Ahhhh. It’s that special time of the
month week day again! The time when I wistfully contemplate moving out of our (not-officially) tiny house. The hysterical voices of both my precious angels are ringing in my ears as I recall the complete meltdown that occurred in their shared bedroom earlier today when L (who has one of the loudest voices I’ve ever encountered) dared to disturb the special configuration of toys that Z spent significant time creating, and attempted to eat her older sister’s “jewels” (marbles and drywall anchors). And then I recall the semi-weekly excitement that occurs when the three potty-trained members of our family need to use said potty at the same time. Or the times we’ve squished four full-bodied guests on our 1970s couch at once. Or that time my friends recommended tearing down our garden shed to make more space and were in shock when I told them it was actually our garage.
You know, that special time. It’s immediately followed by a wave of repentance: how could I abandon my adorable little house? It’s been like family to me. Haggard, demanding, arthritic family, but family nonetheless. Maybe we should just renovate! They say you always get your money back out of a renovation, particularly when it’s on a 100-year-old foundation. Or what if we just hooked up an extra toilet in the kitchen? Or made another bedroom for the girls in the detached garage? Or excavated the old coal cellar? There has got to be something we can do.
More seriously, I’ve thought of winterizing our veranda, walling in our back deck, building a new garage with a loft on top, or trying to finish our cement-bunker basement. Most of these ideas involve knocking over structural walls, or trying to make the furnace look like a cozy art object, and most of these ideas get an eye roll from Todd. But there must be something that would make this house continue to work for us over the long haul.
Because other than the lack of square footage, I love where we live. I love the character our house has; I love our neighbours; I love the “flavour” of our community (if not the pot fumes emanating from every third or fourth house); I love the mountain view from my kitchen; I love that I can walk to friends’ houses, and church, and parks; I love that our mortgage payments are low; I love our proximity to major roads and downtown. It’s just…small.
I realize that I’m really lucky to own a house. And I also realize that living small is trendy right now. Minimalism is in, and even though some people take it to ludicrous extremes, I think there’s a lot to be said for living with less. I wonder if our society has given me unrealistic expectations for the amount of space I need to raise a family. People in other times and places have made due with a lot less. So for now, maybe I just need to take a deep breath. And buy L her own set of drywall anchors.