It’s really hard to believe that July is upon us. Time is just flying and I have arrived at what I like to call my “summer slump”. Once the hustle and bustle of readying to leave, sailing and arriving are over, I’m good for about a week. One week of “ahhhh, rest and relaxation… cough, cough” and then it hits… like clockwork, the slump.
I wake one morning, stretch, look at my beautiful lady then at the amazing scenery here on the Bay and think, oh my God, we’re broke. What’s next? What am I going to be when I grow up? I’m a total failure! A bum! I’ve wasted my life!!! Let me just add if I may… a birthday doesn’t help this swift decent.
As Jet and I walk along the serene lanes that wind along placid coves I start to feel the swell of anxiety, shortness of breath, rise in heart rate and after about two weeks, I’m a nut-job. I begin to look for projects. And I find them. Like pulling out the water tanks and re-tabbing bulkheads. Cleaning the carburetor in the dinghy outboard (for the fifth time) and inventing silly floating chairs. Then, I realize… holy shit, I gotta get a job! How are we gonna pay the bills?! Book royalties are not cutting it. Music royalties are not what they used to be. Sweat starts to bead on my brow and then … I get quiet. Very quiet.
Melody knows when I get quiet things are beginning to unravel. And she, like a maestro begins to unravel the ravel. She knows if I’m quiet for too long, I’ll start to … (cue the horror movie sound effects, dun-dun-dunnnnn)… remodel. She’ll go to the restroom for fifteen minutes and return to find me dismantling the engine or removing all the floors because my neurosis needs a project and I JUST COULDN’T STOP!!! And she begins to counter-attack.
She begins to talk.
Now, if you don’t know my lovely Melody… she can talk. She’s a waif of a girl but she holds a lot of wind. And we’ve been talking about maybe finding a small plot of land, an acre or so, near some water and maybe toying with the idea of building a tiny house. Of course all we can do is talk because we have no money.
If you are unfamiliar with the tiny house craze, you should check it out. I’ve always loved small, uncluttered, uber-simplistic spaces. I liked being on a tour bus and I liked my small cottage in Nashville. I also love the idea of being completely off the grid and self-sufficient in a space that is designed so well and comfortable that you forget all about the dimensions. I said, dimensions not dementia… but I digress.
One of our talks was about how our boat is actually a “tiny house”. And Mel astutely distracted me by dangling the “shiny object” of a blog post. “Honey, why don’t you write a blog about it? Like right now. Go. Now.”
I had never thought of it that way. We live in a very small space and we call it home. It’s uncluttered and very well designed. We want for nothing and we really don’t miss the conventional home. Now, if I’m being completely honest, I do miss having a garden and I miss a fireplace on those chilly fall nights. I would also love to have a place to keep my nice guitars and not fear them being destroyed by the changing humidity and exposure to salt air. These things we could totally incorporate into our “tiny-house/cabin.”
The amazing thing about the tiny house movement is that there are no limits to what some people are doing. It’s pushing the boundaries of design and innovation to extraordinary lengths. Of course conventional building codes are going to hinder the most extreme but people are even finding ways around that! One architect designed and built her house for eleven thousand dollars! Can you imagine not having a mortgage?! We don’t and let me tell you… it’s freaking awesome.
I think (always dangerous because my opinion is to follow) that the modern adaptation of our living spaces should be challenged and pushed forward. Environmentally friendly building methods will benefit everyone and alternative energy sources are getting better every year! I love watching our solar panel pump amperage into our batteries! FREE! Clean and free energy.
Imagine living in a space powered for pennies a day, insulated with materials that don’t contain formaldehyde and other dangerous gases and maybe a waste system that uses composting toilets and other cool alternatives to just dumping it all into the ground. I don’t know… I’ve been called crazy for less.
We love our floating “tiny house”. We love the fact that if we wanna move… we don’t have to pack a single box! We stow the laptops. Secure the Rum. Toss off the lines and swing the bow.
Now… if I can just find a place to plant some damn tomatoes.
[box] Here are more cool links if you wanna read more about tiny houses:
The Tiny Life[/box]
Carolyn - The Boat Galley says
Funny, so many former cruisers that I know moved into fairly small houses when they made the leap ashore. Maybe not quite all the way to a “tiny house” but a “very small house” at least. Seems that after living on a boat, powered by solar and wind, you realize you don’t need all that “stuff” — and it is just stuff.
Ours is 750 square feet, and my only complaint is that storage is not nearly as well thought out as on most boats. If we could just get some boat designers in here (and had money for a big remodel) . . .
Yes – we need boat designers to design tiny houses! You’re right – it is just “stuff”, and being in a small space saves you from buying needless stuff just to fill the space in a larger place.