Coming Up ‘Rosy': life in a tiny house…

Footfalls echo in the memory, down the passage we did not take, towards the door we never opened, into the rose garden.” — T.S. Eliot

© 2010, C.Hutson-Wrenn

Tic Tac Toe, C. Hutson-Wrenn ©'10

Rosy is what I call her.

For just over a year, I have been living in a 27 ft recreational vehicle, one that I ‘inherited’ from the older couple who previously owned my two acres near the sea, on Edisto Island. This land stole my heart at first glance. The old RV was sturdy and workable and she’d work out until I could build my little cottage. “I’ll build a house with a tin roof, with simple and elegant trim, and I will use the heart pine countertops my son made. It will have a small porch with a hammock, and a tall gushy bed for company.” The dream to live in the Lowcountry land of my ancestors was taking root, after years of wishing and hoping.

It was also more than that. I was called to this place for some reason that I did not quite understand. It was a palpable and definite call, as I walked under a midnight full moon four years ago. That here, exactly, was where I was supposed to be. That quote by T.S. Eliot is about taking the road less traveled, about taking the risk, about going into the unknown. About trusting that when you do, if you do ….you will enter the rose garden.Truth is, had I known what was coming with the leap in the dream’s direction, I doubt I would have made the jump. Was I ready to enter the dark forest where no one else had gone before, and begin my hero’s journey?

Remodeled "Rosy" 216 sf. RV

Well, I did leap. And my world cracked open. “There is something in us”, as Joseph Campbell would say. Something willing, way down deep, I think now. I was suffocating and standing still where I was. I needed a leap into the unknown. And to trust that it would all work out. That’s also when the perfect family, coincidentally needed to rent my house. I just said yes, they are still there now, 15 months later, and they are people I adore who care for and also love the house I renovated and call Belle Rive. Kids laugh there, and an artist now makes art where I used to. Accidents don’t just ‘happen’ like that.

Rosy. Small House Sustainable Living.

Back to Rosy.

The RV was worn and brown inside, pressboard, plastic, with not so ‘cute’ trailer style mini draperies. The economic wild ride began just after the purchase of Allee de Lune, in December of ’07, gobbling up much of my savings (and everyone else’s) and making the sale of my house in Charlotte nearly impossible. The cottage would have to wait. Rosy would play a much bigger part in my life than I imagined she would.

And for an artist whose heart soars in the presence of beauty, naming her Rosy was quick and early. Personify her with a name that would make her pretty sounding. A name that would make me feel better first, to be honest. But, wildly, like a rose, Rosy became a name she would surprisingly grow into. The metaphor is clear, for thorns grow alongside great beauty. The growth of Rosy and the growth in my cracked open heart kept each other company. While I experienced a wet, cold winter within her water damaged walls, the bud was forming. She is blushing with pride today, and my heart is more grateful than ever.

For the last month, Rosy has gotten a little love. Spring brought hope, as she always does. My garden which has been like having a baby in the house all summer, has kept me working outside for many hours here on my homestead, a place I am proud to say is lots more sustainable than my former lifestyle. Here are the before and after photographs, of sweet Rose of the Alley of the Moon.

She is, we are, in the Rose Garden.

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I was called to be an artist. And as an old old midwife said to me "If the Lord wants you to do something, you won't have no good luck' til you do." So, here I am, sharing what I love, longing to illuminate the work of art, which is everywhere.

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Posted in architecture, art, Arts & Culture, beauty, creativity, Food, Green, Poetry, South Carolina History, spirituality, sustainable living, travel, Writing
8 comments on “Coming Up ‘Rosy': life in a tiny house…
  1. pinkney says:

    awwwww. you have done wonders for yourself and the rv. What will you do with her when you build that little house? Put her up on stilts and add a tin roof and a porch, maybe.
    I love tictactoe, too.

  2. margaret says:

    Charlotte –
    How beautifully written! Love the painting as well! The healing you feel on your Rosy road is evident in your words and in your colors! xoxo!

    • Thank you, dearest friend, Margaret. Funny how perfect that collage, TicTacToe is now. I made it a couple of years ago. It is really beautifully printed, 20″ x 20″, by a master giclee printer in Davidson (who does museum work). The original is just paper glued on painted blue canvas, sprinkled with glitter. A foreshadowing! xoxo

  3. I love it, mom. You have found “a room of one’s own!” It’s beautiful that you are finding so much joy and abundance, just where you are. Your serenity and presence of mind shines through in your writing. I’m proud of the work you’re doing. Even without your cottage, it sounds like you’ve come home. xoxoxox. Love you.

  4. [...] have no house on my land yet, only inherited Rosy the RV, and a 8 x 14 ft. custom built “utility” building to hold my edited down version of [...]

  5. [...] Edingsville Beach Road on Edisto Island. Allee de Lune was within sounds of the ocean. Remembering Rosy. And, of course, with homage to Georgia [...]

  6. [...] my house and down I came, to Edisto Island, to write, to paint, to live in my little RV named Rosy, to take my chances making the dream come true in this place that had called my name. I [...]

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What’s this?

Welcome to my blog about the Lowcountry of South Carolina, a place proud with beauty, history and art. Sometimes we feel a call, to be, to go, to do. I was called to be an artist, and as an old midwife from Alabama said, “If the good Lord wants you to do something, you won’t have no good luck until you do it.”

So here I am writing about what I know, about the 'under glimmer' as the poet Basho, says, the way I have learned to see, to notice. I am inspired by, and talking about the history and art and culture of this place that has called me to herself. By the ancestors.

My background includes a degree in fine arts from a small private college in Florida, and before that, four years of all girls' boarding school in Asheville. I worked as a professional photographer, helped my children grow up, and now and I love seasoned things, good food, better conversation, beauty, my beloved and beautiful Italian Greyhound, Beau. Moved by the sacred places and stories of this beautiful historic land called the Lowcountry, I am here in spirit and I hope to infect you with my love of this place.

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