In thinking of the beginning, I thought that my love for tiny houses grew to be a thing a couple of years ago when I haphazardly bumped into the Tiny House Movement while googling for God knows what. While processing my desire to someday build my own tiny home, I was drawn to memories of my early childhood.
I was born in rural Central Puerto Rico, in a small town called Morovis; or as some call it “la isla menos Morovis” – all the island except Morovis; in reference to the Cholera out break of 1853 that ravaged the island minus this small municipality. Many think that this phrase used to identify it could be seen as negative but in reality it is quite the opposite – it’s like a miracle spared this small town.
My mother bore me into this world, on a hot summer day in the tiny house with a tin roof – in the same bed where my maternal grandmother left this world. My Taino Indian grandmother lived and died in this same house. ln this house she raised four sons and four daughters. The house was meager to say the least (probably less than 500 feet). It had two bedrooms, small common area and a small kitchen. There were no glass windows, only wood shutters that were open most of the time and closed only when the rains came. It stood on cement blocks to provide shelter underneath during storms and hurricanes. It was also, one of my favorite hiding places, where the dark earth cooled my sun drenched skin. Upon my grandmothers death, she asked all of my mothers siblings to allow my mother to keep the home, as she was the only one of the siblings who did not have her own home. Thus it came to be, that this was the wonderful place where I got to run wild and free for the first five years of my life. My memories are few, but I do remember feeling happy and free. I was most often barefoot and chasing the chicks whose mother hen would jump wildly to peck at me in order to make me stop. It was the place where my paternal grandfather would catch the tiny lizards that came into the house and would clip them to his ears like dangling earrings to amuse me and make me scream with laughter. It was the home where the chickens came in the house and walked around as if they were part of the household or the children who lived in it. It was the place where the sun shone bright and the night stars were even brighter. It was a tiny home with the biggest sky above it.
When my parents decided to leave Puerto Rico to migrate to New Jersey where both my parents went to work in factories, the tiny house with the tin roof was left behind and so was the carefree life style that I’d known or at least I believed it to be. No longer could I run barefoot with the chickens, and the sound of rain on the tin roof became a distant memory. My parents gave up a certain kind of freedom for the “American Dream” ~ and even then, they never owned another home nor a tiny one for that matter. I am not sure that it was a trade up. Perhaps it was not as wonderful for them as it was in the memories of a child, but I do know that it was by far a simpler less restricted life.
That may have been my beginning and it may have been a lifetime ago, but I know what I lived and how it felt to live it. It is those memories that will me – that drive me, to seek and live a simpler, tinier and freer tomorrow….somehow 🙂