On Friday, Dec 30th we moved T42 to her new spot where we're Creating a New Tiny Cohousing Community. Most years I make the transition between one year and the next with some quiet days of contemplation, reflection, and intention setting. This year Isha and I did those things, too, but our days weren't exactly quiet. Instead, we had two tiny houses in motion, which meant figuring, patience, a decent amount of physical labor in cold temperatures, and a lot of deep breaths.
On Sunday morning The Lucky Penny went on A Tiny Move for a Tiny House. The layout has remained exactly the same, of course, but my house was rotated 180 degrees from how it was in my previous spot. So it’s strange that I now turn west to walk through My Arched Door and east to curl up on My Pull-Out Bed! It's not that I'm getting lost in 100 square feet, but things do feel a little backwards!
I imagine that most people wouldn’t be as disoriented as I am in my own darn house, but I’ve always associated my relative directions and the cardinal directions. It all started when I was four years old and my babysitter attempted to teach me the difference between my left and right hands. We were heading west on a walk to the park and I immediately began confusing left and right with north and south. So I got very disoriented about right and left remaining relative to my body when we were turned around and headed east while walking home. Fortunately, I got it sorted out over the years, but most days it’s still easier for me to point west than it is for me to remember which side of my body is the lefthand side!
I went through as similar period of disorientation the first time I moved a tiny house. After six months of living in Bayside Bungalow, we moved the tiny house a few blocks away and oriented it 180 degrees differently. Fortunately, I’m discovering now, as I did then, that Home is Where Your House Is.
And I love my house in its new spot! It’s also now oriented for how I originally designed the house. My bed is to the east, making it easy to wake with the sun. The porch is to the west so I can enjoy sunset skies. And the kitchen is to the south so I can enjoy sunshine on my face while making lunch or I’m doing my dishes. (Also, the sun now can’t shine on my food jars and degrade the contents. I was never particularly worried about this since I eat through my dry food fairly quickly, but it’s not ideal for the sun to be beaming right on it!)
This orientation and location have a few other advantages, too:
The Lucky Penny is now closer to Karin’s house Serenity so we can say hi from our porches.
- I have a big beautiful oak tree overhead, which will block summer sun from blazing through my skylight.
- I’ll get more winter sun through my south window than I did when I was tucked just north of The Big House.
- I have a great view of the community from my southern window, so I can see people coming and going.
- I am more nestled into the garden so I’ll be more observant of it.
Thank goodness home, is (still) where your house is!
Today during our Simply Home Community Work Party, we moved my tiny house, The Lucky Penny, from its original spot, tucked between The Rustic and The Big House to another location on the property.
I had already secured things inside before our work party began. This process involved:
- bungee-cording my tansu drawers shut,
- setting my dish rack and toaster oven safely out of harm's way,
- removing heavy items from the upper cupboards and tucking them into My Teeny, Tiny Tub with my towels packed around them,
- popping my half-pint jars into the drawers of My Plug-and-Play Kitchen, and
- nestling the copper canisters I found on my Tiny House Treasure Hunt into the space between the mattress and the wall
During the work party we started out by clearing the new space and setting aside the storage totes I keep under my house. Aline and Lindsey pruned the pear and plum trees on either side of my new spot and cleared away the brush. Then we flipped up My Flip-Up Front Porch and hooked the tongue of My Custom Vardo Trailer to the tiny house mover - a power dolly that has moved many a tiny house at this point.
I was going to captain the move, but I wasn’t big enough. Really and truly. I don’t have the weight to keep the power dolly on the ground! So Tony did the maneuvering for the tiny move for my tiny house. Isha, Jake, and I spotted the front and sides of the house while Tony pulled the house out from its spot and got it pointed down the path.
All was going pretty well until we hit The Hiccup. (In my experience, it’s not uncommon to encounter The Hiccup when you’re moving a tiny house on a piece of property!) In this case, The Hiccup was that one of the wheels got caught in a sinkhole where the soil was loose. The whole house pitched to one side, the wheel spinning in place. The jack on one corner was nearly touching the ground and the house was so tilted to the north that all my kitchen drawers were wide open. (Fortunately, the kitchen drawers all have stops so they couldn’t actually fall out!) We were literally stuck in a rut!
We took a brief break to fortify with burritos from the place around the corner. Just then, Karin returned from a work party at Good Life Medicine Center and pointed us to The Other bottle jack. It took us nearly an hour of minuscule tweaks to jack The Lucky Penny up high enough to wedge concrete chunks underneath and get traction. Fortunately, we worked well together as a team and we managed to get the house oriented properly in its new spot just as our first guests were arriving for our monthly Tiny House Community Tour. Karin helped me level the house enough that the drawers would stay shut so people could come inside to look at her. There will still be some details to sort out as I settle into my new spot, but so far I’m glad Home is (Still) Where Your Heart Is.