My blinds are drawn against the weight of the dark that finds us earlier and earlier each night. I have just donned the thick wool socks that I originally got to keep my feet warm as I walked through bogs in the bitter Scottish winter wind. Last year, at this time, I was in Peru for 6 weeks, and I completely missed the fall. I have savored the never-ending colors that crown the changing trees; deep ochre, burnt orange, sunshine yellow and a red that is so deep and brilliant, I can’t bring myself to confine it to one name. After the crisp blue days that have graced us most of October, the pattering of the rain doesn’t feel so ominous. It almost feels welcome… almost. Tonight I am making a big pot of Portuguese potato sausage soup to sit and simmer on the stove. I poured myself a glass of wine, watching its ruby colors sparkle in the reflection of the light above my desk.
I am settling into a routine here in my tiny home. It’s been just over four months since I moved into less than 200 square feet. Everyone keeps asking me how it’s going… almost as if I am dating someone new and they wonder if the first fluttery infatuation of romance has already faded. I’ll tell you the truth… I am loving my new space.
One of the benefits of my new job is that I work about 90% of the time from home so I am actually in my space A LOT. My commute from my bed to my desk is a few feet at best and the efficacy of this pleases me to no end. I must keep my Tiny quite clean as the outside tends to follow me inside, especially now that the wet weather has arrived. Since my living room is my bedroom and my kitchen and my foyer, I like to sweep the floors at least a few times a day. It is almost impossible to accumulate things on my counter or desk because everything must return to its official place the moment I return home. There’s not a door to throw things behind or a closet that can hide the clutter. I do have a few drawers that need some attention, but this feels minor in comparison to a garage or an attic or a basement.
People are curious if I feel claustrophobic, but if you’ve visited me you know I have almost a whole wall of windows that overlook a beautiful garden. I feel as if this garden is part of the square footage of my house and haven’t felt even a tinge of claustrophobia. The one thing I have mentioned that has been a bit challenging (and this did not surprise me in the least) is the kitchen smells can be a tad overwhelming. I do have a powerful kitchen vent fan, but some smells can be quite pervasive when you are sleeping in the same room you cook in. Brussel sprouts tend to be the worst culprits.
All in all, I am quite content in my new Tiny. I feel so fortunate to be living next to a house of wonderful guys who have welcomed me as neighbors and friends. We take time to cook together and eat together and celebrate together. I get the rich benefits of community while also having my own independent space. I am truly grateful.
On the illustration front, I have been hired to paint several commissions since my last post, which has been fun as well as challenging. The drawing above was created for a lovely woman I met while at the trade show in New York this past May. Celine and her husband own a restaurant in North Carolina and have bought a gorgeous southern mansion that they are refurbishing to become a unique wedding venue. She sent me some pics of the unfinished house and asked if I could paint it for an ad that is to be placed in the magazine Southern Bride & Groom. The drawing above is the final painting. You can see the final ad below. Celine has expressed interest in having me visit them to host a travel journal workshop so I have hopes of seeing ‘the White House on Washington Street’ for myself.
This fall I’ve slowly started to let myself root into Portland again. I remind myself that as I walk around the neighborhood, that it is my neighborhood, not just a stop on the way to somewhere else. I have felt some anxiety with no travel plans on the horizon, but I know this is just a season. I will choose to embrace what is here for me now and wrap myself in its goodness.
Yes, this is a new season for me. A different season, but most definitely a good season.