It would be a difficult decision if I had to choose which of our several houses I prefer.

This is not to say that we have a summer home or a winter getaway, or even a weekend retreat, but it is to say that we have somehow built quite a few houses in our creek valley world. And it seems that whichever house has seasonally called me through its door becomes my very favorite house of all time, until I happen to walk across the next threshold.

When I enter the sugar shed to get ready to work the hives, I am greeted by the most wonderful sweet scent of honey and wax. The sugar shed is where I will be working over the next several weeks as I prepare the bees for a summer of foraging, but not quite yet.

The goat houses are special, too. The clean houses smell of straw and contented goats. It is a wonderful treat to sit down in a fresh bed of straw with a goat by my side, as she whispers sweet goat kisses my way. These are houses that I can enter at any time of year to slow down and simply be.

And then there is the 388- square-foot cabin that has been our home for the past 11 years, and is perhaps one of the original tiny houses.

We built it small because it was all that we needed, and I have known it as my dream-come-true home, proof that we really could turn our imaginations into reality and quit those regular paycheck jobs and live a simpler country life.

But I’d better not forget that we are now building a spacious 930-square-foot log house. The cabin will become our guest house and summer kitchen, as the log house becomes our new dream home, where we are carving every nook and corner into the perfect space to fit our eclectic lives.

This past weekend though, I fell, once again into absolute, total love with my greenhouse. As I pulled dead leaves off of the orange, lemon and lime trees, the air surrounded me with a heady citrus scent.

When I pulled the chain to open the roof panels, I felt the gentle breeze of the hot air wafting past me and up and out into the creek valley.

I got down on my hands and knees and pulled weeds from the wood chip-covered dirt floor. The ground was dry and hard-packed, and the weeds did not easily let go, but two wheelbarrow trips later, the compost pile looked decidedly fatter.

I hosed off the inside of the polycarbonate panels where green algae had begun to grow. I spread out the float trays on the slatted tables where I would soon be seeding my garden crop of vegetables and herbs. And then I stood still.

The sun had just passed over the valley hill, and I could already feel the temperature beginning to drop. I closed the roof panels but left the side panels cracked just a bit, and then I sat down in what was at that moment my very favorite chair in my very favorite house.

I held on to the chains and pushed back as far as I could. I picked up my feet and swung freely through the greenhouse air. I leaned back and looked up through the clear roof at the dusky sky overhead.

And it occurred to me that at that moment, I was the most fortunate person I could imagine. I had a house within which I could sit comfortably, surrounded by clean citrus-scented air, tilt my head back and see the whole outside world. I could not imagine needing or wanting anything else. I had it all right there.

Christine Tailer is an attorney and former city dweller who moved several years ago, with her husband, Greg, to an off-grid farm in south-central Ohio. Visit them on the web at