The Cozy Caboose – (My Dream House)

When Mary and William were preschoolers I told them stories about a fictional character I invented called the Cozy Caboose. William was wild about trains, and the two played with his Thomas and Friends on his ever expanding track for hours each day.

At nap time on cold winter afternoons, I would occasionally let the two three-year-olds join me for a story about the little red caboose that had all kinds of adventures. They knew that inside were bunks, a warm stove, bookshelves, a tiny kitchen and fresh cookies for the tired engineer of the train. By the time I was halfway through my tale, the two would invariably be sound asleep next to me.

As a frequent visitor to the Tiny House Blog, I saw that the Cozy Caboose has finally gotten off the rails and found a permanent resting place. You’ll have to see this charming little house made from a red caboose.¬†When I saw it, I told Tom that I found our dream house for when we’re old and don’t need any extra bedrooms. Here is the post.¬†Apparently cabooses are popular for conversion into little houses. Here is a link to some more of them at the Tiny House blog.

The idea of getting rid of all the stuff that ties you down in life is appealing to a lot of Americans as the bad economy is changing our priorities. But how small would you want to go? Below is an interesting video about a family of three that left a big mortgage behind and a large home that left them no time for each other. They built a tiny home and changed their lives. Here’s a fun look at their house. I’m not sure I could voluntarily get this small (no room for organ and piano), but these people are living the freedom that fewer things gives, so bravo to them!

11 thoughts on “The Cozy Caboose – (My Dream House)

  1. I would love to hear those caboose stories. Malachi still likes trains and he said he would love to live in a caboose someday.

    Those tiny houses are tempting at times. It would be easier to clean! maybe once all the kids are out of the house. :)

  2. The little caboose house is adorable. I would love to live there. As a single, my cat and I would fit in just fine. If you collect too much stuff it starts controlling your life and I have tried to minimize what I keep around. With the extra money from not buying things I don’t really need I have gotten to travel to various parts of the world every couple of years. We would all be happier if we lived with less. I wonder where you could buy a caboose. They must be a hot commodity in that they don’t make them anymore.

  3. Looking at that small house they built I wonder if snow days make them claustrophobic? I think it would be OK for a couple of days, but to live this cramped all the time would be hard. We have a 900 sq. foot condo and it seems too tight a lot of times with our dogs and my husband’s books which he won’t give up. I like the caboose idea. Very cute. For one person, not so bad to live this small I think. With Obama we’ll all be living in boxes soon LOL.

  4. It takes special people to live like that. Listening to her description it was very obvious the thought that goes into it. What I was most impressed about was their age and realizing the important things in life at an age when so many people are trying to impress each other with their stuff and accomplishment. Thanks for posting that story I really enjoyed watching it.
    I love the simple things in life.
    Do you know are they christians?

  5. I’ve followed the small house movement for some time, and it amazes me how many young people are getting into it. From 16 year olds to 30 somethings, a lot of younger people are building these houses, and the common theme is they are burnt out on stuff.

    Their parents lived in 4,000 square foot, cheaply made monstrosities, filled them with junk, and called it the American dream. But I think the kids are realizing that stuff doesn’t make you happy and are therefore attracted to the minimalist lifestyle of small houses. Live with a few things you really enjoy, live in a small but well built house (many times with handmade fixtures), and don’t value things. The question is no longer “How much can I have” but “How much can I live without.” I am very glad to see this movement growing.

  6. One person who has written on smaller homes is Sarah Susanka, an architect, I think, who has been promoting well-built, well-designed houses in her “The Not So Big House” book and other books on the theme. Her books are full of photos and ideas for such houses. Very interesting and attractive dwellings.

  7. Sorry, but I need to add that Susanka’s homes are not tiny, but they are small. Much smaller than the usual home that is being built across the country.

  8. Oh, I agree! Small is fun and so easy, once the children are grown and gone. And, for we collectors of antiques, family heirlooms, and nostalgic vintage junk it’s amazing how much one can creatively (and attractively!) arrange into a 4 room condo!

    You are a part of your family’s ongoing story when surrounded by the things they used and enjoyed. An old potato masher has so much more character than a new one! And the wonderful old iron skillet! All the stainless in the world can’t match that! Ample storage helps, and the hutch and buffet displays (Grandma’s china and Mom’s Victorian glassware) can be rotated throughout the year. Shelves, walls, and ceilings make interesting display areas–so one needn’t discard family treasures, photos, textiles, and art from past generations!

    People visiting our little bit of “Heaven on earth” for the first time invariably say: “I can’t believe this is a condo. It’s so “homey”! That’s because every object has a warm story to tell.

    We definitely are “out of sync” with the today’s fast lane culture–thankfully!
    The present may be cold, sterile, and “fast lane” out in the world–but our home full of 19th and early 20th century stuff is warm, leisurely, and inviting! The aesthetic appeal and mellow memories make one’s collections special. We can’t take them with us, and that’s why we’re enjoying and using them now! Someday our huge family will enjoy the memories we’re preserving for their homes. Already we’ve shared a lot with them.

    Meanwhile, our daughters and granddaughters love to hang out here, and they wander around smiling and gazing. Many heirlooms have been spoken for, and we’re keeping a log of who will receive what! Another generation of 16 great-grandchildren is coming up to share our past. :)

  9. With an organ/piano you could add one more room for music.

    We have 7 kids (an 8th on the way) and live in a big enough split level home. It’s tempting to even look at something small…not THAT small…but small. I would need to get rid of a great bunch of stuff. Might be worth it and would help us if we didn’t have to worry about a house payment AND heating and cooling would be much cheaper.

  10. Loved this tour. I am a single mother that raised my daughter in a 300 square foot home. My daughter now lives & helps my mother so I am living in an apartment that is 375 square feet & is perfect. I would never want to live in anything bigger. It really is living with what you need…not what you think you need.

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