I first heard about the whole 'Tiny House' movement/community a few years ago. Since then, I've been following blogs and sites, reading and day dreaming of a cosy little house of my own. Dreaming - as I think I would have a hard time downsizing.
At forty one, Dee Williams had a life altering health scare. She stopped and took inventory of her life. And made choices. She did downsize - radically. Gone were the possessions and the 'big' house she had redone. Instead, Williams now lives in an 84 sq.ft. home she built herself. What she gained is priceless.
The Big Tiny is Williams' memoir. I was caught up from the opening pages, eager to vicariously share her adventure and hear about her life. (And stop to dream a little bit myself.) We know that Williams is happy with where she landed, but she allows us to share her feelings and thoughts as she divests herself of a life's worth of stuff. ("It took me a long time to sort through the bookshelves.") Her writing is thoughtful, introspective and honest. She articulates what many of us have perhaps thought. How much is enough? We're with Williams as she builds and moves into her new home and changes her life, from ups and downs. I stopped many times to reread certain passages. Williams voices some excellent food for thought.
"If more people understood how nice it is to have a sense of home that extends past our locked doors, past our neighbor's padlocks, to the local food co-op and library, the sidewalks busted up by old trees - if we all held home with longer arms - we'd live in a very different place."
Dee Williams just seems like someone I would love to sit and talk to. Her sense of adventure, joy and 'why the heck not' attitude radiates from the pages of The Big Tiny.
"I stumbled into a new sort of 'happiness", one that didn't hinge on always getting what I want but rather, on wanting what I have. It's the kind of happiness that isn't tied so tightly to being comfortable(or having money and property), but instead is linked to a deeper sense of satisfaction - to a sense of humility and gratitude, and a better understanding of who I am in my heart. I found a certain bigness in my little house - a sense of largeness, freedom, and happiness that comes when you see there's no place else you'd rather be."
The Big Tiny was just an excellent read - check out an excerpt.
And me? I'm going to keep dreaming and poring over floor plans. You never know.....
"Dee Williams is a teacher, designer, woodworker, and sustainability advocate. She is the owner of two business, Portland Alternative Dwellings (PAD) and Boxcar Woodcraft, where she designs and builds tiny houses. She conducts green-building workshops across the country with Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, and is the author of Go House Go, a manual for building small homes. Williams lives in Olympia, Washington."