Ok, ‘arrived’ makes it sound like someone delivered it to me all packaged up with a bow.
It did not happen like that.
Mom and I left Saturday morning to head down to Portland. I’d made reservations at the Caravan Tiny House Hotel a month previous, and when I called to ask about check in times, I was told we couldn’t check in until 5 because they were running a tour of the hotel earlier that day… but we were welcome to come to the tour. Score! I’d signed up for a tour in February but missed it due to work, so this was an awesome bonus. It was a gorgeous, warm day in Portland… upwards of 70 degrees. I know it was warm elsewhere in the PNW, but it felt special, walking around Portland in a skirt and t-shirt in the sunshine past all the weirdos with tattoos and funky hair and the coffee shops and all the people on the streets smiling. I was reminded of the first time I went to Portland, in June of 2002, on a similar sunny, smiley day. That trip, I fell in love with Portland so hard that I moved there the next week. This time, I just missed the hell out of it. Even with all the changes, Portland still feels like Home.
We got to run around inside all the houses at Caravan. I’d never really been inside a tiny house before, and it was great to see all the different layouts and design choices. I did not take pictures, sorry. There were usually 5-6 other people crammed inside each house with you. But here is the hotel later, at night:
We stayed in the Kangablue, a 20′ tiny house with a sleeping loft over the kitchen/bathroom and a smaller loft over the living room area and the front door.
It was quite spacious and comfy inside Kangablue. I definitely do not want to live inside one with another person. It blows my mind how many couples build and live in these together. I would murder someone else in about 3 hours, as I almost murdered my mother when she got up at 7 and started walking around ‘downstairs’, which sounded to me like a herd of 452 elephants. I changed my mind on a few things after being in Kangablue… I’m not going to put dormers in the loft, but instead am going to use a 9/12 slope roof like they did. There was plenty of space in the sleeping loft and the dormers would add a lot of weight/cost/complication. The woman who checked us in was aghast at my decision to put one huge sink in the kitchen to use for dishes/laundry/bathing, and her disapproval made me rethink… but I just feel like a shower is a huge waste of space. If I could combine a shower and a pantry, or something… but it’s just dead air, sitting back there most of the day. I’ll happily splash about in my big sink in the kitchen when it’s time to wash my hair.
During the tour there was a young man named Ben who built his own house with no initial skills. I asked him what advice he’d give to another novice builder just starting out, and he said “Don’t be hard on yourself. It’s going to be difficult and frustrating and take a long time, and you usually get really good at something just as you are finishing it. Sometimes after taking 3 weeks to finish something, I’d realize I could have done it in 3 days if I’d known how at the beginning. You’re at the bottom of the learning curve and you’re going to learn just as much about yourself as you are about building. Be patient.” Thanks, Ben. Words I really needed to hear.
Mom and I had breakfast at Tin Shed. Hit up the Rebuilding Center to look for insulation… didn’t find any, but I did pick up a set of bookshelves from the Powell’s remodel. I’ll cut the shelves down to make my bookshelves. A purely nostalgic touch. Then, to Iron Eagle Trailers in Fairview. As we pulled in, I was nervous and nauseous. I finally pinpointed the emotion as the exact same terror and resignation I felt on my wedding day. That sounds terrible, but it was the same feeling because I was happy to be embarking on such a huge undertaking… but overwhelmed and scared. I am the world’s worst commitment-phobe, when it comes down to it. We got to the trailer and Mom said, are you excited? And I said… not really. I don’t even know how to use a saw and I have to build a house on that.
The trailer is beautiful, and well made, and really big. In my flustered state last week I told Mom the wrong size ball for the trailer hitch. It took the guys at Iron Eagle awhile to get the 2 7/8″ ball off our truck and attach the right size, but they did it. The owner Rob showed me all the ins and outs of my trailer, and then we hit the road. 3.5 hours back to Monroe, and stepdad Jerry backed the trailer into the carport like a boss.
Building starts on Saturday.