Settling In to the Tiny House
It's been a month and three days since I moved into my tiny house. My friend Andy borrowed a friend-of-a-friend's truck and moved it for me, sans lights/brakes/licensing. Again, I find myself wholly dependent on community.
So far, there have been many joys, but also many frustrations. The biggest frustration, which will not go away anytime soon, is that the house is still not finished, and it is hard to feel at rest when every week or two I must move all my stuff around in order to get some more work done. In a house this size, when one part of the house is disrupted, the whole thing is disrupted. But hopefully, as I build the furniture (especially the furniture designed for storage) and many now homeless items find a home, it will get easier.
Before I go further, here's a brief progress update on the ongoing construction:
- I finished the floor last weekend. It's gorgeous.
- The bathroom wall is more or less finished, but I have a curtain hung temporarily until I get around to building the pocket door.
- Tomorrow I hope to install the first shelves - my bookshelf and some in the kitchen area.
- The countertop has been finished for a while, resting on sawhorses, and today I started building the (fairly simple) cabinet framework.
- The exterior is in exactly the same state as it has been since before I moved the house - in other words, there's still some siding and trim around the front of the house, and a few other odd jobs.
- I've put off finishing the ceiling until I can get the house more livable.
My priorities now are (more or less in order) shelves, cabinet, pantry, futon, table, shower, closet, gable siding, bathroom floor/walls, ceiling, wiring, interior trim, woodstove.
In addition to proper construction jobs, I have a few other projects on my radar, including building a rocket stove, a solar oven, and a haybox (for retained heat cooking); and improving my bicycle laundry setup.
So far I have been cooking either in the kitchen at work, or on a little hobo stove made from a coffee can. More recently I have been experimenting with rocket stove prototypes, but so far they have been mostly a major headache - I think the blocks I am using are more massive than insulative.
The biggest joys so far have been the houseguests. My good friends Bridger and Chris came to stay with me. When Bridger came I had literally not a single piece of furniture, so we called my spare bucket the couch and took turns. By the time Chris came I got some folding chairs. Since my futon does not exist yet, I slept on the floor and gave over my bed to the guest. One night I had some folks over for a bonfire. We sat on five buckets (by then I'd bought more at a donut shop), two folding chairs, and a log. We ate pizza cooked in a cast iron skilled over the fire. Steve came over one night when the polyurethane on my wall was drying, so the whole house had been unsettled to clear space. But we found enough room to put up the folding chairs and have a beer. All this is to say that I am finally reviving my inner host, and it feels wonderful. And I am excited to realize that I don't have to wait until the house work is completed. The main thing of hospitality is to furnish a generous heart, an open ear, and full presence.
As construction (and life) go on, I can't help but feel I am preparing for something, or perhaps being prepared for something. I have been fantasizing aloud with new friends about starting some kind of agrarian community - maybe that will come to fruition. Or who knows. In any event the winds of change are blowing lately.
There is much more to share about life in the house, but I might as well save it for future posts.