Fall 2012: Dee Williams Response to "Your Dream House" Essay Winners

Dee Williams, who downsized from a three-bedroom to an 84-square-foot house, responds to essay winners of the Fall 2012 writing competition.

Dear Paw, Chris, Rowan, and Ritika,

Thank you for responding to Carol Estes’ article, “Living Large in a Tiny House.” I was inspired by your essays and happy to have the chance to write this little note, but what I’d really like to do is to invite you over for dinner.    

We’d all cozy up in my little house, balancing our plates on our laps while we sat cross-legged on the floor. I’d tell you about the first winter storm that blew in a few weeks ago, turning the backyard into a lake and my porch into a muddy mess; and we’d laugh over the odd-looking carrots, yanked from my garden and now resting quietly on our dinner plates looking like badly broken fingers and wee-tiny stirrup pants.    

I’d pepper each of you with questions about where you live and what that’s like, and whether you are happy. We’d talk for hours, till our legs cramped and our cheeks hurt, and we were sure there was nothing left to say. And I would love every minute of it because I loved what you said in your essays, and to be honest, I need your insight to carry me through the holidays.    

I’ve been overly busy lately, walking around with a brain full of clatter: emails, texts, little projects, big ideas, racing, rushing, multi-tasking, triple-timing when all I really want is to curl up and read a good book. All I really want is to hangout with the old neighbor lady (my friend, Rita) and watch Wheel of Fortune; or to take some time alone to listen to the rain splattering in the garden. All I really want (or need) is to sit there long enough to hear my own heart, and recall how much I love simply being home.    

Your essays were the gentle shoulder tap I needed. Rowan, you reminded me how lucky I am to live in the shadow of my friends’ houses. And Paw, you offered me the poetry of “soft green grass tickling the bottom of <my> feet.” The next time I’m racing from Olympia’s Eastside to West, from this event to that activity, I’m hoping to remember the garden beans you described as a way of finding my place in the world.    

And Ritika and Chris, your reminders about family and connecting “us” to “them,” have helped me rethink the current hubbub of holiday gift giving. Now all I want is time. Time to do important things like help Rita unstick her reclining chair—a problem that has left her trapped like a bug on its back—and time to simply play… to hang out in the backyard with my friends, or to lounge about and notice that the moon looks like a banana. Those are the sorts of ‘things’ I want to offer and receive as holiday gifts.

I read your essays late at night, resting in the loft of my little house, and I found myself re-tuned and reconnected to what's really important to me. I found myself at home again. The stars were out and perfect and I was nearly warm. My dog was chasing a rabbit in her dreams, and tomorrow we’ll walk over to my friends’ house to see if they’d like to have dinner together.

Thank you for the good reminders. Be well.


No Paywall. No Ads. Just Readers Like You.
You can help fund powerful stories to light the way forward.
Donate Now.