Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hobbit House and Homelessness

I love my house, I love my neighborhood. We are lucky, lucky, lucky to have such sweet neighbors and live next to a park and have a great old house with a great old porch. Still, as I try to downsize and simplify, I can't help but dream of things like this Hobbit House. Our friends Charity and Derek just sold their house (not too far from us which makes us very sad) and are planning on building something on their land about 30 minutes away. I am excited to see what they come up with and hopefully help them. Rob and I toured a yurt house a few years ago which belonged to a family in my local parenting group. It was quite the setup and even had a "basement". I am very interested in "alternative" housing, but I don't know if we could do it. I would have to rent a Hobbit House for a while first.

The boys like to say their aunt is "homeless" and they are right in a way, but not the traditional way people think of homeless people. My sister is a person of many talents and right now she is getting her PhD in Library and Information Science, is a local activist (peace and justice causes mainly), and she house/pet sits for people full-time. She is so busy with her house/pet sitting that she doesn't need to have a place of her own and hasn't for years. If she is in between jobs she can and does stay with us, our dad, or her boyfriend, but that is pretty rare. It is good work if you can get it (as Rob likes to say), but there is a price too. It would be hard to not have a home-base or a place to store your stuff, but this is where the positives come out...you end up not having much stuff. She has a little car which gets great gas mileage and she can pretty much move from place to place with her little truck. There is definitely something to be said for this. She doesn't have to pay rent or a mortgage, she doesn't have to worry about painting the house, repairing the roof, redoing the kitchen. She lives in a small enough town that she still has community while hopping from house to house and being in a college town she ends up in the same houses quite often year after year, sometimes for months at a time. Still, I wonder how she does it. She doesn't have any children...this makes one lighter on their feet and the planet, but I still think it would be tough for me. We stayed at one of her regular houses the other day and took care of the plants and it was nice, but it is still nice to come home and be in our place with our stuff. It is something to think about as we try to get down to what is really important and needed as far as material things is concerned.

Sorry for my ramblings...just working through my stuff.

6 comments:

Paul Kaiser said...

The hobbit house rocks!
I have to have a home. I admire your sister -- I didn't know all that! I have to have a place to go sit and brood every now and then, though. Of course, every time I start to get my brood on, there's a leak in the basement, or a crack in the floor, or the blah-blah has gone Blong-Zing...

Cynthia said...

you better not think about leaving the neighborhood!

Misc said...

Love the Hobbit House!

I'm too much of a homebody to do what your sister does. Both my husband and I like nothing better than staying home.

McBloggy said...

I would like to hear more. Luckily, my sweet and supportive doula has helped calm some of my fears. I've agreed to go back with a support team in tow, but I want to know what options are out there. I had never thought too much about why/where/how and what kind of medical treatment I seek. If you have any reading suggestions I'd love to find out what else is out there.

Vivacious Vegan said...

I've often thought that I would love to get rid of everything and be nomadic. Very much like your sister. Sometimes I feel so burdened and overwhelmed by all of our "stuff" and the maintenance that goes along with it. Everyone tells me that this would be a horrible life and that as soon as I sold everything (including our house) I would be wishing for a homebase with my own stuff. Who can really say for sure?

Kristin said...

The Hobbit House looks cool... but Chris just looks at it and shakes his head (we've talked about it before). His architecture sense goes haywire, thinking of all the potential problems... did they figure in the weight of the soil on the roof, amount of moisture in the wood, the effects of frost, etc? The structural integrity of the house makes him nervous (his specialty is structures more than design...). He's really excited about more conventional natural building methods, like those that use earth bags or cordwood.

Anyway, I think I've been in the same yurt you have :-) and yeah, that's still a dream, someday. There's something so appealing about a round house.