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Category Archives: My Alaska History

We Lived In A Tiny House Before It was Fashionable

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We Lived In A Tiny House Before It was Fashionable

Tiny House – Big Living is all the rage now. At the moment I don’t live in a tiny house but it’s still small at 1045 square feet. Compared to the typical 100 to 400 square feet in a tiny house, my home is considered a mansion. 

As I find myself coming up with unique ways of storing everyday items, discovering nooks and crannies to house personal belongings, and rearrange furniture so we don’t trip over ourselves, I wonder why all the fuss of these tiny cottages inspire others to jump on the boat. 

Was it my destiny from so many years ago to live in a small space? My mother certainly had no worries when she took on the chore of raising five small children in 320 square feet – and pulling that tiny house trailer from Louisiana to Alaska for 4040 miles with my father. 

Later, on the homestead, Daddy added a lean-to to our tiny home which probably doubled that square footage. I’m sure Mother was estadic. 

Read about our crazy adventure of tiny house homesteading in the Alaska wilderness in my latest nonfiction book, Coffee-Drunk Or Blind. You can purchase it on Amazon in paperback or e-book, and free on Kindle Unlimited. Posting your review on Amazon will make me a happy camper! 





That cute little guy holding hands with my mother on the book cover of Coffee-Drunk Or Blind is my brother Chip, and today’s his birthday! He was only two-years-old when we traveled across the USA from Louisiana to homestead in the Alaska wilderness in 1959, and almost six when we returned. (you do the math) You’ll be surprised at what a memory he has of that time for someone so young.

On top of Berrie Hill

            On top of Berrie Hill

With three older sisters he had to take a stand so as not to get lost in the chaos. Then a younger sister came along and he was odd man standing. What stands out in my memory of Chip, is when he broke his arm in the spring of 1959 when he opened the door of the washing machine – to ‘help’, I’m sure – and the wet sheets wrapped around his arm. Such a small little boy to have such a big cast. He also decided to fish for our gold-fish once with the tin strip off a sardine can that had to be opened with a key. I don’t know what he thought he was going to do with those fish when he caught them. Our dolls had their arms permanently outstretched as he used them for helicopters. This was probably done more to irritate us as he knew it would.

With all the grief one little boy could give to four sisters, he grew up to be a pretty good guy and is still my favorite brother!

As Chip said in his memories toward the end of the Coffee-Drunk Or Blind “Memories are funny things, the further back in time they go, the fuzzier they seem to get. They have the tendency to get jumbled together so that they blend into something that isn’t exactly the way things actually were.”

Young and impressionable he was at that time, those memories took hold and stayed with him through the years.  I believe when an event or time in your life makes such an impression in young minds, it is burned into your memory, never to be forgotten. This is what happened with all of us as we partook in this adventure. It also helped that those times were good times for us even though they were very hard on our parents.

One reason I wrote Coffee-Drunk Or Blind was because it had to be put in writing before it was all forgotten or changed into something that was not so. Even though most of mine and my siblings memories coincided with  each other, dates or places may be off a bit. The event may have taken place at a different location or with a different person. You know how tales are altered as they are passed down through the years. I think we got all those stories pretty close to the truth and now the memories will be forever in writing to hand down as a legacy to our children and grandchildren.

As I read those letters over and over, I still had plenty of questions that will never be answered. We thought we knew it all, never sitting down to question time-frames or incidents. Now that chance is gone. What we have left is all in the book.




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