Thursday, July 11, 2013

Travel Post 3: Tiny House

On our way back across the country we stopped at a tiny house in Omaha, Nebraska. A house compact enough to be on a trailer, this ‘teeny tiny teeny house’ as my son called it, had space enough for 4 to sleep, a composting toilet, shower, and a small kitchen.

The tiny house movement has been around for awhile, and I was excited to stay in one. More than living in an RV, the tiny house is one that models sustainability—composting toilet, gray water system—and efficiency. It’s also cute as hell.

My son was taken with the tiny teeny house. As we drove there, he held up his thumb and said, The house is THIS big, it is so tiny. We got into a discussion about whether or not Norman would fit in the tiny house, or if in fact it was only big enough for Forrest and Mama. It was adorable.

Now, days later—through 2 nights in Chicago and a night in Foxburg, PA, all lovely places, Forrest is still talking about the teeny tiny house.

I’ve realized that these 2 months on the road, with a plane jaunt to Alaska in there, too, is about living in our own teeny tiny house—our Prius. We’ve stocked the car with Forrest’s books and toys, and the car has become a safe place for him. He doesn’t always want to leave the car when we stop, instead sitting and telling stories with whatever parent is available. We have no problem getting him to nap in the car, now. Before, when we were apartment bound, we had to make sure to be at a bed for Forrest to nap.

Back in 1995 I drove around the country by myself, visiting and participating in happenings that interested me after graduating college and before my organizing job started in the fall. I spent a week in West Philadelphia, at a then Training Center workshop with George Lakey. I was living out of my car, and was worried about its safety. A participant told me to not worry, that the universe is my home. And I said, sarcastically, that this was a nice idea, but the universe has NO ROOF.

Now I am a bit calmer about this, and trust more that things will work out. Financial knowledge, a network of friends and relations, and a sense of duration helps. But I am seeing in my son the need for a sense of place that was pretty unconscious in me in 1995. 

He talks about the tiny house, and our home waiting for us in Vermont, in the same breath. We are traveling with our home, and moving toward it—if circuitously—building our shared memories and plans together, in our moving little home and our infinite home of love. 


  1. I loved reading these reflections, V. Having known you then, and being the mama now of a dis/re-located/relocating three year old, all of this resonated with me! I hope you and your family keep uncovering beauty, safety, adventure, and home together.

    1. jen, thanks for responding to this piece. i really know you knew me when i was so unconscious and so driven to search. i am glad we can connect again, in new ways, these years later. hope settling in goes well with you and your lovely family. many blessings.

  2. Have you ever done any research into cargotecture? I tried to get Porject HOME on board with this but apparently the unions don't like this concept. They balked about it and stipulated that only union could drive in the cargo containers etc etc...driving the prices up considerably.