My problem with small is.....
It seems that it's never small enough for me, and always too small for my wife..... Bit, it appears I might have finally won, sort of.
My wife has long had two (hundred and twenty seven thousand) problems with me, one being my love for places that can't be found and are far off the road, and the other my insistence that now that the kids are grown and flown, smaller is better.
She, (along with a few MD's) having certain issues with me and my neurologically damaged self being down at the bottom of the hollow 2.5 miles off the road through two locked gates with cell service only if you're in the very right place, and a couple of really dumb dogs for company. We built a 1344 sq ft foundation, but I decided that was way to much house for just two. So we built another one, a much more reasonable 968 sq feet. But that turns out to be way to big too. So, I started making plans for a more reasonable 864 sq ft, but somehow ended up at 800 sq ft. Seems as if 800 sq ft hit some sort of a nerve, and Cyndi told me that if I expect her to live in anything that small or any smaller than that it will only be at a place that is less than 20 acres and isn't 2.5 miles off the road through a mile of pasture with a gate at both ends and then across the creek and up the hill, and 12 miles to a store/gas/civilization.
Somehow, through the oddest turn of events, me and a friend were on our way to the foothills place, and we passed a pig path that me and Cyndi some years ago looked at a gorgeous piece of property that we really wanted, but could never come to terms with the sellers for it. Bennie asked what ever happened with it, and mentioned that maybe I should look into.... So I did.
I showed Cyndi! Yes I did! We just bought 17.39 acres that meets all of Cyndi's silly demands. It's only 1/4 mile off the road, then you turn across the first cattle grate, then it's merely a mile and across two more cattle grates and you come to our new "driveway". Power and fiber-optic and lines are there. 2024.71 feet on a small river as much as 120' wide called a creek with 50' bluffs and two 200 ' sand covered beaches and three Olympic swimming pool size swimming holes that are between 8 and 12 feet deep. And with neighbors too! Kinda close to the new home site at 400' from one and 300 from the other, but seeing as to how there can only be four residences on that 1.25 miles, I reckon it'll be OK. Yep, just 1.25 miles from the pavement, and just 7 miles to town (which is the county seat, pop 3700) Yep! I showed her who's the man with the plan!
And hey!!! Last week the new "Designated Agricultural District" signs went up!!! No subdividing no apartments or duplexes, no mobile home parks, no nothing! If it is there, it can stay as it is, otherwise almost 1/4 of the county is now permanently agricultural, and hopefully more of it with time. A realtor friend went and saw the new sign with me, and he says that the day after the signs went up, property values went up faster than the sign did.
And so Monday 03/03/13 we start on my latest and greatest, and according to Cyndi, LAST! little house endeavor. 1 bedroom, 1 bath, kt/dine, and living room all at 704 sq ft. With a dedicated space for Cyndi's sewing stuff too. And a freezer and washer/dryer inside the house itself too.
Since it's just the two of us and the dogs now, we are selling half each of the foothills place to the kids at + $1.00 what we paid for it in 1993. We have enough put back to build the little house and do a few other things too.
Very Small. And very well insulated, wood heat and wood/solar hot water and were getting a small wood cookstove for both heat and sometimes cooking too in the winter.... Very Small. Very well insulated and requiring the most minimal amount of $$$ for Air Conditioning.... Very Small means very low taxes, especially since we get an agricultural exemption on most of the property. The county bases assessments on the OUTSIDE! So board and batten, or slab siding, a single ply roof, and old time looking brick piers for a foundation. Ahhhh, but on the inside..... wide long leaf pine floor in the living room, Black Locust floor and butcher block counters in the kitchen, seamless real linoleum in the bath, and Black Walnut and wool blend throw rugs for the bedroom. Cyndi picks it out, I go and find it.....
"Fixed income" in a very few years is no big deal, a big garden, a couple of goats and some chickens and a steer and a couple of pigs , a little orchard and berry patch.... And according to Cyndi, a 14 X something little bitty "guest" cottage for whoever. The kids and theirs too, can camp or there is a shed and what is called a "barn", aw what the heck, it's only a few miles down the road, they can go home. All in all, much better than a big house with big payments and big bills and big taxes.
So what is my problem with small anyway?
I have this thing about CAD software and housing design. IMHO, the two just don't mix, nor belong together. I do every thing the old fashioned way. Pencil, eraser, 17 x 22" quarter inch quadrille ruled paper.
Some friends are into sailboats, and they have passed along all sorts of works great in a sailboat stuff, and another friend has undertaken remodeling an old Air Stream and they have passed us quite a bit of camper/Air Stream stuff/catalogs/links/addresses. And then one day I came across ApartmentTherapy(dot). And let's not forget the Ikea catalog my daughter left me
The problem..... it seems as if 704 sq ft is too big now. I have drawn (literally) the conclusion that 644 sq ft is a gracious plenty for two kids with a big porch and 17.39 acres. It seems as if "it's" always too big..... So, I told Cyndi that 704 sq ft will do.....
And so, I win!
Oh yeah, C is pathologically addicted to every DIY home buying/flipping/improving TV show in existence (and what ever happened to Ed and Rachelle Begley and "Living with Ed"?) I watch some sometimes with her.
After seeing what several million will buy in New York City and San Fransisco, I have decided that the new place, including view, creek, swamp, woods, and virtually unlimited off road parking, and with or without house, can be yours for a mere $17 million and some change. The dogs are extra, way extra.....
And so, all is well in Spunbondia..... Except, it seems that the Internist that the neuro's have keep a quarterly eye on me has this Physicians Assistant who works with her. The Internist was asking me about some things she "heard" I have been doing, and I asked her how on earth she knew that..... "I know everything. You didn't think I would find out Andrea is one of your new two neighbors?" It is, it seems, as the old saying goes, a small world after all.....