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Our New Home

Debra Redalia

 

We’re so excited to announce that we’ve moved into our new home!

Well, “moved in” is a relative term. We’ve moved out of our bedroom in Larry’s mom’s house and have moved our things into the new space on her property, but it all still needs to be organized.

And “home” is also a relative term. It’s a home in that where we are living now is our home where we have control over everything that happens there instead of living in someone else’s home. and part of it we actually own.

We are now in a new phase of our transition from living in a regular house to living in a tiny house. Three years ago we intended to come here to minimize Larry’s belongings and then decide where we wanted to live. But when we arrived, it was clear we needed to stay and now it’s been three years instead of three months.

Now we have purchased a motorhome to convert into a tiny house we have done the demolition of most of the interior, and, as of last Saturday (full moon) we have been sleeping in our tiny house! read more about our tiny house adventure at Tiny House Toxic Free.

We LOVE it!

Sleeping in the Tiny House

First, you need to know what the conditions actually are.

This tiny house is a 1987 motorhome that used to have all the standard plastic interior, which has now been completely ripped out. It’s just an empty box. It has very thin walls and 35-year-old subfloors that need repair. But it is shelter and livable in a very simple way.

See our tiny house "bedroom at TINY HOUSE TOXIC FREE:

The bedroom area at the back end has three windows: one across the back and one on each side. We sleep with the two side windows open a bit.

The first thing we noticed was the moon. Our tiny house is parked north-south, with the bedroom at the south end. Just as we went to bed, the full moon was rising right through our east window. And throughout the night and on nights since, we are watching the changes of the moon as it travels it’s path over our tiny house. We never saw the moon from our bedroom in the main house, only about 100 feet away. So the moon is there with us in our nighttime environment and we can really say, “Goodnight Moon."

Then we noticed it was very quiet. There were no noises from three other people in the house and their activities. All we heard was the rustle of leaves in the breeze and sounds of birds of the night. It was very calm.

Then we noticed the breeze coming in the window. In our previous bedroom there was very little air movement/ Even though we had a whole sliding glass door we could open there was nothing to create cross ventilation. The house we moved out of is a “manufactured house” which is prefabricated in a factory and then shipped to the homesite. In that regard, for a home, it’s about as industrial as you can get. So it seems there was zero consideration regarding ventilation coming it from outdoors and it was expected that all air flow would go through the HVAC system. We had closed the vents to the HVAC in our room because we wanted fresh air, but had to use a fan to pull it in. Now in our tiny house, the breeze just comes right in and flows right out, just as it should.

The difference in being in nature versus being separated from it in the industrial house is night and day. Wow. Very, very different.

If you are thinking, don’t they want modern conveniences? Yes, we do, they are coming. But the main thing we want is fresh air.

We have our TV so we can watch movies and educational shows we like, and we have our bed. but that’s it at the moment.

Our Porch and Garden

We weren’t really planning to have a porch and garden, but it just kind of appeared.

We had purchased two garden chairs so we could sit outside the front door and suddenly I realized this motorhome has an awning that we had never opened. The fabric certainly needs to be replaced and the motor may need some help too, but the outdoor space just outside one’s motor home is considered living space, and we are calling it “the porch."

Since we started sleeping here and this is now our home, we’ve been sitting in our porch area in our garden chair eating our meals. We have a work table set up for Larry to use while remodeling, but we’re going to get a garden table that coordinates with the chairs.

Now the garden had been there all along and in fact Larry and I have been planting and harvesting from it for the three years we’ve been here, but what changed was that suddenly the garden wasn’t just a garden, it was our front yard.

And even more than that, it was the connecting space between the tiny house and the door of another room we are using, previously called the storage room because it was used for storage, but now called the utility room because it is providing a useful service for us. And so a path through the garden will soon be create so we can get from the tiny house front door to the utility room door, opening all kinds fo possibilities for the pleasure of walking through the garden to get to the utility room instead of walking all the way around it.

The Utility Room

The utility room is in an outbuilding designed originally to house activities family members had that were not everyday living. Originally there was a woodshed and an office and a cattery where Larry’s mom bred and sold Persian cats.

This room originally was designed to be a storage room for all these activities, and also has a small bathroom, which has a toilet, bathtub, sink, and closet. We also have our clothes washer and dryer in the utility room.

It is fairly large with high ceilings and has a lot of natural light streaming in most of the day from windows high on one side.

This will be our bathroom until we build the bathroom in the tiny house, and also storage of all our personal belongings. Here we can sort thought everything and let go of what we won’t be needing and what won’t fit as we downsize to fit our possessions into the tiny house.

I almost wrote “fit our lives into the tiny house,” but no. It really is “fit our possessions” because our lives happen in the tiny house, on the porch, in the garden, in the utility room, in my office, in the main house, in the community and in the world. Tiny house does not mean tiny life.

My Office

My office will stay the same, until we create a space for it in the tiny house.

Our Plans

We plan to live here as long as Mom is here. She and Larry have a very close relationship and we want to be here with her and help her with her life and help maintain the property as long as she needs and wants us to be here. She just turned 89 years old but she is very healthy and spry so we have no idea how long we’ll be here.

But we know it will not be for the rest of our lives. There will be a day when we need to leave, and when that day comes, we will have made the transition from our “adult consumer life” to our “senior lifely life” and we will be able to simply drive away with all our belongings and choose the next place to live.

So we are excited in every way about this.

Yesterday I remembered reading that the Amish have a farm for every family and there are two houses on each farm. The big house is for the family and the smaller house is for the parents, when they no longer need a big house to raise a family. One of the children then takes the big house to raise their family, and on and on it goes through the generations.

We’re doing something similar to this. We’ve come to help Mom stay in her house for her remaining years, and so are building our own little house to be nearby yet separate as an independent couple. We’re so close she could call out her kitchen window and we can hear her, yet we have our own home, and out privacy and autonomy.

I think this arrangement would work well in many circumstances, and it also keeps the generations together. If we had children, grandma would be right next door.

Even though everything is in chaos right now, it’s good chaos and we are excited about creating our new home, for now and for the future.

As long as we live here we will occupy all these spaces as our “home”—there’s no reason not to use them while we are here—keeping in mind one day it will all get reduced into the tiny house. And then we’ll take the tiny house someplace else and either live it in, or live it it while we build a house, or whatever. But we will always have the security of knowing we have a house we can live it that is safe, nontoxic, and meets our needs without a mortgage or property taxes (unless we buy a piece of property).

We really see tiny houses as a viable option for many people in the future.

Welcome to Lifely!

Quite simply, this blog is about orienting ourselves and our lives to Life, instead of orienting ourselves and our lives to industrial consumerism. Here we are sharing our own journey. You come too. Read more...

Debra & Larry Redalia
lifepartners + soulmates

For more than 30 years we have been delving into the nature and activities of life together. Indeed, this has been and continues to be the very reason we are together. With delight, we research, explore, observe, and even wake each other up in the middle of the night to discuss how life functions and how we can function as life—even while living in the modern world. We each are different from the norm, but we are different in the same way, so we have been able to think outside of the ordinary together and find the extraordinary workings of life.

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