Ten Years with our Tiny House

It was a cold, snowy December--it ended up being the first white Christmas we had experienced in our lives. We were your typical older millennials, coming of age right as the economy was tanking. We watched the people around us lose their money, jobs, and stability, and the options for upward mobility were few and far between.

Earlier that autumn, we had cashed in a life insurance policy to get the money for a down payment on a little park model. My dad co-signed a bank loan for the rest. That December, right as our house was scheduled to be delivered, he joined the ranks of people who lost their jobs during the recession, starting over again in his 50s after fourteen years working for a company that has long since been bought out and reorganized. If we had waited a few weeks longer, he wouldn't have been able to co-sign our loan.

Ten years have passed since that cold, snowy December. We've grown and changed. The economy has recovered, even if the housing market has spiraled out of control. Our family has increased in size, even if our house hasn't. We've made ten years' worth of loan payments, and we look forward to making our final payment before too much longer.

This Wednesday, December 12, 2018, marks the ten year anniversary of the delivery of our park model, and that park model has been our saving grace in so many ways.

It's given us a home of our own when we couldn't even afford rent for an apartment.

It's kept us warm and sheltered through years of uncertainty as Chris worked his way up from the bottom on a seniority list that never moved. Everyone was afraid to quit or retire and lose what little economic stability they could hold onto in such unstable times, so he worked and he waited, and at the end of each day, he came home to a house that he knew we could afford even on the pittance he was making.

Then when Chris couldn't work for three months after his second deep vein thrombosis, it carried us through with the few dollars we had in savings being enough to cover our loan payments.

When we learned that we were expecting twins, it gave us a place to dream. And when our world was shattered and our dreams crushed, it gave us a place to mourn the loss that we somehow managed to endure.

When we finally carried our sweet firstborn child through its doors, it welcomed us all home with open arms. Then it did it all over again two years later.

This house has seen us through our most amazing days and our darkest nights. It has provided warmth and shelter and safety.

There was uncertainty as we signed those papers. Questions about the future and about what tiny house living would mean for us in the years to come. Eager anxiety as we waited to see our house being pulled onto our street. Nervous demeanors as a little remote-controlled machine towed it down the driveway and onto its newly laid gravel pad. And, finally, relief as we walked through those doors for the first time and knew that we were home.