My Farmtastic Life: Tiny barn, grateful heart

By Tammy Ammon

Tammy Ammon at the farm

Tammy Ammon at the farm

Have any of y’all heard of the tiny house movement?  The basic concept is that we have too much stuff and that it’s time to simplify. Reasons for going tiny are many, including: financial, freeing up maintenance and effort of home ownership to travel or pursue other passions, focusing on experiences vs. things, and the list goes on. I think the official square footage to be called tiny is 500 square feet and, as we say in the South, that is teeniny!

When Cowboy and I moved to the farm, while we upsized on land (and maintenance work, just ask any farmgirl), we downsized our living space to less than 1,000 square feet. I remember family and friends were concerned what that would be like for us, having come from a 2,100 square foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom ranch. And let’s be honest, they were worried about how I would do because as long as Cowboy has a workshop, he’s all set.

I have to admit when we saw the concrete slab poured for our barn and I saw < 1,000 square feet carved out for our living space, my immediate thoughts went to, “Oh no! What have I agreed to?” But then I thought,  “It’s okay. This is just temporary. We’ll build a house in a couple of years at most.”

So I went about sorting our home into giveaways, keeps for later and keeps for now. We gave away A LOT. We kept quite a bit in boxes marked “house” in hopes they would be part of our future home once we moved out of the barn. The process was freeing as we got down to our favorite things, which were all going into the barn, and they were the things that had the most meaning to us.

Well, here we are four years later, and we absolutely love living in our smaller space. We’ve had to add on a guest room, because as I’ve said in the past the country will attract your city friends like flies to honey, upping our space to just under 1,400 square feet. But we had to find a spot to put folks because the sofa, chairs and floors were filling up.

This summer, we decided it was time to go through those “house” boxes, because if we hadn’t used them in four years, we likely didn’t need them. Of course, we found some treasures and we found some others that fell into the what-were-we-thinking category.

Who knows, we might build a house someday or stay in the barn until we are old and gray and rocking away on the porch. (I’m working on plans to screen in the porch, so that would be just cozy perfect.) So while I’m not a member of the tiny house movement – because let’s face it, I am not a joiner, as friends have pointed out in the past – I do like the idea of simplifying. (Oh, and as Cowboy says we can’t have an official tiny house because where would we put all the fur-kids? True, very true!)

So I vote we not get hung up on rules about square feet or reality TV show definitions of a movement, but we just look inside and find those moments of joy and gratefulness. It never hurts to take an inventory of the external and internal, as we all have growing and learning to do. And being grateful for each little thing is a great way to start.

Special contributor Tammy Ammon and her husband, “Cowboy,” live on a beautiful patch of land in Somervell County. Between their horses, donkeys, dog, cats and assorted other creatures, there’s never a dull moment. Check out Tammy’s past musings about critter antics, farm chores, domestic bliss and observations about the natural world on her website, www.myfarmtasticlife.com. Please visit her Facebook page, too, and give her a “like.”

 

 

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