The Low Points Of Living On The Road
Living on the road is pretty awesome. Living in the tiny house WE built, definitely rounds out the awesomeness of this adventure. BUT…two days ago, I admit it, I punched the cupboard. Yesterday I almost cried, and today…well today, I got “home” from walking the dogs and threw the leash across the floor. It’s only 10am, I almost cried again, and thought…what a perfect time to capitalize on my frustrations and share with our readers some of these not-so-great moments.
My reactions may seem dramatic…
BUT IT’S BECAUSE I CAN’T FEEL MY FINGERS.
My fuse is short and every where I step,
THE DOGS KEEP TRIPPING ME.
It seems like lately we are ALL always in each others way.
Every step, one dog is lurking behind me, and one is standing in front of me. Looking at me with the hopeful “Will you please take me outside to play” look in their eyes.
“Excuse me, can I get to…” or “Can you hand me…” are words always being asked as we continuously shuffle around each other.
Aside from the dogs often being in the way, our kitchen is really only meant for one half of a person (that’s right, not even a whole person), so as soon as a second steps into the space we are bumping elbows and literally stepping on each others toes. We manage to be polite, but sometimes, on days like today, I just want to yell, “Get out of my space!!!”
The worst though…the bathroom…or really, guitar storage as it’s turned in to since we left Michigan only 16 days ago. Every time I have to pee, it seems to be a requirement I move at least 1 guitar, a wet towel, a leash and wheel chock out of my way in order to use the commode. Our only manageable solution to creating more storage has been hooks…and more hooks. It’s to the point we have hooks everywhere! Even over the toilet.
When we built the tiny house, we thought we knew exactly what we wanted. In our post sold-everything-we-owned euphoric state and the freedom we felt from it, we didn’t think life could get better. We declared we had thought of everything we would need to live happily inside our cute little house.
However, after experiencing 90-100 degrees in September, and now a consistent 20-40 degrees, we realized we severely underestimated the variables Mother Nature would throw our way. We thought to ourselves, well, we’ll just live in the tiny house for a while and figure out if we really need to regulate the hot or cold. Yeah….
That wasn’t solid thinking on our part.
Moving from a stationary house to our own self-built tiny house, we obviously misjudged and took for granted our thermostat. I recognize this might sound absurd that we didn’t acknowledge the power of the weather more seriously, but it’s the truth. And at the time of building our tiny house, we couldn’t fathom purchasing a generator given their cost, nor could we figure how to account for changing temperatures.
We thought we had it all worked out when we decided to just head south for the winter, that way we’d escape the cold. Well, since we left Michigan, we’ve had one day where it reached 60 degrees. Otherwise, most days are anywhere from 30 to 50 degrees, and night time ranges from 15 to 30 degrees.
Sometimes we can plug in our space heater, but that’s only when we pay for a campground, which we can’t afford to do every night. Other nights we watch our breath freeze as we exhale, snuggle the dogs close, and sleep with several layers, thick socks, hats, and sometimes mittens.
Everything, including us, seems to work less effectively when it’s cold. So far the magnets on our cupboards don’t like the cold. I’ve been whacked in the head by the cupboard falling free of the magnet several times…which lead me to punching the cupboard two days ago.
Our door handle also doesn’t like the cold and puts up a fight every time we try and close it. Detaching frozen electrical cords, cooking, or just merely existing inside the tiny house are all more challenging when we can’t feel our fingers. The cold temperatures continues to test our patience…mine especially.
Yesterday though, we walked for hours around downtown Charleston, SC, marveling at it’s historic buildings. The days prior we enjoyed Black Mountain, NC, a quaint, artsy town. Before that, Tennessee and Kentucky.
I’ve recognized though that for every cupboard that gets punched, every leash that gets thrown, every exasperated sigh, and every internal yell, it all gets magically erased when we slow down and take a minute to reflect on where we are and how we’ve made it this far.
The intent behind this post was not written to serve as a self-fulfilling rant (although I admit all the rapid typing warmed up my fingers and I feel less angry), but to shed light on some of the low points we experience and the weather-based challenges we will continue to face. We thought we would escape the cold by heading south, but I am ending this entry while wearing two sweatshirts, winter base layer pants, slippers and a hat, squeezing my coffee mug tight between paragraphs to warm up my fingers and sitting beneath the warm comfort of a sleeping bag rated for 20 degrees.
When we looked up the weather for Florida, where we will be in two days, and it said 40 degrees, I wanted to cry (again). Since starting our winter tour, none of this has gone the way we intended…but if we’ve learned anything since living on the road, it very seldom goes as planned.