I am honored and grateful by all the encouraging emails and phone calls I received in response to our first newsletter. From seeing your granddaughter watching gymnastics to hearing about the garlic CSA you are a member of to seeing your tiny house backyard artist retreat, I thank each of you who took the time to read and share. So many of you have passed along word of our work with tiny houses and for that, I thank you.
Some of you hadn’t heard from me since I left Detroit to go a “one-year silent retreat.” Well, just to clarify, I was not in silence for a year. I did spend a year volunteering with Vipassana Meditation Centers (one in Illinois and one in Ontario). Vipassana is taught in ten-day residential courses (and 9 of the days are spent in silence) so I did spend some time in silence over the course of that year. Most of the time was spent managing a kitchen and center operations. It’s also when and where Jon and I met. We both were honored to be a part of Northern Michigan’s first Vipassana course, which concluded on September 7, 2016. Our work to start For Now Tiny Homes comes from our desire to have a livelihood that allows us to live out our values more fully and have time for our meditation practice and volunteer work.
Our big news of late is that we picked up our custom-made trailer for starting to build the second tiny house, 7ft by 18ft, named The Journey (which is for sale). We received questions on pricing for the tiny house so added a link for that on our website. We have also had people ask how they can support us and we’ve let them know. We want to support your efforts, too so please let us know how we can do that!
While I think we added some practical information to our website, I also added something goofy that those of you who know me or my dad may get a kick out of. It’s a new blog called “Mr. Medium Relaxes.” Yes, it’s about my parents’ cat and no, it does not have anything to do with tiny houses, except for the fact that both things have enhanced our lives!
We had the pleasure of having a forester walk our property with us and provide with guidance on increasing biodiversity and habitat while maintaining a woodlot and a sugar bush. We learned some ash trees may survive the ash borer, that leatherwood is a good native shrub for a shady understory, and that we can try to introduce trilliums, jack-in-the-pulpits (or, as we call them “j in the p zees”) to help restore the soils compacted by animal grazing. We collected some wild leek seeds and more and planted them in a test plot near our future home site.
I hope that our tiny house and/or land may someday serve as a retreat space for those doing transformative social justice work in Detroit (and elsewhere, too). The undoing racism and planting justice in the food system and beyond work that I was involved in while in Detroit remains important to me. Those of you doing this work-reach out to me if you want to come relax, restore, strategize, etc. near the woods and beaches of NW Lower Michigan.
We welcome your comments!
With gratitude and joy,
Lisa & Jon