Seth and I went to an open house this past weekend, courtesy of the Greater Boston Tiny House meetup group.  Chris Page finished building his house this past fall, based on the Minim house plans, and he invited 24 strangers to traipse through it throughout the day.

We arrived late for the 10:30 start, breathless, navigating our way through piles of snow in a quiet neighborhood.  When we closed the door behind us, the chatter ceased for a moment and we introduced ourselves.  Then everyone talked again, all at once, asking questions and giving answers.  And without a second thought we were friends.

I don’t know how these things happen. How does a common passion lead to instant community? But by the end of our visit, we had exchanged phone numbers and emails with several other attendees, wished each other luck on our tiny house builds, and left feeling a hundred times lighter inside.  I don’t think this is peculiar to tiny houses — more likely, it’s an everyday thing and I’ve been clueless all along.

Chris’s house is beautiful, by the way.  It’s striking from the outside with cedar siding and a long bank of windows on each side.  The inside feels fresh and open, comfortable with that giant couch, an office on one end, and a kitchen on the other.

It looked homey, like it could be lived in and loved, like any apartment in the Boston area, only better because we knew it had been hand-built and carefully planned.  When Seth and I left, we smiled like goons for the rest of the day.