Tiny House Part 1: The Dream

I’ve been fascinated by tiny houses since I first learned about them and I’ve always felt that, if I were alone, I could live in one and enjoy it. I loved the idea of getting rid of the unnecessary and paring my life down to what really matters.

Through the years, my conviction grew, especially as life with my husband became increasingly challenging. I pretty much ended up living in our bedroom until after his passing when I was able to “move back into” the rest of the apartment. Living in the whole house was amazing at first, but eventually it began to feel like too much. I didn’t need almost 1,000 square feet and, frankly, I grew uncomfortable with that much space.

When he passed on October 1 of last year, I lost his income, so I knew immediately that when my lease was up I would have to move out of our two-bedroom, one bath apartment. The challenge was that rents in our town have increased astronomically in recent years and my options were extremely limited. I knew that, if nothing else, my kids would welcome me into their home, but no one wants to do that to their children. Well, I didn’t.

I must pause to give glory to God here. Losing my husband’s income left me literally unable to pay the full rent. He’d been sick for nearly ten years, and life with him had been expensive. Our savings was gone, and the credit cards were maxed out. And no, as I imagine is true of many narcissists, he had no life insurance. No matter how tightly I ran the budget, how much I went without, I was consistently hundreds of dollars short of having enough to last a month. The money simply wasn’t there. BUT GOD WAS.

God provided faithfully. Every. Single. Month. For months on end, people gave me money without knowing why they were giving it. It was always exactly what I needed to make up for the shortfall. I did eventually start receiving my widow’s benefits, which made things worlds easier, but that was months later. God made sure my rent was paid one way or another in the meantime.

Eventually, after months of housing research and lots of prayer, not knowing what I was going to do, a beautiful offer was made to me. I was invited over and shown a small area inside a big building. “If we built this out, could you live here?”

“YES! I definitely could!”

And so, we jumped in. They started work on putting things together at their place, and I began taking things apart at mine. Some parameters were already set. The area they’d selected had originally been intended as a sort of pool house: It had three walls in place, one window, and an area that was already partially plumbed and would become my bathroom. The footprint was 22′ by 10′. Yes, I was moving into 220 square feet. My tiny home dream was going to become a reality at the same time my financial burden would be greatly reduced. Double win! (Well, triple win, because I was going to live only yards away from my very best friend.)

Within days of the decision being made, I’d gotten my hands on a pad of graph paper, mapped out what I thought would be the final footprint of my efficiency/studio/tiny home, and started reality checking. What were the necessities? What was possible? What was doable?

It was time to start working out a plan.

And this is the first in a series that will cover my tiny home life!

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

3 thoughts on “Tiny House Part 1: The Dream

  1. Susan Claire September 15, 2023 / 2:38 pm

    That is so fantastic! I was wondering how you were doing and I am so glad you will have a secure place, a new home, near your best friend.
    A place that is clean of the past years and just for you will be so good.
    I would love to see the plans and progress as you go along, if you wish to share them.
    All the best,
    Susan Claire

    • Tammy M Cardwell September 15, 2023 / 5:03 pm

      I will definitely be sharing. At this point, I’ve got Tiny Home posts scheduled for every Friday through the end of the month and am currently working on one for next month.

      My thought process is that I can’t be the only one doing it, and sharing my experience can help others. Plus it’s fascinating. That’s why I’ve watched so many tiny house shows through the years!

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