Saturday, January 9, 2016

Full Moon Tiny Shelters

Full Moon Tiny Shelters is based just outside of Lunenburg.  They are one of the many small businesses making Lunenburg a vibrant and dynamic place to live.  As I look around at all the talent in this area I realize I am surrounded by innovators.  Our government needs to listen to its people.
Here's an example of one of their tiny homes.  Check out their web site.
and have a listen to what Jamie has to say.

My Name is James Constable and my wife, Jennifer Constable, along with Dawn Higgins, make up Full Moon Tiny Shelters where we build tiny houses on trailers. I am happy to say that this has turned out to be a weird, perhaps crazy and bizarrely successful idea. We do this work from our completely off-grid house and workshop in Blockhouse, thus making us a home based business. We are also friends with Anna Shoub, the self proclaimed Hat Junkie, and have been following her battle with the town of Lunenburg with great interest. What is most unfortunate is the fact that the word “battle” best describes her experience and this speaks volumes about what the town is, or in this case, is not, willing to do for the very people who make it interesting.

We all know about the struggles of rural communities to survive and thrive and it seems pretty self evident that any small town that hopes to grow and prosper needs to do two things: One, create meaningful work on all levels for young people so they want to stay and two, attract new, young innovative and creative people to add “new blood”. It is not the box stores or the banks that residents and visitors love, it is the cutting edge restaurants, the craft stores, the artists, and the front line of all this are the home based artisans and the writers and the people who are doing what they love on a small manageable scale. It does not matter if your family has been here 500 years or 500 days, if you are making hats or giving hair cuts, these people are the ones who are breathing in new life, they are adding passion and art and energy and they should, in my opinion, be celebrated, and nurtured and encouraged at every turn.

Luneburg is not just a town, it is an area, for many of us we live outside of the town limits and yet it is our hub, it is where we shop, eat out, educate our kids, support the events, it is the place we identify with and I don't think there is anyone, new or old, who does not want to see Lunenburg become a creative vibrant community and this is absolutely possible because everything is a matter of choice and ultimately leadership. If the laws don't support a good idea, then change the laws.

Lunenburg could be the town that has flower baskets instead of parking meters, it could be the town that has banned plastic bags and bottles to prove it cares, it could be the town that generates all of its power from solar panels, it could be the town that bends over backwards to support the Hat Junkies and the people who want to make a living and still be home for their kids. It could be the town that says “YES” in a big bold voice. Lunenburg could become world renowned for being open and welcoming and alive with new people and ideas, or it could stick to the rules, make everything just a little bit harder than it has to, be governed by administrators who always play it safe. It is all about choices. I keep using Lunenburg as an example because that is where I live, but the same applies to any small town or community, anyplace can chose to innovate and embrace creativity and new ideas and evolve and grow, but only if they want to, only if they dare.

It is possible to read what I have written and think I am being negative, but that is not the case. The South Shore of Nova Scotia is an amazing place, the people who have been here for generations are some of the most wonderful people I have ever met and on top of that the area has attracted even more people from all over the world each bringing with them there own backgrounds and cultures and skills. Many of these people are potters, sculptures, hat makers, writers, filmmakers, computer programmers, blacksmiths, stain glass experts, musicians, and chefs and that is why the area is so special. Many of these creative people work from home because they are chasing a dream and a life style; they become part of the fabric of the community. I am one such
person and I love it here, Anna is another and there are hundreds more throughout the area, but we need to keep them here and we need to keep them coming.

The world seems to be shifting and I think it is quite possible that 20 years from now the people and the towns that listened to their hearts and allowed themselves to be lead by common sense and governed by artists instead of lawyers and administrators will be the places that thrive, so let us hope that in our little corner of eastern Canada we can make the right choices.

Thank you, James

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