"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll DECIDE WHERE TO GO...” ~ Dr. Seuss ~
Fate brought me and my '63 vintage Scotsman trailer together in 2011. This blog is the story of our journey together, from her renovation to the big wide world beyond my front door.
Although most of my friends now think I’m kinda’ crazy (read:
unhealthily obsessed) with the idea of living in a Tiny House…..the idea is
really starting to grow on me.The more
I read about others who have gone before me into the bold new world of living
small, the more excited I become.(I bet
you’re thinking……“Really? Is that even POSSIBLE?”)
I am, however, not following anyone’s path exactly, I am
starting from scratch.I’m taking all of
the best ideas from the floor plans and material lists I’ve seen, injecting a
dose of frugal reality, adding a sprinkle of creative genius, a touch of whimsy
(as well as taking Mark’s building experience and feedback into consideration)
and hopefully……eventually…….I’ll have THE PLAN.
I’ve started a binder that is already packed full of the
best the Pinterest, Facebook, and various website and books have to offer.
Go Team Me!
So …….do I use:
Stairs or a ladder?
Skylights or windows?(can you say “loft escape hatch”)
Gas Heat or Electric?(I’m afraid of “gas” but may have to succumb to reason on this one)
Marmoleum Floors or Wood? (I’m waiting for someone to tell
me why I can’t use marmoleum.)
Stackable washer dry or all in one?(all in one’s are impossible to find on craig’s
list and expensive!)
French doors or solid, vintage?(aka “free” since I already have two vintage
Pocket interior doors or hung?
Curtains or cupboard doors?(curtains are a great way to reduce weight, and add texture and color to
Wood stove or pellet stove?(or will a gas heater, suffice?)
Used Trailer or new?($$ or $$$$$?)
Composting toilet or Incinolet?(smell will be a major factor in this
Murphy bed or fold out couch?
Decisions, decisions, decisions…………….
Do you have any suggestions or experience that might be
helpful to me?
It’s a good thing I have lots of time to plan this project
because although it will most likely drive everyone in my life NUTS after
hearing about it every day, for the foreseeable future, it will take me a long
time to figure this all out and finally be able to proceed forth with
confidence in my ability to make this happen.
You know how life sometimes goes in an entirely different
direction than you had originally envisioned?
My life’s journey has been one turn, after another, and some
might even say it has been “A Series of Unfortunate Events”.
So, in keeping with the overall theme of my life, today I am
announcing a bit of a change to this blog.
So far, I have been posting details about my vintage
trailer, Besty; my mascot, George; and our adventures together.Rest assured, I will continue to do so and
am looking forward to a very active 2014 Glamping and blogging season!I love
telling her story to anyone who will listen and sharing my restoration and project
cost-saving ideas with others.
However, in the process of renovating Besty, I stumbled on what
I now consider to be the next evolutionary step of the Vintage-Travel-Renovation-Creative-Inspiration-ReUse-Project……..I’ve
been bitten by the Tiny House Bug. In
fact, I have already started planning, and sketching, and talking with other
Build and finish
my own Tiny House by the end of 2016.
I assume you won’t mind the change since this blog is called
“Decide Where to Go” and, quite frankly, it is an accurate reflection of my quandary
regarding where I’ll go next…..in life, with my career, or just camping.So,
here’s the scoop. My youngest son will
graduate from high school in 2015 and once I am no longer bound by the confines
of the high school district where I have been (in the best interest of being
close to his dad) I’ll be able to begin to consider housing options that don’t
include 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a sizeable yard to pay eighteen thousand dollars
per year to rent.
I have been married, and divorced, twice.I left both marriages with little more than
the clothes on my back.Despite all of
the money and hours invested (in the houses AND the marriages) I am now facing
the real fact that I havenothing
to show for said investments. Yes, I
live a simple life without credit card, auto, or mortgage debt and some might
consider that admirable.Since I don’t
have any money in the stock market, I didn’t lose any in the market crash of
2008.Since I don’t own a house I have
not experienced the same drastic and stress inducing decline in housing values
as my neighbors have. So, all in all….mine
is not a bad situation to be in.
But, do I want to jump onto the home owner’s band wagon this
late in life?Nope.
Do I want to stress out over finding an affordable place to
live when I’m retired? Nope.
