Despite F.Scott Fitzgerald’s descriptions of magnificent mansions in The Great Gatsby, such estates, with their lavish drawing rooms, libraries, multiple fireplaces and twenty bathrooms are simply—overrated.
I lived in a 5th Wheel Trailer for a year, with my husband and a dog.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the layout and dimension of a 5th Wheel Trailer, let’s just say that in Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural parlance, a 5th Wheel is a Minimalist’s space in which only essentials count, like a jail cell.
There we were, selling our comfortable home in a safe suburban environment, buying a piece of untamed property we could not afford, shaking our sophomore son out of his cool room, and moving in with my mother–in-law, all while wrestling with second-handers—city planners, architects, and Ayn Rand herself– about the dimension and style of our proposed Spanish hacienda.
My husband Ron became the idealistic Howard Roark, sure that living at his mother’s house, across the creek from our home site, would work. Alas, within several months, it became apparent that living with my mother-in-law Betty, wonderful and generous person that she is, was untenable.
Now 15 years later, looking back and coming to her defense, I see the errors of our ways. How could we dislocate our teenage son Ben (his saxophone, stinky wrestling clothes, music, amps, hiking gear, road and mountain bikes, and girly posters) and our 14 year-old incontinent English Springer Spaniel Maggie (her old lambs wool bed, 5 leashes, crate, and odor) into Betty’s home, which heretofore, had been unoccupied with anything other than matching pillows, an étagère decorated with crystal and porcelain, and a precise little Pug?
It was agreed: we would rent a trailer and Ben would live in the two-room shack on the property, 50 feet from our new metal abode, our temporary shelter.
I loved this idea of camping with my sweetie, in less than 100 square feet.