I was at an estate sale, and you know how the most treasured items are kept close to the register? Well there was a box of single earrings and I asked the woman what she wanted for them. She immediately pulled the box closer to her and said they were her sister’s who had passed away, and who would want to buy earrings with missing a mate?
The woman pointed out the one clip-on earring that was her sister’s favorite and I went back to my studio and created a great piece and took it back to her. We both teared up — I still do when I think of it. And now everyone who has purchased the other pieces created from the box of miss-matched ear bobs knows her story also.
You might say the little trailer helps me carry on the story of so many people.
What first attracted you to a small footprint lifestyle?
I like to live small so I can live large. If I want a housekeeper, I can afford one. I can drink better wine, take more vacations and spend more time with my family. Everything is so much more affordable when you live small.
I live like a queen!
Do you live full time in your trailer or part time?
I haven’t really made plans to go full time; I still have two children at home. But I am keeping my options open. My Airstream is vacation home — mountain, beach, desert — everywhere I want to go, it takes me there.
What I do know for sure is that I will not be upgrading to a larger brick and mortar house. My little 1,100-square-foot house does the four of us just fine!
I feel so abundant.
Have any of your trailer skills transferred into your brick and mortar living?
Oh yes! You get four people living in 120-square-foot for a week or so and you learn to be efficient.
The trailer is so small, my son said to me when he was eight, “You know you’re getting fat when you bend over in the kitchen and your butt sticks out all the way to the bedroom.”
The same habits of keeping things picked up and put away have definitely carried over into my brick and mortar house — no question about it.
Do you have a pet?
We used to travel with two pets that have since passed on. One was a cute little pit bull who slept in the shower tray and (the other was) a 200-pound Great Dane who would nose his way into the trailer and because the trailer was too small for him to turn around he had to back out. The trailer is only seventeen feet long.
What is your philosophy on clutter?
Pay forward. Something comes in, something goes out.
Our little trailer helps keep me grounded. If you only need four plates, four spoons, then that’s all you take. And I am very aware of what I buy — this includes the packaging and how the item will be reused or discarded.
This is not “green” it’s “red.” I am Cherokee and was raised to take only what you need and use.
What was your biggest learning curve?
OMG — definitely had to be learning to back up the trailer. All your mistakes can be seen by everyone in the (campground).
Once I backed the trailer right off the blocks. The whole campground was laughing and my son yells out, “Dad would not have done that!” But a very kind older man walked over and put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Dads do that sometimes, too.”
Little by little I improved and my kids became more encouraging — “Mom, it only took you five tries this time!”
Over the years these embarrassing memories have woven into their own very humorous stories.
What is the one thing you would want others to know before taking the leap?
It doesn’t have to be an Airstream; it’s more about the person rather than the thing you are living in.
When you live small you can live large. And I think I’m encouraging people by living small. You learn the most incredible lesson when you live in that kind of space.
It’s good to be queen while living under your means!