A Tiny House will give me the ability to live a simple, yet
very flexible and debt free life, and also have something to show for my
The options are endless, even with my significant other,
Mark, by my side.
I could move in with
him and then use the tiny house as a place for my children, and grandchildren to
stay when they come visit us.
Or, he and I can travel the country together, using his
house as a rental and my tiny house as our home base.
I can also use it as a creative studio for projects, or a
quiet place to write…..or nap.
Yep.It’s a great solution.Granted, Mark isn’t quite convinced.But I’m confident that, with time, he’ll be
just as enthusiastic as I am.
(Or maybe not, since I’m kinda’ over the top in
the Enthusiasm Department.)
I love Oregon.One of
the downsides of living here, however, is that camping season is relatively
short.I have not updated this blog
because there has been not much to report.Betsy has been resting comfortably in the driveway and I’ve been
hunkered down in the warmth of my house waiting for the days to get longer or
someone to convince me that I should venture out to join them on my first
outing with Betsy.
National Glamping Weekend did just that.
I met last year’s Glamping Hostess, Shirley, over email and
she confessed to being a bit overwhelmed with the fact that last year’s
Glamping event had 10 trailers and this year’s event participant count was
already shaping up to be many times more than that.So I volunteered to help
Shirley is bouncy, fun, funny, cute, short, and
amazing.I used to think that I talked a
lot, until I met Shirley.The first time
we met over coffee I kindly joked with her about her inability to breathe while
she talked.She thought I was funny
too.We were instant BFF’s.
As the weeks wore on and the emails came and went from the
over 50 ladies that were registered as participants, I have to admit that
Glamping Weekend became both an event to look forward to, and an event to look
forward to being over.It got to be a bit
overwhelming, even for me.
But I soldiered on…….
The day arrived and after checking our lists, making agenda
copies and generally fussing about details like fresh flowers and chamber pots,
we headed off.My Lil’ Betsy was a
trooper.She loaded and hauled like a
dream.She’s cute, quiet, and low
maintenance.I put ice in the icebox and
off we went.
My 17 year old daughter Alyssa also tagged along for what
was sure to be a Mother/Daughter Bonding Weekend. She wasn’t sure what she was getting into, a
bit nervous about being away from her cell phone for so long, but trusted that
it would be fun and a memory we would both cherish.
And it certainly was.
Friday was Bunco night in my pajamas that I never wear.Saturday morning started with a
Bring-What-You-Want-To-Eat brunch that turned out really well with all kinds of
beautiful food.(Despite the fact that I
didn’t micromanage the Who’s-Bringing-What List.Hmmm….I’m sure there’s a lesson here
somewhere…….)Saturday afternoon got a
bit crazy when the time came for Trash for Treasure.I was the hostess, and literally truckloads
of cute stuff appeared, out of nowhere, for me to sell.Luckily, the Wine-A-Bago appeared just in
time to take the edge off by providing an easy source to my favorite Pinot and
then……..we were off to participate in Death by Chocolate.
All in all it was a fun weekend and now I have a whole slew
of new facebook friends. Alyssa and I
were running, walking, biking, jogging, and driving from here to there all
weekend but still managed to bond and discuss her upcoming 18th
birthday and graduation party.
I got some really cute pictures, lots of décor ideas for my
own trailer, but a bad case of trailer envy.Where did all these creative, fun, independent, women come from?
As we were packing to leave the next day we met a couple who
had just purchased a 2013 Airstream and pulled it from the dealer’s lot, to the
camp site.The dad was sitting on the
picnic table reading the 2” thick operating manual.We struck up a conversation and they invited
us into see their newest “baby”.
Their trailer was breathtaking.Perfect.Clean. Sleek.Equipped. High
Would I like a 2013 Airstream?You betcha’!
Would I want to go into debt to purchase one?No way!
I’d rather refurbish an older one, feeling good about saving
money and putting a little of myself into her at the same time.I’d rather pull her down the road knowing
she’s the only one of her kind and all mine.
We did it.She didn’t
fall apart.Betsy made it.There and back.Without a scratch.
Our mascot, George, got his picture taken on his first
adventure and Alyssa and I have a memory to cherish.It truly was very fun but next year…….I’ll
do far less organizing and far more enjoying.