The Big Tiny : A Built-It-Myself Memoir by Dee Williams

big tinySimplifying daily life is a varied journey.  For some, it’s whittling down possessions, so, as it’s said, they stop possessing us.  For others, it’s moving to the country, where things are at a slower pace.  And yet for others, it’s house size – the McMansions and their sheer magnitude don’t cut it anymore.

Enter the tiny house movement, where folks willing to pare down to the bare essentials are building houses the size of tool sheds.

Enter Dee Williams, who took the tiny house path years ago and became a big advocate for the lifestyle.

Dee had a very active life.  As she entered her forties, a serious heart condition got her to slow down and think about her reality – namely that of paying a mortgage on a big house that wound up defining her existence, with the constant repairs and expenses.

Dee met Jay Shafer, an early mover and shaker of the tiny house movement, and was hooked on the possibilities of building her own little castle.

Dee wasn’t afraid of power tools and wasn’t daunted (too much) by the prospect of her modified existence.  She was fortunate to have a great circle of friends, and some happenstance encounters with strangers who were happy to help her along her 84 square foot journey.  It also helped knowing people who didn’t mind Dee parking her little house in their yard when it was finished.

The Big Tiny is funny, boisterous, and unflinching.  Dee lets you know that she isn’t perfect, and that building a tiny house wasn’t a couple-of-weekends jaunt.

Dee is still active – check out padtinyhouses.com (Portland Alternative Dwellings).  She also makes an appearance in the documentary Small is Beautiful, which is streamable via Netflix.

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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