of people have asked if the cabin is going to be a vacation home or a permanent residence. The long-term answer is: permanent residence.

But right now, Chuck’s youngest child still has two years of high school in the town where our current home is. He stays with us every other week.

The “plan” is to live in the tiny cabin every other week until Geoffrey graduates so that Chuck doesn’t have to commute two hours a day. Meanwhile, we continue getting rid of “stuff” and simplifying as much as we can.

We have nearly two years to transition from big to tiny. Our current home has been in the family since 1952. It will probably stay in the family, possibly remaining furnished, or with any heirloom furniture given to family members. The house itself is nearly 100 years old, and it needs continual TLC. Living there for the past 11 years has been a labor of love. It’s more space than we need (especially now that the kids are nearly grown) and a little more than we would like to maintain.

What about all our “stuff”? People ask me this all the time. We have over 2,000 books, and it’s been awhile since I counted. Our house is like a Poké stop for books—they find us and congregate, waiting to be collected.

We talked about going completely digital, but I can’t break the habit of holding a book and smelling its pages (not to mention my slight distrust of technology).

We’re thinking, for the long term, about a media cabin. No kitchen, shower, or loft; just a half bath, reading chairs, and wall-to-wall books. Maybe a couch with a hide-a-bed for when guests visit. We can display my grandmother’s artwork and set up our record player. With the weight of the vinyls and the books, we’ll need a strong structure, but we’ll keep it simple—simpler than our current cabin, e.g., no 12/12 pitch roof.

After all, we’ve purchased plenty of battery-powered tools and have learned a lot. But that’s on down the road.

For now, I’d like to make living in a 10 x 16 cabin work. We once rented a 400 sq. ft. studio apartment, and we had neighbors on all sides (and a bus stop out front). The small space didn’t bother us at all. Once we add the screened-in porch on the back, we’ll have even more room. But right now our focus is on getting the cabin done.

The weather briefly cooled to the 80s, but it was rainy. Yesterday the heat index hit 109. Also, school started and brought with it a 50-hour work week plus commute for Chuck. I’m teaching a class as well, in addition to managing my editing business.

Next time we go out there will be mainly mowing and maintaining the grounds. But soon, those Bradford pears that have been thorns in our side (literally) will erupt in vibrant colors, a nice backdrop for finishing the exterior and moving inside.

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