Excerpt: Living Tiny is About Having the Things That You Love

Living tiny is not about giving up stuff, but living with the things you love. One of those things for me is what is known at Our Little House as “The Plant,” which is a symbol of our enduring marriage. Read an excerpt from my book, “Living Large in Our Little House” about The Plant.

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I have a very large Saddle Leaf Philodendron that my mother in-law gave me as a wedding shower gift in 1986. It was a small plant at the time, and I didn’t have much of a green thumb, so I didn’t plan on having it for long. We were living in our first duplex at the time, and the house was devoid of plants. I saw our marriage as a new beginning for us, the start of our “official” adult lives.

My parents didn’t have a perfect marriage, but they married after having dated for only six weeks and lasted for 36 years, until death did they part. My mom instilled in me the knowledge that a successful marriage takes lots of love, patience and nurturing.

For the past 30 years, I have given The Plant a lot of the same. Like Dale and me, the plant has grown. It went from being in a small pot to a medium one, to a larger medium one. The last time it was transplanted was about 15 years ago into a large pot that is more likely to be found in a sprawling lobby of an office building than in a home. It was large even for the living room in the split-level.

When we moved to Our Little House, Dale said, “We aren’t taking The Plant, are we?” He has long hated it because of its size. I knew I could likely find a new home for it with one of my McMansion-owning friends, or I could have donated it to a hospital or office building. But I would bear to part with it. The Plant, which has survived my lack of growing skills, had become a representation of the longevity of our marriage.

The Plant, like our marriage, has had some ups and downs over the years. It’s grown and thrived, and every once in awhile, it seems droopy and loses a few leaves. But is always bounces back.

It is, at its roots, solid.

Dale had to move it with a dolly. It spent the first winter with us in Our Little House, blocking the front door from use that season. The Plant, along with a pretty good sized peace lily that our good friends Mike and Charlotte sent to Mom’s funeral and some of my mom’s smaller plants, were eventually moved to the Belle Writer’s Studio, where they spend the winter. In the summer, They’re moved to The Party Deck. The Plant, like us, really loves it there.

Read more of my memoir and how-to book, “Living Large in Our Little House: Thriving in 480 Square Feet With Six Dogs, a Husband And One Remote…Plus, More Stories of How You Can Too.”   

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