Wondering where this college girl's house is? If you haven't heard, Nara is in the process of obtaining a Fencl to live in for her last semester of school. Her plans have been delayed ever so slightly, but she's keeping strong. Read about her initial process here, and find out about how black ice, blizzards, and mandatory driving bans can be small impediments to tiny house transport below.
Last Friday, I learned one important thing about a housewarming: you need a house. Upon failing to produce one of those despite a good deal of self-promotion, I felt a little something like ashamed. "Is it so tiny I can't see it?" asked my supportive friends. A very patient staff stood by day after day, while I postponed the Facebook event not once, but thrice.
But it just so happens that when other things aren't warm, like say the roads in Ohio, pretty much anything can go wrong. In other words, some pesky black ice led to a minor hiccup with my house delivery. After already being behind schedule, the waiting game continued through the weekend as the trailer awaited repair some hundreds of miles away. Finally, I got word that it would arrive by the end of that week. And then....
A blizzard hit the East Coast.
A lovely Saturday morning view
Yup. We got slammed. As much as I want to say "just my luck," I have enough life experience (and access to news channels) to realize that I'm far from being the only poor soul affected by bad weather conditions, and that ultimately my tiny house woes are very, well, tiny. I'm glad to be warm, safe, and kind of well fed.
As some of you may have heard, this whole state-wide driving ban thing led to a bummer of a weekend for everyone planning on attending the Tumbleweed workshop
. Several Californians flew out on Thursday only to be cooped up in a hotel for a long weekend. I myself drove up from Western Massachusetts in the early hours of the snowstorm to find a ghost town. And most importantly, my apologies to all of the would-be-attendees.
On the plus side, all this time lounging around in a king sized bed has certainly given me the opportunity to think things over.
What can you do? Watch HBO, I guess.
It's hard to have things that directly affect you be entirely out of your control. I've come to peace with it, for the most part, but I won't deny that I've been going through a little bit of emotional turmoil. It's been over two weeks since I expected a delivery, and I still don't know when I'll see the house!
I'm learning everyday that it's important to be flexible, and it's an amazing source of comfort to have a network of friends that will help you out. I will have squatted with my dear friends in Northampton, rent-free, for exactly a month. They've been incredibly patient and supportive, even if they think they're entitled to all of my groceries. I guess it's fair: my backpacks and suitcases have lined the living room wall, half unpacked, day in and day out, and my ferret has been eating everybody's headphones.
Wreaking havoc on personal electronics AND personal relationships
But as all of the older, wiser folks in my life have told me, it's a part of the experience. My mom's number one piece of comfort for me in darker days has always been "it will give you something to write about." So here I am, writing about it. (That said, my first attempt at 'writing about it', during which I was seeing red and occasionally punching the table, would probably make my mom disown me.)
The reality is, it's no one's fault. These things happen, and there's a certain risk involved in pulling any kind of trailer when the roads are icy- I knew that at the beginning. I appreciate the work of all of those involved, like the truck driver who went through hell and still sent me a very sweet apology note.
This is not so much a lesson about transporting tiny houses as it is about remaining patient. It's not the end of the world. It's important to keep weather in mind when you're attempting to transport a small house in the winter- just ask Molly
- but it's also not inevitable that something will go wrong. You just have to keep your chin up, and be grateful that a better future is on it's way, storm or no storm.
Thanks for your patience, everyone, and thanks for being so understanding about the workshop cancellation- we'll make it up to you!
Last weekend's workshop in LA was a great success. Despite
the rain and a series of confusing road blocks on the UCLA campus, we all managed to find our way to the De Neve plaza Saturday morning. The
energy was high, and the conference room was lovely- it even came equipped with
As a new member of the Tumbleweed family, this was my very
first workshop. I was thrilled to get a chance to meet some key players: the weekend speakers featured Jay Shafer, along with self-proclaimed
"Tumbleweed poster child" Austin Hay.
Austin talking about his house
This was 18 year old Austin's third time as a guest speaker at a Tumbleweed workshop, and he was a big hit. He captivated the group with his tales of poorly measured couches and burnt cookies. Austin's supportive dad was
also present- in addition to being a great sport about driving us around in
circles on the campus, he fielded a number of questions about parenting, house
building, and Austin's
Hailing from as far as Alberta, Canada, to Atlanta, Georgia, this batch of tiny house lovers brought a ton of information to the table.
There were couples, individuals, and some awesome parent-child teams. The most
exciting part of the workshop was when the graph paper and pencils came out: with help from Austin and Jay, the participants got a chance to draw out their own floor plan ideas.
Austin was particularly helpful to those interested in designing spaces for young people
After we'd had a chance to brainstorm on our own, Jay led a group
critique. I loved hearing some of the questions
and ideas regarding innovative material usages and layout plans.
Over the course of two days, stories were shared, friendships formed, and business plans
hatched- what a great opportunity to network with fellow Tumbleweed fans. We
can't wait to see what kind of wonderful projects you come up with!
If you attended the workshop and would like to leave feedback
or if you have any questions about upcoming workshops, please feel free to
write a comment below.
The Santa Rosa Workshop 2012 was a blast. On Friday evening we had a mixer with Tumbleweed staff and fans at the Sandpiper Restaurant in Bodega Bay. Great time! Pictured below is the view of the bay from the Sandpiper.
Each month we visit 2 cities around the US. You can learn more about other upcoming workshops here.
I wanted to also thank our many presenters:
- Kevin Casey from New Avenue Homes spoke about the process of building a backyard cottage
- Mark Fallin, a Sonoma County local, shared his knowledge on HVAC and energy
- Austin Hay dropped in to share his journey of building a tiny home (see his blog)
- JT told his story of building and now living in his Tumbleweed (read more)
- Pepper Clark of Bungalow To Go helped people design their own models and let everyone tour her two homes under construction
Just for fun, pictured below is me at the mixer enjoying a glass of wine. I'm the guy with the big goofy smile.
THANKS to all the amazing, friendly-as-all-heck, and enthusiastic tiny house fans/geeks/addicts that I was lucky enough to meet while teaching the Chicago Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop. Chicago (4th visit now) still remains as one of my favorite cities ever- and man oh man does that town have some amazing musicians and blues joints! 50 people, all about tiny houses- it was a blast!
See you in NYC next! Oct 20th weekend! -Deek
Derek "Deek" Diedricksen is the mastermind behind Relaxshacks.com and is the author of 'Humble Homes, Simple Shacks'. Deek also hosts Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshops around the country.
photo Rich Hein
We are really looking forward to a great workshop in Chicago this weekend September 15-16! We will have an amazing group of students sharing their experiences of building this great house for Northwest University. In addition we will have speakers from the Material Exchange. They are super savvy in using reclaimed materials on a variety of projects.
Hope to see you all there! We'll be getting started about 9:00 AM and ending up at 5:00 PM