Friday, May 1, 2009

Life In Miniature

I think a part of me must secretly wish I were a hobbit. I have a love for tiny houses. It hearkens back to the days when I made dollhouses, obsessed with life in miniature. And it reminds me of a time when I could fit all my belongings in my four-door Saturn. Packing up that car made me feel like a turtle -- like I could just pick up and take off at a moment's notice, if need be. It was a wonderful feeling -- of freedom, self-sufficiency, lightness. (Of course, I had a roomful of childhood possessions at my parents' house, including hand-made dollhouses, but I didn't actually use any of those things, so they didn't count.)

There is something about a tiny structure set apart on its own that makes me feel cozy, contained, and utterly content. Mikhail and I have stayed in a few -- guest bedrooms and one-room cabins at upscale lodges. I have to admit that I cannot imagine actually living full-time in a house like this, but I admire people who do.

Now, we live in a small house, at least compared to where we lived in San Diego. About 1100 square feet of compact and fairly well-designed living space. And I wouldn't want to go any smaller, not with a kid and a somewhat messy husband and a book collection typical of a writer. But what I do have fantasies of is someday having an outbuilding. A mother-in-law unit, an office, a fancy shed, maybe even a yurt... I adore small buildings that stand apart from the main house and provide a whole new outlook on life simply by stepping inside their door. Someday, when we have a bigger space around our house than our current tiny patio and deck, one of these would be my dream office.

For now, I wander around Berkeley and admire other peoples' upscale sheds. The people of Berkeley seem to share my love for outbuildings. And I imagine the playhouse that my dad and I are plotting to build for Elan in our patio. At least, I think it's for Elan. Though now that I'm thinking about it, maybe we should build it in such a way that I could use it as a makeshift office now and then. Hmmm...

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