Another one of the contributors to the tiny house collection explains why tiny house living isn’t for her—but she wrote a terrific story for Coming Home!
Tiny House Living – One Woman’s Thoughts
When some of my writer friends talked about doing a novella collection with tiny houses as a theme, my first thought was, “Nah, that’s not for me.” I write long speculative novels, not short contemporary fiction. But after a while, it sounded like fun, and my friends let me hop aboard. Some even joked my contribution would be called, “Love Finds You in a Tiny House on Mars.”
Tempting as it was, I didn’t write that story. Instead, I set my novella in the community where my husband and I lived for thirty happy years. I enjoyed my research on tiny houses, but not as much as my mental visit to my old hometown. The collection’s title, Coming Home, is fitting, as writing the story felt like that for me.
But would I want to come home to a tiny house, as my protagonist does? That’s an easy question, and the answer is, “Thanks, but I’ll pass.”
Though my husband and I never met until we were adults, we were both born and raised in the city. Unbeknownst to the other, we both told our parents that when we grew up, we would move to the country. Then we met, married, and carried out the plan (much to our mothers’ dismay). Our first house, which I called the Little House in the Big Woods, was a 700-sq.-ft. Cape Cod in rural Ashtabula County, Ohio.
Tiny houses didn’t exist then as we know them today, but if they did, our little place would have been too big to qualify. But it was too small for our comfort, especially after our second child came along. When I wasn’t picking up toys, I was tripping over them. With a small farm and large vegetable gardens, we raised all our own food. That required space for canning equipment, a sizeable deep freeze, a second refrigerator for the eggs we sold, and shelving for my 800+ canning jars. We had to constantly rearrange things to make it all fit.
Needing room to grow, we moved into an old 3000 square-foot farmhouse. The additional space gave me a wonderful sense of freedom. Storage capacity galore. The kids had a place to play other than under my feet. I could walk through the house with my arms outstretched and not bump into anything. Such luxury!
Did I say luxury? I exaggerate. We’d put a lot of work into our first house, and it was a nice little place when we left. In contrast, our next house should have been condemned. For example, I had to clear fallen plaster from the table each day before we could eat at it. No matter. I preferred the roomy ruins over the cuter but cramped little house.
Nowadays, it’s just my husband and me again. In 2013, after having spent three decades repairing and beautifying the old run-down farmhouse, we downsized. But the new house was still twice the size of our first little place. Even after all these years, the idea of living in a tiny space again makes my skin crawl.
I’ve traveled in a motor home and enjoyed hauling our temporary house with us. I could vacation in a tiny house and find it adorable. But my year-round home must have room at the table for my grown kids and their families. I need to get away from the television’s noise when my husband’s watching it. I want space in my kitchen to prepare a full Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t relish having to crawl across the bedroom or bump my head when I sit up in bed. And two bathrooms—or at least a bath and a half—is a must-have.
I admire the creativity of the designers who can make such great use of a tiny house’s small space—and make it look good besides! But for me, that sort of thing is only appropriate for temporary living. I’d be more likely to look for love on Mars than make a tiny house my permanent home.
Yvonne Anderson writes fiction that takes you out of this world.
Usually, that means out of this world and into outer space, or to another planet, as in her acclaimed Gateway to Gannah series. (Book 1, The Story in the Stars, was an ACFW Carol Award finalist in 2012.)
Also this year, she’s launching a new multi-phase adventure, The Four Lives of Jemma Freeman. As with the Gannah series, the story is set on a fictional planet, but the characters are human. Very human. You probably know some of them.
Look for the first part of Book 1, Stillwaters, coming soon on ebook.
Find Yvonne at these sites: