“This was a time in my life that I think back fondly on and having had all that outdoor time was quite amazing. Fast-forward 30 years and I am now the father of a child of my own. It started to dawn on me that my daughter was having a quite a different childhood than I did. She wasn’t having a bad childhood based on our location, but I did feel like there was something missing.
I started thinking about ways in which I could proactively influence that. My daughter and I would occasionally go camping during the summers, and that was fun. We had a tent, and we would drive out to Pennsylvania and…”
Chris Schapdick’s story was perhaps the first one I read when collecting the stories that would now make up Shelter: Seven Letters from the Tiny House Community. I remember thinking how it was so unique. I remember thinking how brave he was to go from a comfortable, corporate livelihood to that of a tiny house builder. It wasn’t about the craftsmanship or his need to build something with his hands. It was more than that.
Then I read Brynn Burgers chapter. WOW! It was different – not better and not worse – just different. I quickly realized I was compiling these authentic stories from these authentic voices and I couldn’t wait for others to feast in those words. What about me? What was and is my story?
I went to my first tiny house festival a number of years ago. I had been living tiny for a number of years by then, in the relative isolation of Virginia. At that time, I knew only one other couple in Virginia living tiny, while there were loads of folks out West. I wanted to meet everyone! When I got to Texas, it was absolutely inspirational to see the amazing creativity in the community. But one can only take in so many architectural details before the brain starts to turn into drywall mud. I loved it though!
Since our house wasn’t on the lot at that event, I missed the impromptu potluck gathering that happened after the gates closed and the visitors went home. The event put me up in a posh hotel since I was one of the speakers, and the beautiful room was three times the size of my entire home. I felt isolated, like I was missing out on the fun. I wanted in-depth conversation and connection with my fellow tiny housers, but unfortunately for me, it felt more like attending a convention.
Since then I’ve had the opportunity to sit with many tiny house folks over dinner and absorb their stories. And I have loved every moment! As I heard these remarkable stories, an idea landed. I started talking to a few folks about sharing their stories about living simply and intentionally in small spaces. I talked to Chris and Brynn. I talked to Andrew M. Odom of Tiny r(E)volution. I talked to Michael of Navigation Nowhere and the Messicks of Banana Van Adventures. I quickly added the story of Jenn Baxter. One by one, fascinating people signed on to the project. All told, I was able to collect the fascinating stories of seven people, including myself. Those stories are what comprise the yet-to-be-published Shelter: Seven Letters from the Tiny House Community.
While not a design guide, a set of blueprints, a tale of the #vanlife, or even a #buslife thing, Shelter is an afternoon with a cup of coffee and an old friend. Each page has truth poured onto it. It shines with truth and purpose. But it will truly shine when it is published. Unfortunately, we are just a few dollars short of making that happen. We need you to visit our Kickstarter campaign so I can get this book into your hands. Let this book be your next bit of inspiration; your indulgence. Support the voices of the modern tiny house movement. Support Shelter: Seven Letter from the Tiny House Community.