Large Life, Small Space: Safe and Warm on a Grate

This is my very favorite photo of my dad. He is holding my older brother. I love this hat, which I had never seen until we found this photograph.

My dad, Frank Fivecoat, with my brother, Steve.

My dad, Frank Fivecoat, with my brother, Steve.

It was taken in our little bungalow, my parent’s “starter home” they occupied for 32 years. My dad was the one who got me up in the morning. He would come down the short hallway to my bedroom, making up songs and inserting his pet name for me,  “Time to wake up, Suzie Q…” On cold mornings, he would lift me out of bed and carry me to the kitchen where he would sit me on the floor furnace grate while he cooked me breakfast. He’s whistling now, as off-tune as his singing was in my bedroom. I always felt safe with my parents so close in that small house. My memories are as warm as that furnace kept me on winter mornings.

The Little Bungalow where I grew up

The Little Bungalow where I grew up

Note: This vignette of life in a small home is the first of a series. The Tiny House Movement is not new. We’re not discovering the American Dream by living a simpler life, we feel we’re recapturing it. I’m seeking stories (with a photo, if possible) of what made or makes living in a small space special to YOU. Please email me at

Live Well, Live Large! ~Kerri  

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6 Responses

  1. Roxanne says:

    I love the idea of you sitting there on the grate waiting for breakfast. I just looked it up, and my grandparent’s house (which was essentially the house of my childhood) is listed as just over 1,000 square feet, which seems high to me. It’s a pretty small house.

  2. Jane Boursaw says:

    We’re always hearing that the American Dream is dead, and I’m so glad you’re affirming that is it NOT dead. Just a shift in perspective on what that dream actually is and means. Lovely story, Kerri.

    • Kerri @ Living Large in our Little House says:

      Thank you, Jane! No, the American Dream is not dead. I believe we might just have to get back to basics. 🙂

  3. That’s a wonderful warm memory!