As I moved dishes and food from boxes into the kitchen cupboards of our new, off-grid tiny house this week, I felt a very keen sense of satisfaction. It was almost exhilarating! For the first time in my life I was setting up housekeeping in our very own house on our very own land, owned free and clear. No monthly expense of rent or mortgage! It is ours!! Or rather it is the Lord’s, and we are stewards of his provision.
For seven months we have lived in temporary housing with most of our belongings (what we didn’t sell or give away) packed in boxes. This past month on our new property has been quite an adventure, and we’ve enjoyed my parents’ camper which we have been staying in temporarily. Our belongings are scattered in six different places. Needless to say, we are itching to finally get settled in a more permanent situation. Go here to read about how we became owners of 20 acres out in the boonies.
Over a month ago we were blessed to be able to purchase from a relative a 48’ semi-trailer converted into living space. It is a tough old beast (Great Dane), and a great hurricane shelter if anchored properly. The problem was getting it down our long winding narrow lane and into position so we could start customizing it for our family. To read the story of how it finally happened, read part one, part two, and part three. Victory at last!
Two days before Thanksgiving the trailer finally came home! We truly felt very thankful. We were able to get the propane and generator/battery power hooked up by Thanksgiving evening! The framing to support the water tanks on the roof is in place, waiting for the tanks to be installed so we can have gravity fed running water. The new fridge, which was already surprisingly dirty after two weeks outside under the camper canopy, was cleaned out and installed in the trailer.
The kitchen is mostly thoroughly cleaned, and I have been excitedly unpacking and organizing kitchen things! It is so much fun, especially knowing that we don’t have to ask permission for everything we do (as in a rental situation), and we don’t have any debt hanging over our heads whatsoever!
It’s such a liberating feeling knowing that, no matter what happens in the next few years with the economy or our world situation, we hold the title free and clear. That, to us, is worth more than the most beautiful dream house in the world. And according to our research, it looks very possible that our world situation could change drastically within the next year. Of course we hope and pray that it doesn’t, but we want to be prepared if it does. And of course there is some reason why God has placed this desire urgently in our hearts, as well as provided the way for it to be carried out.
It is our feeling that now is the time to be getting OUT of debt quickly, if there is debt. Our goal is to be as self-sustaining as possible before this time next year. Our security is not in our imperfect preparations, but is in our Heavenly Father who is providing and guiding us through the process (“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.” Prov. 3:6).
It is wonderful having the trailer here to begin our move into it. It is not, however, without the usual hang-ups. Saturday our two oldest went with Silver Oak to try to catch up on his landscaping work in town. The four younger ones and I worked on things at home.
I started smelling propane, and by dinner time I did not feel safe using the new stove in the trailer, so I took the food back over to the camper to cook. There is no running water in the trailer yet, so we’ve still been doing dishes in the camper and putting them back away in the trailer. The deck and steps for the trailer are not yet installed, so a makeshift wooden box acted as a huge step to get up into the trailer. All these factors combined made for a very interesting (and time consuming) way to make dinner.
It went something like this: awkwardly climb down the huge step with a pot full of food, carry it over to the camper and get it cooking there. Go back to the trailer, climb up the huge step, close the awkward sliding screen door to keep out mosquitoes that descend at dusk, and get vegies from the fridge to make a salad. Take the load back down the huge step and over to wash in the camper. I must have repeated this back and forth and up and down scenario 20 times during dinner preparation and clean-up.
But things are looking up. Silver Oak (my midnight working, homesteading hubby) has fixed the propane leak so it is safe to use the trailer stove again (it needed a new regulator). He built a temporary set of steps with cement blocks to replace the huge wooden step. And this week (Lord willing) we will have water tanks installed for running water in the trailer.
Also hopefully in the next month the covered deck will be built between the trailer and the camper, and bunks will be built so we can move into the trailer for real.
I feel so blessed!