Last month, we opened our home to the public as part of the SustainFloyd Tiny House Tour. We were happy to share our home and help an organization we believe in all at the same time. What an amazingly full day it was. The tour sold out, and 260 people toured the five homes. Some folks drove a whole day to get here! This is a testament to the growing interest in simplifying life and paring down to what really matters. Hooray for that!
We met so many kind and enthusiastic people who loved our home and were grateful to us for opening it. We even got a thank you letter via snail mail. Thanks, Nancy, for taking the time to honor us with a real letter. There were people all over our hillside. My dear friends sat on our parking pad, asking for names and email addresses and directing folks to walk into the woods to see the Grandmother White Oak we are blessed with. At one point, I sat down on the deck, and looked around at all the people wandering our property. Whoa. This is not quiet and private.
I’m a quiet and private person, so spending a full day exposing all the nooks and crannies of our home took it’s toll on me. I wasn’t uncomfortable sharing–I mean we all have underwear drawers, but the amount of interaction took me down. After six hours of tours, we went to dinner and then viewed the awesome and inspiring film, TINY: A Story About Living Small at the Floyd Country Store. Then we sat on a panel with our fellow tiny house dwellers.
The panel discussion was a highlight for me. How cool to sit on the stage with our dear friends and talk about living our lives. Even though the introvert in me had to hide out in a clam shell for a week to recover, this experience was delightful. I never imagined we’d have a home that people would want to tour, let alone one we built with our own hands.
At the end of the day the traffic slowed down, and some guests asked me a deeper question. It got me all philosophical. I think it was something about why would you want to build a bigger house when you are living so well in this one. I thought about it out loud, “Well, we make this work, but it’s not easy, and there are things we love that we can’t fully explore while living in this house. We want friends to visit and have a place to stay. We want our kids to be able to retreat to their creative spaces to paint, dance, play music, etc. We want to have space for sleepovers and potlucks, we want to host music jams in the dead of winter. It’s funny, our world was pretty big when we owned the restaurant–we hosted and entertained people everyday. After the restaurant, our world became quite contained in this little house. It’s been a great learning experience–helping us examine what matters most. As the big house grows closer to completion, I feel our world changing again. Moving into the big house will immediately give us a tiny house to share. We look forward to hosting bed and breakfast guests, to using the tiny house as a teaching tool, and to having more family and friends visit.”
The tiny house has exposed me in ways that I never would have been exposed otherwise, and I’m so grateful for this time of growth. And now I’m ready to grow into something new. I have this image of me unzipping myself from the tiny house. I step out and stand on top of the tiny house with my arms open. This next phase is full of unknown possibility. That’s pretty cool.