You know the wind has shifted when you are glad the fairy mug broke, because there was no room for it in the tiny house anyway.
I knew my clutter issues were still with me when a fellow tiny houser told me that when my replacement mug arrived, the damaged one should be tossed, and I had already begun thinking of saving the original to hold highlighters until I found the merchant information for a refund. Dropping it saved me the trouble and time of going through hours of paperwork.
Soon after, I returned to the family house to pick up the Prime Day packages. I left behind the packaging and a Christmas gift. Within a week I had also returned a coffeemaker.
As I traveled around this week, I realized I had moved “out” and “on” to my tiny house. I’m moved in.
The Fairy Godmother was able to squeeze all her charms and talents into 240 square feet, with plenty of room for her tiny charges to come and go as desired. There was a fire extinguisher and candles and cauldrons with athames both large and small, which is relative in a tiny house with fairy visitors.
The house sat on the edge of reality near figment, where the veil was thinnest under all phases of the moon. At full capacity, it still weighed 17,040 pounds, because the fairies visited only at night, and were therefore naked. When these visitors left, they would take all evidence that they had ever been there. There were clues, but a sharp eye was needed because they were bubble rider sprites; the smallest of the fae, yet the most powerful.
It is important to note that The Fairy Godmother is not of the fae, nor is she a witch. Most days she is an ordinary human who reheats her coffee in the microwave and forgets where she left it. She wears neither wings nor pointy hat. She wears costumes and uniforms above red shoes. In public she wears sneakers with t-shirts from Walmart.
The Fairy Godmother never cackles or talks like a baby. She is just as likely to be talking to a human as a fairy. This is the reason she is sometimes considered to have gone mad.
But she is wise. Wherever her life has shrunk in reality, it has expanded across the veil. She sees the fairies and caresses the stars.
The builder and I are amused to note that our “baby” will be delivered on Mothers Day.
All of the adventures from Full Haus to Empty Nest have been amusing. I may have gotten here kicking and screaming, but whether looking forward or backward or right where I now sit, there has never been a dull moment. Like the weeds that appear in the lawn without intentional sowing, each element of the journey has surprised and altered and enhanced the process. This is growth; and never is it more apparent than the moment before the bloom opens to the sun.
Beginning with the summer of 2016, when I traveled to the New Hampshire mountains in search of an affordable life, sorting through web sites and television shows and builders’ magazines and zoning laws, agonizing over the clutter which sometimes left me drowning, I can finally see the flower that is my life. The seed was planted when my youngest child was considering a college on the west coast. My second and third sons choose not to drive, and I had not realized that it would affect my position as a mother to step entirely out of the role as Soccer Mom (not that any of my Three Wise Men is the least bit athletic. Their father played street hockey and the boys played Nintendo. I was a left fullback).
My first thought was that my child would need someone to transport him to his classes, which made no sense to my usual self, but Empty Nesting is a complex thing. In order to drive him around, I would need to live in Redmond, Washington near Digi-Pen. The other two had followed my lead and gone to Drexel, which was right on the R5 SEPTA Regional Rail line. As I contemplated what I’d have to bring with me to set up a homestead so far from the family “estate”, we discovered that my son didn’t even have the credentials to get on an airplane to visit the campus. Of course I knew better than to actually uproot my own life and follow my baby to college, and if truth be told, I had spent a lot of my mothering time teaching them to succeed on their own, so this entire brief plan to live on the west coast in a tiny house in order to get my child to class belongs in that same place where I keep dreaming that I forgot to potty train him.
On his own, he withdrew his acceptance to Digi-Pen and followed his brothers to Drexel…..which by no means suggests that any of them visit their mother regularly. Perhaps they are wise enough to know I won’t do their laundry. Once the seed was planted however, it found its way to the ground’s surface. Despite all logic and realism, that plant would not die. Nor could it grow in the soil of an impossible marriage. All living things need food, and my husband was a really bad farmer. Over time, the idea of living on my own became my only nourishment, so I started packing to get off the farm.
I have been living in a hoarded house. I don’t know if I am a hoarder, but I know the lifestyle paralyzed me. I thought that if I ever got beyond the clutter, I would find the things I once loved and wanted in my daily life.
In April I finally visited my tiny house. At the time, the interior was a skeleton. We say “shell”. My imagination and creativity immediately filled the space with ideas.
And then I came back to the big house.
My Stuff is going to outlive me, that’s all there is to it. Right this minute the FUL HAUS Odyssey is packed with donations. I tried to drop them off on Good Friday but they told me they were closed. Stood there like soldiers and refused to take the donation because they were going to close in five minutes. I can never seem to get beyond the Gatekeeper… The TNY HAUS Pilot is packed with things that are going to the tiny house.
I have more kitchen gadgets and stationery than I’ll ever need, and if my son hadn’t stared me down all weekend I’d still be deciding what to do with 42 key rings. I haven’t come across the keys yet.
But here’s a startling discovery: it’s kind of fun to see these things I thought I really needed, now that I don’t need them afterall. I even found a tenth gray hoodie after donating eight of them in the last couple of years. This one was in such bad shape it went right in the trash can.
For better or worse, my move to the tiny house is possible because I’m leaving so much in the exact place it’s been sitting for 20 years or more. Maybe you can’t take it with you, but maybe you won’t want to.
I am poised to step into Old Mother Hubbard’s shoe after her kids have moved out.
There are few times in life when you can hold all options open, and this is happening right now. I owe nothing to anybody. All my choices are mine. I still own my stuff and I also own my tiny house. My kids still love me and I don’t need to make their lunches. There’s gas in the car and cream in the fridge and a pair of shoes on my feet. I can wear my bra or toss it on the kitchen table if I want. (I won’t) I can admire Marie Kondo or make fun of her. I can sing off key. I can check the mailbox three times a day. I can skip recycling. Anything is possible. Well, except pregnancy.
And it all started ten years ago today, when I finally became a non-smoker after 41 years. Freedom isn’t free, but the rewards are immeasurable.
Ten years, 12 hours, 17 minutes and 53 seconds. 146100 cigarettes not smoked, saving $41,784.73. Life saved: 1 year, 20 weeks, 3 days, 7 hours, 0 minutes.