The Best Things in Life are Most Often an Accident

I always start off talking about our Little House by saying we never intended on living here full-time. The 480-square foot one bedroom was great for weekends and vacations the 4 years we used it as a lake home, but I could never imagine us living in it forever.

Nearly six years ago, I started dealing with my mother’s illness and she and I, along with my husband, Dale, started riding the roller coaster of the ups and downs associated with that. For anyone who has been on the journey with a parent or loved one as they grow old and sick, you know the path isn’t always smooth as everyone involved comes to terms with mortality – theirs and our own. In the end, there’s always the sadness, loss and the acceptance of our new “normal” associated with having to finally let that parent go.

After Mom died 2 ½ years ago, Dale and I were ready for a new adventure. We had never lived more than 2 miles from the homes in which we were both raised, but we were ready to leave our hometown in Kansas City, Kansas. My idea of a great adventure was selling everything that had equity, buying a camper and traveling the U.S., settling wherever we ran out of money. (I think there was a bad 80s movie with that theme!)

My easy-going-safe-steady-as-she-goes-husband, who doesn’t even like to move the furniture around, was ready for a change, but not that big of a change!

We already had a familiar place; a place that brought us peace, a place we used to renew our souls on weekends and vacations. We made the decision to spend what has amounted to our mid-life crisis – and most likely the rest of our lives – on our property on Bull Shoals Lake, a gorgeous, yet largely unspoiled vast waterway that extends from the very southern most of Missouri into Northwest Arkansas. Our plan included building a bigger house – at least the 1,110 square feet we had in the city. The Little House would be used as my office and guesthouse.

I would like to brag on my environmental awareness and say that living a more sustainable, green life in smaller digs was our motivation for making The Little House our permanent home. Or, that I had heard of the small house movement and the other benefits associated with living smaller. In reality, we were pretty much forced into this life by economics. Our living space wasn’t the only thing downsized when we made our move, and now the economy has piled onto that downsizing.

There have been times in the darkest of nights (and it’s very dark here in the country), when we’ve been lying in bed and doubted our move – lots of times.

However, something was happening to us that we didn’t even realize during those darkest nights. Decluttering our lives physically has naturally decluttered our minds, emotions, spirits and relationship, making for a happier and healthier life. We’ve learned the difference between what we really need and what we want; and we’ve redefined the word “home” for ourselves.

We’re definitely Living Large in our Little House.

Through narrative and photos and with the help of a good friend I’ve made here, Onedia Sylvester, who is the tech guru for Living Large in our Little House, I hope to take you on this adventure with us on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.

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12 Responses

  1. What a lovely blog, Kerri! So glad I found it, and I’m looking forward to reading more.

  2. Kim says:

    So excited to see a fellow tiny house lover in the Ozarks! (I’m in Harrison, AR.) Pretty little website you’ve got here… can’t wait to see what you make of it.

    • kerri says:

      Thanks for visiting, Kim! Perhaps we should get together sometime! I love Harrison – Log Cabin Furniture, my kind of store!

  3. PhillisGodwin says:

    You’ve started off great. I’m so excited to travel this road with you and Dale. Go for it and we’ll all be following along with you. Love Phillis

  4. Sharon Waldrop says:

    Kerri — Your life and contentment is proof that it doesn’t need to take a McMansion to make someone happy. You are living a much larger life than most of the people I know.

    Love your blog, by the way!

    • kerri says:

      Oh, there have been times when I wish I had a bigger house, Sharon! I think it all comes down to learning to love what you have. There’s many benefits for me, but it wouldn’t be for everyone. I still enjoy going to our neighbor’s house (which is much larger) and feeling like we have some room to spread out a little. However, I don’t want to clean it! 🙂
      Thanks for reading.

  5. Kerry, I often think of you when we go up to the farm – pictures of which are on my website – and we think of building a house up there alongside the little building that’s there and living as you are. We haven’t but that’s still a possibility. I’m glad you are where you are and happy. Well done. Janet

    • kerri says:

      I looked at your photos, Janet, how beautiful! I say go for it – we don’t get to rewind or live twice!
      Miss our little writing group we had going there for awhile.
      Take care.

  6. Wendy says:

    Hi Kerri!
    Looking forward to reading more on LLinLH.
    Best wishes,
    Wendy Hoke