When our children were young, it was evident that we could not take Steven, with his autistic tendencies and severe sensory integration issues, on vacations to touristy hotels in unfamiliar areas. It only took us one trip to New Hampshire when he was a toddler to learn that his disability might be a hindrance for family fun and relaxation.
Never one to back down from a lifetime of vacations, hubby and I went up to NH a few weeks later to search for a home away from home in which Steven could be comfortable. We purchased a small cabin, one which would qualify to be a tiny house on Tiny House Hunters. It is cleverly designed, having 2 bedrooms. The “master” bedroom consists of a double bed inside 4 walls where one has to open the door outwards to crawl onto the bed. The second bedroom had 3 fashionable twin beds in bunked style, again accessed in the doorway. There is a tiny ladder to reach the 2nd and 3rd bunks. The tiny kitchen doesn’t matter because we usually grilled our food, and the tiny bathroom may have a bathtub in which I can’t sit up, but it is better than no bath at all.
This cabin has served our family well throughout the years with swimming, canoeing, fishing, frog catching, game playing and lots of family fun. It has never been as valuable as it has the past few years when hubby and I try to go up for monthly respite weekends. Life is so hectic and busy and often problematic having children with difficult issues that we literally count the days until we can once again relax in the woods; no cable tv, no wi fi, no telephone coverage, completely cut off from the outside world.
So it was that I relaxed this past weekend. Sitting on the deck, I sipped my tea and listened to the quietness. Every so often a bird would chirp, different birds, different chirps. I had never been interested in bird watching, but hearing the variety of peeps and tweets piqued my interest.
The snake that lived under the house was sunning itself on a nearby rock. Because Steven was a snake expert, I learned that it was not a dangerous snake, and would eat field mice that might otherwise invade our tiny house. I might prefer a cat, but a snake would do in a pinch.
The silence of the woods reminded me of meditation. My mind was calm and relaxed, free floating and super observant. The trees were all blanketed in dew, and thefat dewdrops hung from each leaf, defying gravity. I further noticed that on the end of each pine tree branch was new growth, poking out gently in a light green extension, a half inch or so long. Somehow I had never thought of trees growing, much less be able to witness it in action. The same flowers that we had planted at home without much success were growing like wild flowers at our retreat; large leaves everywhere, bright, vibrant flowers so tall and large that their stems were bent over with the weight.
It seemed like eternity, no thought of time or place, as I sat there and all my anxiety fell away and contentment filled its space. I was ready! I would “put my big girl panties on” and face the stress of the week ahead with courage, knowing that in another 29 days I could return to this place of peace.
If you would like to read more about our family adventures, please purchase my book The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities and Remaining Sane through Barnes and Noble or Amazon.
Comments on: "The Original Tiny House" (10)
Oh yes, there is nothing like being disconnected to reconnect and find your center. That place where God is.
What a perfect getaway. I too have a “tiny house”. No bedrooms, a studio, one room. It’s 400 sq.ft. but I have a queen size bed, a full size kitchen with an island, hence, storage. I have room for my computer desk and a TV console big enough to store DVD’s, CD’s etc. and still have enough “living room” space to practice my hula and line dance. I love my little house. It sits on a tropical acre on the Big Island of Hawai’i and have the peace and quiet that suits me. I listen to the birds, the coqui frogs and ,occasionally, neighboring dogs. It’s my little paradise. I love that you also have that in your oh so busy life!
Praising God that you have your lovely get away place to fall back and regroup. Your book and blog posts have helped me persevere in times of challenge. Thank you so much for being you and for sharing your struggles, love and faith with us.
Thank you so much for reading!
It sounds like a lovely getaway! What could have ruined your vacations if you’d let it, looks like it turned out to be a huge blessing to your family. 🙂
it sounds wonderful! So happy to see a post from you. Hope you and the kids are doing well. XXX
I found that some days you just have to figure out a way to go inside yourself in a deep medication, as you probably can and pray. Go in a room, lock yourself in and pray that way if you can go deep enough by yourself to pray and to get the relaxation you need. Sometimes it is nearly impossible for you to do, but sometimes that is just what you need to go on another couple days, week, or month….so on and so on. I pray for you, pray for me. Your loving Brother in Christ, Jon.
How I love reading your posts and often wonder just how you and your husband cope. Now I have learned your secret. Thanks for sharing.
“The snake that lived under the house” eek!!
That house sounds fun!
Reblogged this on Handicap and commented:
I am slowly learning that if you don’t take time for yourself you will get burnt out. Also if you let stress take over your life it can ruin your health. That is why I am reposting this blog.