Monday, December 22, 2014

Our House

I wanted to include in our Christmas letter that our new wood stove heats our entire 804 square foot home.  But my husband thought, that with all the other stories, this little factoid, the "804 square feet," would drive everyone to think that we are completely batty, out of our minds, LOCO, crazy to live in such a sized house.  I'm sure that if someone offered to add on a couple rooms, I would gladly take an extra bathroom or a more lively-sized living room.  Its not like we don't have a television because we abhor teli, or because we're so above it that we would only watch NOVA, its that we would watch it too much.  It would pull us away from all the life happening, so we prefer not to tempt ourselves.  The same with our house.  Its not that we resolutely prefer our tiny house, its that its the house that came with the location, which is heavenly.  So the house is heavenly right along with it.

This is the season when all of a sudden, our house seems more cramped.  With colder weather, we naturally spend a bit more time indoors and then there's that Christmas tree we had to cram into the space between the living room and the kitchen.  We have too many books.  However, books are one thing I cannot part with.  Specifically, children's books.  How could I part with such a collection?  Painstakingly selected by Granny throughout her years of teaching.  Bought and paid for with her own money, because, "Children learning to read need lots and lots of books." Thank goodness for that collection because so far it has helped all my children learn to read and want to read.

I remember when we first looked at this house.  We weren't looking for a house at all, but I saw a friend post pictures of it on her Facebook account and a few days later, out of night time boredom, I thought I'd look at the pictures.

House, hm . . . cute . . .
How big?
Oh, 804 sq. feet.
We could never live in a house that size.
(There are five of us.)
Next picture
Oh, a large barn/garage?
Another outbuilding?
An old coal hopper,
Hm.  That would make a nice chicken coop.
For that price?

I called my realtor pal and scheduled to take a look the next day.

But I wasn't sold.  When I came to look, there were people everywhere working on the place.  Putting two sump pumps into the basement, cutting down old dead trees, the kitchen was ghastly, it was dirty, there was debris everywhere, the carpet was nasty, the kitchen was linoleum, old appliances, I couldn't see myself living here.  The pivotal moment was when my mom said, "I think you should move heaven and hell to get this place!"  If she hadn't said that, I would've walked away.  But she said it and I said, "Really?"  And she said, "Deals like this happen once in a lifetime."  And then I had to have it.  Andrew was at work.  It was a Wednesday.  I remember the look on my realtor friend's face when we made our offer.  I swear she thought we were crazy.  She was probably thinking, "This place is a dump!"  My husband met the realtor that day, without even seeing the place to sign the contract.

We spiffed it up a bit before moving in four years ago.  We blew insulation into the lath and plaster walls and ceiling, re-wired, re-plumbed, took years off hubby's life by scraping up the linoleum (four layers,) refinished the white oak and wood floors, and brought our nice stove with us.  We moved the washer/dryer to the basement, instead of in the backdoor mudroom and opened up the small doorway between the living room and kitchen.  When I say "we," I mean El Hefe.  El Hefe is of course, Bill Dunn, carpenter, all around handyman extraordinaire and also my dad.  He just put a wood stove in here last month.  Thanks Dad!

Four years later, we're still all warm and cozy in our tiny house.  And now, "Tiny Houses," are all the rage.  Everyone always copies us.  I know.  I love my tiny house.  I LOVE it.

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