When I was 24 years old, I was living in the North Beach neighborhood “little Italy” of San Francisco.
I paid $300 a month to live in the dining room of a San Francisco apartment. We each had our own door to get into our rooms only my room had the fireplace which was never used.
We lived on one of those alley ways in North Beach and it was quite a Rapunzel experience where the eligible men would be calling on the three ladies that lived there from street below. We lived only half a block from the neighborhood bar which every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night echoed music and sounds of lively young people enjoying a good night out on the town.
One day as I was walking through the streets of North Beach, I went into a café and met a strikingly handsome young man who within a matter of weeks became my boyfriend.
This was my second love and it had been a decade since my last one. Imagine… your second love, you’re in your early 20s and you’re in one of the most romantic cities on the planet… LIFE WAS EASY AND GOOD.
About seven months later my boyfriend tells me that the city life, while fun, was just too much and he’s moving back to Duluth, Minnesota to be with his family. He was a financial advisor and his family had a thriving financial practice back in Duluth. Instead of being a small fish in a big sea he chose to be a big fish in a small pond.
So what does a girl who’s in her early 20s do when the second love of her life tells her he’s leaving? She says… “I’m going with you”
At this point, I had lived with one of my dearest friends for my senior year in college at Chico State and had lived with her for my first year single year in San Francisco so it was one of those tough moments breaking up the girlfriend vibe.
”I’m in love, I told her”, And she just looked at me and said, “go for it I love you”, with a slightly doubtful look on her face, but a knowing that I simply had to figure this one out on my own.
Off I went to Duluth Minnesota with 20 of my personal belongings in tow. Upon arriving I meet his other brother and sisters (he had a large family) and we toured their summer family cabin which was set on one of the thousands of lakes home to beautiful Minnesota. It was late spring early summer and the thought of the Minnesota winter was far from the mind.
Unfortunately, something was a bit off with us and the move for me was not what I expected. Finding a job seemed like a huge task and I wasn’t getting very far. After several nightly fights I said to him “I’m living my life through you”.
One thing about me is when a relationship ended, it ended there was no prolonging of our relationship or getting back together Bouncy house that I have witnessed other friends endure. It’s just not in my make up to be in limbo, when you know you know, and my motto for love was , “NEXT”.
So I hop back on a flight to San Francisco only two weeks after I had arrived in Duluth Minnesota. While it was short in time, it was a massive transformational move for me and my stepping into adulthood.
Coming back to San Francisco, my girlfriend had already found another roommate and had moved on with her life. I found myself putting back the pieces of my life, making new friends, looking for new places to live and figuring out my next career move.
I share the story because when my dear friend Keri G with @Ifwisheswerehorses school bus sent me this text announcing...
“The Duluth Economic Development Authority has unanimously approved the transfer of five vacant land sites around the city to developers. They plan to construct tiny homes and townhomes on the sites.”
Wow if only I had just stuck it out in Duluth I could be that tiny home developer!
Lol, I am grateful for the path that I was on and that got me to Duluth for those two weeks in the summer of 1994.
Kudos to Duluth Minnesota for stepping up and seeing how Tiny Homes play a huge role in creating “real” affordable housing.
Note: I say “real” because here in the state of California affordable housing actually costs cities and counties $480,000 a door.
Be very clear our traditional way of affordable housing involves taxpayer dollars to create it. Alternatively, with tiny homes, NO tax payer dollars are needed, the homeowner does not incur additional property taxes and we get to house people in a new affordable Tiny Home in a matter of months versus waiting for years.
To read more about the Duluth economic development authority tiny home plans click on the link below.