Here is an event I attended for my special treat for myself on Mothers’ Day:
A talk and slide show by Dee Williams, author of “The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir” in Bellingham, Washington. This is what the bookstore website said about the event:
“Join Village Books as we welcome author Dee Williams, owner of Pad: Portland Alternative Dwellings, for a slideshow and author presentation at 4pm in the Readings Gallery. Unfortunately, Dee will not be able to bring her tiny house on a trailer for people to tour, as originally planned. She will, however, bring life-sized blueprints for her little travel house, as well as samples of salvage and green materials used in her tiny houses. This event is co-sponsored by ReSources, Sustainable Connections and Transition Whatcom.
Dee Williams’s life changed in an instant, with a near-death experience in the aisle of her local grocery store. Diagnosed with a heart condition at age forty-one, she was all too suddenly reminded that life is short, time is precious, and she wanted to be spending hers with the people and things she truly loved. That included the beautiful sprawling house in the Pacific Northwest she had painstakingly restored–but, increasingly, it did not include the mortgage payments, constant repairs, and general time-suck of home ownership. A new sense of clarity began to take hold: Just what was all this “stuff “for? Multiple extra rooms, a kitchen stocked with rarely used appliances, were things that couldn’t compare with the financial freedom and the ultimate luxury, “time,” that would come with downsizing.
Deciding to build an eighty-four-square-foot house on her own, from the ground up, was just the beginning of building a new life. Williams can now list everything she owns on one sheet of paper, her monthly housekeeping bills amount to about eight dollars, and it takes her approximately ten minutes to clean the entire house. It’s left her with more time to spend with family and friends, and given her freedom to head out for adventure at a moment’s notice, or watch the clouds and sunset while drinking a beer on her (yes, tiny) front porch. The lessons Williams learned from her “aha” moment post-trauma apply to all of us, every day, regardless of whether or not we decide to discard all our worldly belongings. Part how-to, part personal memoir, The Big Tiny is an utterly seductive meditation on the benefits of slowing down, scaling back, and appreciating the truly important things in life.
Dee Williams is a teacher, designer, woodworker, and sustainability advocate. She is the owner of two businesses, Portland Alternative Dwellings and Boxcar Woodcraft, where she designs and builds tiny houses. She conducts green-building workshops across the country with Tumbleweed Tiny House Company and is also the author of Go House Go, a manual for building small homes. She lives in Olympia, Washington.”
I LOVED DEE!! She was funny, honest, and down to earth. I also love her book, which she signed for me.
You can listen to a recording of a talk on her book tour at this address: