I wish I were empowered enough to say that I am my only savior in this life, but no.
It has been quite clear to me over the last month that I’m entering a period of acceleration. This is manifesting in the casita bella as getting down to the wire, i.e. needing to purchase framing materials but not having any plans from which to make a materials list. Huh?
Right. I am getting rid of the Tumbleweed plans and starting fresh. Basically I wasn’t happy with the Fencl design, wasn’t confident enough in my own mathematical/spatial skills to modify them, and didn’t have a positive experience dealing with Tumbleweed, which left a bad taste in my mouth. I didn’t want to build one of their houses from that base, cute as they are. So, I started emailing people in the tiny house community to see if anyone wanted to draw up some simple plans. I want to express my gratitude towards Malissa and Carrie for responding and offering their services – they were wonderful! But in my scramble, one person – Michael Janzen – has been incredibly generous by offering to modify some existing plans free of charge.
If you’re not familiar with Michael’s work, he is one of if not the only person on the internet offering free tiny house plans and purchased plans for a completely accessible $9.95 via his website, Tiny House Design. He is also the awe-inspiring creator of the Tiny Free House, a little house project wherein he is using only found materials, or selling found objects in order to purchase materials. THD offers an incredible wealth of information, for those of you looking into this whole movement more deeply. Besides his contributions to the tiny house movement, I have found Michael to be exceedingly kind, thoughtful, thorough, and patient – qualities worth calling attention to for a couple minutes!
Check out the preliminary drawings below. Michael uses Google Sketchup, which BTW is incredible in itself – I had no idea such fantastic drawings could be made so detailed FOR FREE – I don’t know why anyone would still be using 2D designs. I’m a bit inspired to learn it myself! I know Google can be controversial at times, but I can’t really argue with providing the world with these free and valuable tools. I’m not a freegan by any means; Actually I’m known to consume consume consume nice shiny new things as we do in the retail industry (I work at REI). But I’m seeing the connection more and more between Free – that is, not paying (or asking) money or time – and friendship. I don’t mean friendship in a conventional sense, as in “my friend I play baseball with on Tuesday nights”. I mean friendship in a broader sense, as in a feeling of goodwill and generosity with which we conduct our lives towards others. This begins with ourselves and extends outwards. Doing things for free…. volunteering with a nonprofit, taking a few minutes out of the day to ask an acquaintance how they’re doing, sitting back and really listening – unjudging – in general, baking cookies for someone, doing a family member’s laundry, sharing food, caring for sick animals, avoiding stepping on an ant on the sidewalk… All of the little gifts we give in life, everyday, are those which bring joy and satisfaction. Doing things for free just feels good, and it’s good for us. It creates a more harmonious atmosphere, one based on cooperation rather than competition. Any time a price tag is affixed, whether one wants it to or not, the ego is engaged and competing. Of course I’m not talking about not making money – most of us have to do that. But what’s the purpose in it being our sole focus? When so clearly the joy is in the free world?
The tiny house fascination is evidence that masses of people are waking up to living this fact. I’ve noticed a distinct connection between the tiny house movement and Free….Michael just gave me a good reminder of that! I like where this movement is headed – towards a life of friendship. Throughout this planning stage of the process, I’ve vacillated between total bewilderment by all the hundreds of tiny parts to think about, to a comforting and unshakable faith that I am headed step by step towards the goal with all elements appearing as needed. As I’m progressing, the latter is becoming more dominant. It’s really cool to see that when strong faith/commitment/confidence/whatever-you-want-to-call-it is there – even if I can’t see exactly how it’s all going to happen – wonderful things do happen (like Michael helping me with some plans)! No doubt this is a reminder that applies to many facets of our lives; Surrender is beautiful.
Has anyone seen the documentary I Am? There are so many good documentaries out there, but this one was so inspiring and talked a lot about these different facets of interconnectedness I’m touching on here. It’s a little cheesy, but in a very sweet way. Definitely worth watching and very life-affirming.
Long tangent aside, I ordered my trailer from Fayette Trailers in central PA a few weeks ago – another company full of friendly people offering excellent customer service, and one of PJ Trailer’s largest dealers in the country. It is being built in Mexico/Texas this week, and will be delivered the first or second week of May. I am aiming to start building right around then. The next couple weeks will be a whirlwind of activity and decision-making (blahh) with a yard sale and backpacking trip thrown into the mix.