Sued51's Blog

{January 12, 2015}   A Tiny House Story


Abandoned house

Anyone interested in what it is like to live in a tiny home? Not one that looks like this, I’m sure!

I’ve been reading about the Tiny House Movement for a while through Rowdy Kittens and other blogs, so when Chronicle did a special about tiny houses the other night, I had to watch it. I love the IDEA of living in your own tiny mobile space, and admire the people who follow through with it, but I don’t think I could do it (not without having a storage unit bigger than my house). 🙂

Much to my surprise, a few minutes of the show was dedicated to the narrowest house in Boston in the North End. I was transported back in time as I watched the segment; my friend, Danielle had lived there for a brief time in the 80s! She had a lovely summer garden party in the deceivingly large courtyard behind it.

I remembered her giving me the tour; she told me how often she caught people staring at the house. It is only 6 feet wide in one spot (as they show in the TV segment). There was one room on each floor (the second floor included the bathroom), so there wasn’t a lot of space, but the view was wonderful at the top! It looks out over Copp’s Hill Burial Ground and you can see the harbor (at least you could back in the 1980s when I visited). I was taking a poetry workshop at the time so I wrote a poem about it not long after Danielle’s party. I had to experiment with form and rhyme as an assignment, which I very rarely do these days.

It took a little digging to find my notebook from that time, but I thought I’d share the poem:


 Guided Tour

Into the narrowest house I was led,

half a hundred feet from where sea captains sleep,

up on the hill in their cold narrow beds.

I step up the narrow stairs, hollowed and steep,

the old wood worn smooth without sagging,

from hundreds of years, and sizes of feet.

On the second floor I’m chastised for lagging

behind to peer into the small bath and bedroom.

Up and around, I’m instructed, zig-zagging

Up to the living space, cozy as a womb,

Keep going, I’m told, though I want to stop,

then I’m climbing again, dropping my gloom.

Suddenly it seems we’ve come to the top;

there’s a soft bed, lit by a window

in an alcove where we happily flop.

Laughing she finally lets me know

the vision she wanted to share with me —

the tourists staring up like dead fish below.

How fun for you to once again see that house after all this time.

Liked by 1 person

sued51 says:

Bruce, also fun to remember an old friend. 🙂


There is definitely something attractive about living in a tiny cozy space. I think it goes back to when we were kids and we made little forts underneath the dining room table, or by attaching sheets on top of four chairs. (Well, at least my brother and I did!).

Liked by 1 person

sued51 says:

You are so right Pam! I think it does take us back to our youth somehow, when we were small and free.

Liked by 1 person

Colline says:

Loving in a small space would defi itely discourage hoarding 🙂

Liked by 1 person

sued51 says:

Nice to “see” you Colline…thanks for commenting. 🙂


soonie2 says:

Like you, I like the idea of these tiny houses and that one in the North End sure sounds intriguing! But I think I’d rather just visit…I’m too claustrophobic!

Liked by 1 person

jakesprinter says:

That was fun Sued.

Liked by 1 person

beeblu says:

The poem paints a picture, particularly of the gobsmacked tourists. 😄

Liked by 1 person

sued51 says:

Danielle thought it was so funny how they would be outside staring (a little creepy too). It’s funny how memory is BB…I thought I remembered the living room to be on the second floor, but my poem tells me that Danielle and her roommate used it as a bedroom. The older I get, the more I am glad I have the poems I have written to help me clarify my memories.

Liked by 1 person

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