So now i had a house and it was empty. I had to fill it, but, with under 400 square feet, each item of furniture i decided to bring had to be carefully weighed and considered. The main barrier to spending the night at the property was the lack of sleeping quarters. My full sized bed was not going to fit in there. I had always wanted a bed with metal bars. Don’t ask me why. So, when i had to get rid of my full-sized bed and start over with a twin, i saw an opportunity. I found a day bed at big lots with plenty of metal bars that was the stuff of my dreams. Only problem; they had just one left, and it wouldn’t fit in my suv. I bought it anyways. I had a plan. The puzzled big lots employees carried the bed-sized box out to the parking lot and set it against my car. They offered their advice, “Ma’am, I’ll tell you right now, that’s not gonna fit in there.” I said, “It’s okay. I’ll manage.” With raised eyebrows and a shake of their heads the employees returned to the store. I examined the irony of the situation as i scanned the parking lot and noted it was 95 percent full of pick-up trucks. No matter. This Kia Sportage was going to get that day bed 2 miles down the road. First i laid all the back seats down and scooted the front seats up towards the dashboard. Then i placed one end of the box against the opening of the trunk and turned it diagonally so that it would fit. I used all my strength to lift the box and shove it into the car inch by inch. The big lots employees observed from the window as if they were watching a movie. Of course, the box was longer than the car, so it stuck out the trunk a good foot at least. I locked the car and left the trunk door sticking up towards the sky in the parking lot while i ran over to the tractor supply store next door and bought 6 bungee cords. If nothing else, the big lots employees watching from the window would be a good anti-theft system were someone to try and burgle the car. Once i had returned with the bungee cords the two men watched as i secured the trunk door to the inside of the car in various places. I drove triumphantly down main street for a distance of roughly two miles with the bungeed trunk door flapping behind me with every bump in the road, my precious cargo en route to my apartment. As i parked my now rainbow bungee decorated vehicular contraption in my designated carport spot, i heard a familiar voice from outside of the open trunk door, “What the hell are you doing?” It was my friend and favorite neighbor. He was giving me an amused grin from underneath his cowboy hat. I puffed my chest out just a bit and announced, “Taking my new bed home.” He laughed, “Are you going to take it like that all the way to the house?” (a 30 minute drive) I said, “Probably.” He said, “You want some help?” I said, “Yup.” So we strapped the day-bed and the dog crate and the box the pantry arrived in to my friend’s truck and he drove all that stuff out to the property and helped me unload it. He never would take any gas money from me. He never held it over my head that I’d accepted help with something, and he never asked for anything in return. And that’s why my favorite neighbor is on my very short list of friends. Once i had the boxes in the house i set about opening them and making sense of the directions. You see, the furniture doesn’t spring out of the box completed like in a pop up book when you open it. It’s a series of small pieces with smaller pieces to connect those to medium pieces and each one must face the exact right direction or about 7 other pieces won’t fit each other later in the building process. I had to take that thing apart and rebuild it 3 times before i got everything facing the right way and tightened at the right times in the process. One thing i learned about constructing a bed is, it’s probably a two person process. The instructions called for someone to hold the first two pieces together while a second person fastened the third into place. I used the wall as my second person and balanced the first two pieces on my outstretched leg to keep them raised off the floor in the desired position. The real feat was figuring out how to unfold the internet-ordered mosquito net tent and stuff the mattress in there. The instructions were in chinese. I searched and searched for a comforter for my new day bed, but my small town just didnt have very many options for a twin. They were all kid-themed. I needed an adult twin sized comforter that didn’t remind me of potpourri or have buzz lightyear on it. I ended up having to go without a comforter until i was passing through a bigger city and saw an opportunity to step into a target store and pick up a comforter. It was the last one left in stock of the rustic embroidered off-white comforter on the display card. I bought it. That night i actually slept instead of shiverring my teeth off while impersonating an icicle. I learned it’s important to have a comforter on the bed during winter.
As soon as i finished putting the electricity for the property in my name i drove home to pick up my dog, Sili. I wanted to show her what i’d been so stressed about, what i’d been working on all those nights i couldn’t play with her. I wanted to show her what i’d bought us. I patted the front seat and called “load up” and she jumped in, excited for a road trip. As i drove her further and further out of the city i rolled down the window and let her sniff the air. It was good clean air. It smelled like plants, not concrete. She became very interested in the scenery out the window. None of it was familiar to her. She looked puzzled. She probably wondered where we were going. We drove through a heavily wooded area on winding 1 lane roads. When i finally pulled up to the gate i pointed to the little tiny house and exclaimed, “that is your new home.” She looked intently out the window in the direction i had pointed. I got out and opened the gate, pulling the car through and closing it behind us. I parked and let her out of the car. Sili sniffed the ground for a while. She picked a spot and pooped. Then she did something I’d never had the pleasure of seeing her do. My apartment dog ran. She ran circles around the property, kicking up dust and wagging her tail, ears flying in the wind. She ran and ran and ran to her little heart’s content, until she was exhausted and out of breath. She trotted over to where i stood and laid down with her paws hanging off the wooden porch steps like she’d lived there all her life. I think she got the message. She was home.
If you want something badly enough, don’t give up, no matter what they say.– Lauren Osborne
I turned 30 and i had a good look at my life. I’d spent my entire adult career waiting and saving for the life i would one day have. At some points i had 3 jobs at once and worked 60 hour weeks. I was still nowhere near the amount i needed to fund the things i was saving for. So i decided to take the money and buy myself a house, a belated birthday present to myself if you will. However, not just any house would do. I wanted a tiny house. A tiny house and land. Finding and purchasing this tiny house turned out to be around a 6 month process. First i had to realize that buying the tiny house and the land separately was more work than i wanted to put in. It involved digging my own water well, putting in a septic tank, running electricity and internet out to the property…in some cases, paving a road to the driveway for access… Some properties were heavily wooded and involved clearing many many trees to build anything at all. Originally i wanted to purchase a tiny home from the mustard seed tiny home company. Their tiny homes are beautiful and utilize every inch of storage space available. However, when i realized how many independent pieces of a property (all capable of corruption or error) had to come together to make the finished product, i was interested in finding a property already half finished. And then God seemingly dropped it in my lap. A tiny house already on 2 acres with electricity, a water well, and a septic system. Just one problem. Unless i was a millionaire, i needed a bank to decide loaning on this property was a good idea. Apparently it is easiest to get a bank loan to buy something a whole lot of other people want to buy…not so much if you march to the beat of your own weird little drum. I wanted this house on this property more than i’d ever wanted anything in my entire life. For months i remained quietly frozen by this fear that it would remain forever out of my grasp. However, the banks were of the opinion that it was not a sound investment for them to make. They say third time’s the charm. In this case, they were right. Bank number 3 stuck in there and didn’t back out. In late january i took a half day at work and left early to sign the papers and close on my new house. I remember it felt surreal when the keys were put into my hand and i floated across the street to put the electricity in my name in a haze of confusion. Did it finally happen? Could it be real? If i pinched myself would i wake up and the keys be gone from my hand? It was real. I owned the property and the bank owned me. 🙂