Even as the winter loosens her hold on us I am left thinking more and more about living small. You see, our house is sort of like two houses connected. There is the old 104 year old part with hand-hewn logs. It contains three bedrooms, a very tiny bathroom, the woodstove, and one large main room. The newer log addition contains a large bathroom with a jacuzzi tub, the kitchen and eating area, another room we use as the kid’s play room and where our large freezer lives, there is also a large loft which is the home of a very messy underused craft room. It sounds huge and I guess it is. I find it amazing they felt the need to build the new part as the old cabin is quite livable. Our laundry is in the crawl space under the new part. The old part has a dirt crawl space where our water and furnace are.
If we were to close off the new part, we would have very little, if any, need for propane heat which is pretty enticing. Sure we would have to buy a stove (ours appears to be a built in and I don’t know that it can be moved), move the fridge, create some sort of counter space (I envision some sort of old wooden cupboards and or butcher block) and sink with added plumbing to it. We would need to drain the water and figure out something for our washing machine. Sounds extreme, but when you consider how much we’re paying out each winter in propane ($1500-2000) it would still be worth it especially after the first year. Not to mention a fun little experiment in small living.
With all the wood we have laying in our yard we won’t likely need wood for another two years. The woodstove heats the entire old cabin without issue, except the basement for which we have a small space heater to keep it at 5* so our water doesn’t freeze. We hope to build a little divider for the water stuff so we don’t need to heat the entire basement. I think we will try using the rest of the crawlspace as a root cellar though I don’t know the ideal temps for that yet. I will read up on it this spring/summer.
Sometimes when things get rough financially, or I just feel overwhelmed, I wish we had just bought a piece of land and put a yurt on it. I begin to fully understand what the Zen Monks are saying when they let go of all earthly goods. The more you have the more you worry and the more you spend. Less stuff really does mean more living. When we acquire and love something, we quickly move into a fearful place of loosing it all. I cling to things, not because I am materialistic, but because I am sentimental.
What it comes down to is this: we need warmth, food, our pets, and each other; throw in memory, a few cherished photos, some practical comfortable furniture, a warm fire, some good books and a lantern and you’re free to move through life unfettered by the confining things we like to cling to. With each passing year, I find myself willing to give up more in order to find my own peaceful balance. It isn’t everyone’s path, but I am realizing my own and for me, letting go of things and thoughts I assumed I needed is empowering and enlightening.
The more unconventional and eccentric the better, I say. I think I just talked myself into it.
P.S. I began compiling my usual fawned friday post, but was sidetracked by this photo. I do hope you’ll forgive me. To make it up to you, I hope to have another giveaway posted tonight or tomorrow. Remember, you only have until 7 tonight to enter the Gypsy Forest Giveaway!