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Just Enough


I don't have a photo of a real Tiny House. Here's somebody's Tiny Garden Shed.

Just Enough

Tiny houses fascinate me. I’m not saying I’m signing up to live in one as I do require quiet space to myself sometimes. Not sure how that would be possible with tiny people, a 3 yr and 6 yr old, in the tiny house scene. What I admire about the concept is the simplicity that would be required in order to fit your life and all its trappings into such a small space. Unloading all of the excess, deciding what to let go of and keeping only what is truly useful and valued and loved sounds like a way to find some peace in the chaos of life. I crave a lack of visual clutter, contrary to what my housecleaning habits may suggest.

My husband on the other hand, is a keep everything in case you need it kind of person. You would think he was raised during the Great Depression instead of a few generations removed. And yet, this is not a bad way to be, just different. I have to admit, his stashes of stuff have come in handy sometimes when we need just this certain sized piece of wood or bolt or part to fit that certain (insert any broken thing here, there are many on a farm) you are trying to fix.

I keep coming across a newspaper clipping on my desk (cluttered) that I can’t yet recycle. It is an article from the Homes Section of the Sunday, June 19th Pioneer Press called ‘Living Large’, which gives a glimpse into one Minnesota family’s tiny home lifestyle. What hits me over the head in this article is a snippet of a line from the homeowner’s description of her home: “Hundreds of books, four plates, four bowls…” She and her husband and two children live in 267 square feet. 267. Not a typo. First off, I feel a fellowship with another human who in paring down her life would still make favorite books a priority in her limited space. And then, the visual of only 4 plates and 4 bowls seriously makes me want to clean out my cupboards and head to Goodwill. We are a family of four as well, and what has my life become that I am so busy I don’t have time to wash and put away 4 dishes after a meal so they are ready for next meal? A tiny house may not be in my life, but the concept is certainly making me examine my life. Would we be happier with less?

So this idea of having just enough keeps coming back to me lately, and it is sort of becoming a theme in my life that carries over to my work. In my landscape designing for others and at my own home, simplicity is becoming a handy tool in my toolbox. Editing out certain plants or even whole beds that are unnecessary to a design may be more important than what new plants are added. Perhaps I am maturing enough as a gardener to finally realize this and implement it. Having every new plant on the market is no longer my goal. Having a beautiful garden space and a meaningful connection with nature is just enough. 

Addendum
I can’t have only 4 plates. Because sometimes the 3 yr old wants a snack then only eats one bite but I leave it there on the plate because I know in 5 minutes she’ll come back to the table and say she’s hungry again but then she won’t want that particular snack any longer, she needs a different snack, and since the first snack was sticky she’ll need a clean plate for her new snack. And while she is finally eating the new snack on a new plate, I’ll use that brief moment of peace to stand in the corner of my kitchen, facing the cupboards pretending nobody can see me, stress eating the last piece(s?) of pie right out of the pie pan on the counter (because I don’t have any clean plates). The End.

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