From Texas-sized 2 Tiny House For Three
It just occurred to me that there are only 15 weeks standing between us and finishing our house if we still intend to take it to the Tiny House Jamboree in August. More importantly than that, though, is that if I’m going to accept even a short-term transfer to Colorado, we’re going to have to be ready to go a week later no matter what since training starts the 13th of the month. Considering how long it’s taken us to even get where we are in our build, I’m thinking an act of Congress is more likely to pass than we are to be finished with our build. That said, it just needs to be livable – not necessarily “i” dotted and “t” crossed. In an attempt to help speed up the process, R.A.D will be in summer camp 5 days a week starting in June, and Brandy isn’t taking any classes for those two semesters. Even though I’ll have to work extra shifts in June (as in 12hrs every day of the week except Thursdays), hopefully the trifecta of full time child care, a homework & test-free summer for Brandy, and my overtime cash infusion will rekindle the fires of progress.
I think Jessica Friday said it best when explaining why she and her husband, Casey, decided not to finish building their tiny house after its recovery from having been stolen off their property (http://iamchesapeake.com/2015/01/why-we-wont-be-living-in-our-tiny-house/):
“I only half-joke that the thing that makes tiny building so difficult is that there is just enough space to finally get a partial handle on whatever step of the process you are undertaking – and then that step is over. You never build up any momentum to carry the task out faster and better. Because the space is so small, it’s time to start from square one on the next step of the process before you even reap the benefits of having mastered the previous step. It’s not very satisfying to work this way. People say: “Oh, you’ve come so far! You’re so close to finishing!” No, we really, really aren’t. We’ve been “so close” to finishing nearly every month for the last two and a half years.”
Between feeling bogged down by the lack of progress and being literally bogged down by the excessive spring rains we’ve had (I’m soooo glad my dad put in concrete strips for our tires to park on!), we both admit the momentum has waned significantly of late. There is definitely background progress being made – Gary of Tiny House Systems is hard at work on our electrical and plumbing schematics – but the visible progress has ground nearly to a halt due to the realities of work/school obligations and an uncooperative Mother Nature. My personal frustration is particularly high because we’ve reached a point on the remaining exterior projects where I’m essentially useless – I don’t know how to use the Skil saw let alone how to calculate & cut the various angles needed to complete the dormer siding. I can’t even reach that area by ladder anyway!
All of that tension boiled over when Brandy installed the front large gable fascia boards and I realized how sloppy the edges of the DaVinci rake tiles looked all jagged and uneven along the orange tinged cedar. I was literally in tears over it and screaming at how awful and amateur it looked, and Brandy, bless him, didn’t once let his own tone or volume of voice rise. I’d just always assumed they would be straightened out with the installation of the fascia, but instead the contrast of the cedar behind it accentuated the unevenness. It was then I realized what it was like to have a toddler-like aphasia – knowing what you want to do or say but not having the capacity with which to express it properly. I just couldn’t get Brandy to understand why it bothered me so much or explain my ideas on how I thought we could fix it, which left me shrieking like a banshee in frustration. I just kept repeating, “it looks like shit,” over and over in increasingly shrill octaves. For some reason that particular discovery just damaged my calm, and I had to go storm off to the living room of my dad’s house to watch “Hook” with the munchkin to distract myself. I wished I’d had a room full of clocks (or anything!) to smash with a hammer the way Jack and Captain Hook did while venting their frustrations.
I’m trying to not get too hung up on deadlines, especially self-imposed ones like being ready for the Jamboree, but it’s becoming an increasingly difficult task. What I really need to remind myself, though, is that none of these deadlines means a damn thing if the Big House doesn’t sell by the end of July. We can’t very well move out of state and have to pay rent for tiny house parking while simultaneously reabsorbing the additional $1000/mo and all related utilities on the Big House that have been paid by our renters for the last year. Their lease ends July 31st, but they’re trying to buy themselves a small house for a June move-in because they have Baby 2.0 on the way. I know plenty of people take job transfers before their houses sell, but we simply can’t afford that and aren’t willing to be out-of-state landlords. We could still attend the Jamboree with the house even if it’s not 100% complete and regardless of the state of the Big House sale, but it would be irresponsible of us (not to mention crazy stressful) to move, even temporarily, with the weight of the Big House hanging over our heads.
And so here I am at work in the wee hours of the morning taking advantage of the downtime we usually have between 0400 and 0600. Not that Brandy is awake and working on the tiny house at this very moment, but I can’t help finding myself wishing I was home to do just that instead of being stuck at work. It’s a 100% First World problem (and a damn fortunate one to have at that), but that acknowledgement doesn’t make the feeling of uselessness subside any. It’s toxic to let myself feel that way, so I’m trying to muster the energy to go for a run after work this morning. I’ve also signed up for another 10K on Saturday with a few girls from work, so hopefully that endorphin rush will set my brain back on a more positive track. I know Brandy is feeling the pressure, too, but for once in our nearly 11 years together I’m the one doing the brooding and he’s in “crap-not-given” mode. Jessica is right – it isn’t very satisfying to work, or not work as the case may be, like this. Time to find a way to turn this frown upside down!
If you have or are in the process of building your tiny house, what’s been your biggest frustration so far? Biggest accomplishment? Let us know in the comments!