Too big, too small and juuuuust right

Our story so far: As we waited impatiently for the church to gather the necessary closing documents, we got a look at the freshly minted survey for our lot.

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Some math revealed we were about to be owners of 5,033 square feet of livable space, including the basement, in the church we intended to convert into a house; this was roughly fourteen times the size of the camper in which we’d resided for nine-going-on-ten months.

Part of me felt guilty for giving up the minimalist lifestyle. When people asked why we’d moved in the first place, we often told them our house had gotten too big; we rarely walked into entire rooms.

But the truth was, we just hated that house. It didn’t start that way—it was a home to raise a teenager in a decent school district. But we’d paid more for it than it was ever worth, and then the 2008 Recession hit and stole even more equity from us. Spending any money on it at all to make it more our own and less mass market felt wasteful and pointless. The teenager grew up. The longer we stayed there, the less it felt like home, which is opposite the way it should have been. Getting out was a relief.

The part of me that didn’t feel guilty about taking on so much house felt positively giddy about it. Living in a camper for a season had proven to be problematic when it came to entertaining. There was too little room to prepare meals much less serve them. Overnight guests slept in our living room and were forced to awaken at the first grind of the coffee. I was excited to create inviting guest spaces in our new home, and with a grandchild on the way, I wanted plenty of space to spread out the crib, toys and other paraphernalia accumulated by modern parents.

I also longed for our king-sized bed. The camper only had room for a queen, and Tyler and I together more than filled it. Cozy had started to become cramped.

Tyler also began to resent the landmines I’d created everywhere by stuffing our belongings into every conceivable space; I longed to have cupboards to organize dishware, toiletries and shoes without having to pull every last thing apart to get to the bottom of a pile.

There were a lot of coordinates and numbers, but what the survey didn’t capture was how that square footage was going to create a sanctuary for a family.

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Tomorrow: We begin the move into our temporary rental. Read it by clicking here.


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