One of my favorite little houses

When Lonnie and I were in grad school, I had a sweet running partner named Lisa who ran all over town with me in the early mornings. Even when she moved further into town, we still drove to meet up for runs, and on the day we ran by this house, I stopped dead in my tracks:

Keys to a Cottage, shot by Doug Lindley

via—photo by Doug Lindley for Idaho State Journal

This house is old and smaaaallll, like you might not notice it if you blinked driving by. In the photo above, you’re seeing the whole front of the house. But it is rich in character and love—and you should see it when the golden-chain trees are in bloom.

I wrote about the house for the Pocatello newspaper, and you can read the feature here, if you’re interested (there are a couple more photos there too). I loved a few things in particular about this place:

• It was more or less a disaster before being rescued and loved back to life. Sale price was $27K.

• The house is used today in ways that perfectly complement the couple living there. For instance, owner Shelley is an artist, so much of the space has been carved out for working on her craft. Her creations are all over the house too—so lovely.

• The exterior looks straight out of a storybook. Just because the house is small doesn’t mean the owners skimp on landscaping or flowers. The house is well loved—it oozes warmth.

This house is more evidence that living small doesn’t mean living less. And doesn’t that photo make you long for spring? I’m missing my own geraniums!

But also, living in a small house isn’t a must. I’ll never live in a tiny house, and I’ve got four kids, so I won’t be going especially small with anything anytime soon. Rather, the key to good living is intentional living, where we embrace whatever home we’ve got and make it work for us. That level of intention doesn’t demand a certain square footage, large or small, or a certain income. Really, all it requires is thoughtfulness in how you use your space and an abundance of gratitude for whatever stage you’re in and wherever you’re living now. •

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