Cooking, Sleeping, and the Tiny Life of Work.

Our house does not lack amenities; it’s just really small.  Cooking, eating, bathing, and sleeping areas seem small, but that’s just another word for cozy.  Our layout is simple, walking in the front door and you’re looking straight at our kitchen.  It’s just a single countertop full of the sink, cooktop, and kitchen gadgets.  Just like a regular kitchen in a house, just way smaller.  The bed is to the right, built into the front window area of the coach. A 1979 Avion 34 V, we call Luna.  It’s our first king-size bed. With windows on three sides, a built-in TV and pillows on both sides, lounge style, it’s multi-functional.  At the opposite end of the house is the bathroom, filling the first 5’ of the back of the coach, full width, 8′.  In the travel trailer world, that’s a pretty good size bathroom. Two cabinets are in the bathroom, so all our essentials are at hand.  Since the walls are vinyl over aluminum and the ceiling and bulkhead are fiberglass, the whole room serves as a place to shave, bathe and relax.   When the furnace runs, it’s the warmest room in the house. 

 We’ve lived in Luna for just over 18 months, during which we remodeled one space from a bed to a desk, moved all kinds of things all over the place, and changed a table to a bench.  We’ve laughed at how many things we’ve re-done, and how many skills we’ve had to learn, to manage changing weather, temperatures, and surroundings.  As predicted, we work on this house just as much as the one we sold in 2019.  Well, maybe a little less, but still.  The nice part of getting so many things dialed in becomes apparent as we finish ticking off our to-do checklist.  The projects we are working on now, are cooler.  Projects that deliver exactness of personal preference.  Things that make the living space tricked out and tweaked.  Whatever you call it, that place when the house is singing.  

We reached that point just recently, after dialing in two workspaces.  A standing one for me, and the art desk for Christina.  She has the desk totally laid out for the work she does.  Everything from managing paperwork, to working on watercolor illustrations.  It looks like a professional designer’s office.  My standing desk sets over the bed, utilizing a re-purposed art table.  Same here, flatwork when I want and tilted for artwork.  In between,  the kitchen, bench, and warm fireplace.  In our marriage, this is basically a dream come true.  Separate workspaces, with a lovely home tying it all together.  A space we occupy together for long hours, relaxed and comfortable.  Doing our thing.  It’s practically magic.  These are the moments we understand as foundational.  When we realize our good fortune.  And hold it close. 

Our ability to work, and to live comfortably like real people, means living in a tiny house achieves our goal. To have less house and have more life.  Living more, thinking more, looking more, and seeing more.  And in the center of it all, a little kitchen and two cozy drawing tables.  

This tiny life is huge.

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The Luna Journals. We’ve been busy.

We’re making the best of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We watch only a little bit of news, just enough to get some of the science and medicine recommendations, avoiding the rest.  We’ve kicked into isolation and distancing.  A few friends have come by our campsite, we make our own colloidal silver, so they come by and pick up a quart.  Everyone knows the drill, set your jar down on the ground, and stay 10 feet away.  So we haven’t been completely isolated, but the few friends who do come by, come and go without our usual hug.  Yah, we’re the hugging kind, because we love people.  A lot.  We run to town about once a week to pick up our mail and packages from two different places.  Christina stays in the van while I open and clean all the arrivals.  Our groceries are delivered to the park entrance now so we don’t have to go to stores.  We really miss the road.  Traveling and meeting new people.  So we stay busy and out of each other’s way.  Christina is a nester.  She likes a quiet, comfy place near a nice view and her dog.  She’s been baking a lot.  Which is pretty cool since we live off-grid on a solar system.  I never thought we’d be able to bake bread all day and sleep on a heated mattress pad at night, all on solar.  So she bakes.  Whole wheat bread, English muffins, and cinnamon rolls.  Initially, I was afraid we’d both plump out eating so much homemade bread, but that’s not happening.  She gives most of it away.  Especially to the park rangers and manager.  I’d like to say they love us, but they don’t.  They love Christina, I’m just the guy married to the cute girl cooking all the bread.  She also has taken up felting, creating little figures of leopards, bears, and anime characters, she sits for hours jabbing the felt or fleece with needles to create the perfect felt finish.  I often imagine her mumbling my name while jabbing away.  Christina is also a jigsaw puzzle fan.  I don’t know how she does it, sitting for hours collecting pieces of what was once a perfectly printed picture, cut into 1000 pieces.  She loves them.  I’ve done quite a bit of jogging.  It clears my mind and gets me in a place of meditation.  I’ve regained some distances I thought were long in my past, so I’m happy to imagine I’m reversing my age.  That lasts just long enough to get up the next day and try to walk.  Indie and I cut firewood a couple of times a week.  It gets us out in the woods and in the tick zone.  We cut a bag full, bring it back, and split it.  I’ve also been going to the archery range.  Kind of like running it’s a little bit of exercise and meditation at the same time.  Keeps the crazies away.  To spend time together, the three of us walk the campground, always wary of others, and keeping our distance.  We hike the trails, once after a rainy night with no shoes on.  A few days ago we rode our bikes over to the other closed campground and picked out our sites for May and June.  We’ve always enjoyed cooking together, which means I chat or mix drinks while Christina cooks.  Then I wash all the dishes, while she doesn’t.  That’s cooking together, right?  We read in the evenings or surf the net, but mostly we like to watch movies.  We watched every Avengers movie, in story order.  On some evenings we join Zoom dinners or groups, together or on our own.  We are witnessing a historic time together.  Watching carefully and with balance and discernment.  We’ll be glad to get back on the road, but in the meantime, we have bread to bake and calories to burn. 

We’re staying positive and busy. We focus on calm voices and thoughtful replies. Sometimes we miss the mark, but we love the journey together and are happy for what the universe has handed us.