Life Update from the Slow Rolling Home

in skoolie •  2 months ago

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It's been five months since we authored and published a post on this blog. Around the time of our last update, we were preparing to move our half-finished bus to a new parking spot and to move into it full-time. We had a bed, powered cooler (as a fridge|freezer), pantry shelf, tub, and a plethora of tools. We finagled a couple of tables, packed my desk into the front "room", and secured a parking spot we thought would be our long-term base in which we would finish our home.

Along the moving journey, we learned a few things about leveling land, laying gravel, and adjusting to life off-grid. On April 14th, we embarked from the squeezed parking spot at the cabin and headed to Tiny Mountain, a property owned by two fellow tiny-home dwellers.

In the four months since the move, we have worked hard, slept less, lost a beloved pet, and watched our secure parking situation dissolve entirely. We've made little progress on the completion of our home; toward our dreams of traveling.

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My cat Princess Tiger Lily, my first pet, my girl who has been with me through moves, homelessness, breakups, wins, losses, and everything in-between... she went out one night as she always does and has not returned for over a month.

We've clung to one another hurdling full-speed through a thorny thicket of unknowns.

A combination of life's difficulties and our determination to stay afloat led to our ultimate abandoning of this blog. What progress was there to share? What could we celebrate with beautiful photos and tales of triumph? What could we actually offer?

Stepping back into this space, this blog, I realize just how wrong that was.

When we began our skoolie build, we were stoked to share our journey. Our copious hours of research and excited dreaming materialized into a bus titled in our names, slowly coming together by the work of our own hands. We wanted to share the ups and downs, the ins and outs, and celebrate with fellow builders along the way.

Yet, along our path, we began to stray from that intention.

"Don't post that; it's not done yet."

"Let's not share that; it might not be done right. I wouldn't want anyone to see us doing something like that."

"No one wants to see this."

Mistakes piled up as they do when you're going after something enormous, something uncharted and unwilling to be tamed. Doubt crept in and our voices raised and the road ahead became fuzzy. More and more, our decisions seemed like the wrong ones.

We left our temporary home at the cabin with our bus, our things, and our pets promising ourselves we'd finished our utilities soon. We'd work day jobs and make a little money and continue to press onward toward a completed home. We put up a ceiling that became a constant reminder of a fight and a failed attempt. We watched days turn into weeks on the calendar as we put off bus improvements.

Tired. Exhausted. Spent.

Building a home is harder than we could have ever imagined. Thirteen months later, and almost two years after we both turned to one another and said, "Let's build a tiny house and live in it, together," in spite of the challenges, disappointments, and disagreements, we are doing just that.

  • We bought a school bus we learned was a little short in ceiling height and a bit long in length.
  • We bought our composting toilet early and are beyond grateful we did because when we began to run out of money, our waste habits would've been drastically different without this early investment.
  • We disagreed on how long it would take to build. How much it would cost. How to do this and that. And we learned that both of us have some growing to do in the realms of communication and compromise.
  • We bought everything one could need to install electrical + plumbing and somehow managed to procrastinate it for months, against our best intentions.
  • We continue to feel the pressure and disbelief from our friends and family, who no matter what we do or don't do, seem to think we're failing or close to it.
  • We still dream of having a beautiful, complete, cozy, traveling tiny house.

And after all this time, we're starting to learn that it's okay to be in-progress. Going against the grain, differing from the path laid out for us all, and going forth into the unknown will inevitably have challenges that don't get neatly wrapped up and solved at the end of every episode.

There are still so many unknowns:

  • Where we will park next, knowing we must leave where we are this month.
  • If it's legal for us to be anywhere because living full-time in an RV is trickier (and riskier) than we could have conceived.
  • Whether or not we'll be able to afford the land we've found and are dreaming of clearing, naturalizing, and transforming into a homestead.
  • When we will have the energy, money, and support to finish our home.

It's painful to share the truth, especially when it’s disappointing. When you feel like you've failed. It's embarrassing, humbling, and it seems pointless. Why would anyone want to read it? Why would anyone want to hear about it?

Maybe you've experienced this, too. Maybe you've wanted something so badly - something no one else understood - and you knew that no matter what, you had to go after it.

We told ourselves when we started this journey of a lifetime,

"This will not be another thing we don't finish. We're going to build this bus. We're going to complete it. And it will be our home."

We haven't failed yet. We're still trying. There may not be some grand plan, some bulleted list that makes sense to the outsider with dates and accountability and a budget down to the cent. We don't even have a clue where we will live.

But, we're not giving up.

To those that do believe in us, who have helped us along the way, and who light up when we get to talking about the Slow Rolling Home, we couldn't do this without you.

What's next for us? We're not quite sure, but here are a few ideas:

  • Find a plot of land not too far from our current jobs to park the bus - we may miraculously create the means to purchase this land or may happen upon a generous individual with space to let temporarily while we continue to search for our future homestead.
  • Work diligently toward winterizing our space, so our base needs (and those of our pets) are ready for the East Tennessee winter. Thankfully, winter isn't so bad here.
  • Cultivate joy, coziness, and comfort in our space, no matter the state of its "doneness."

I’m reminded of a quote my dear friend has in her home that reads,

"What if home is not a place, but a feeling?"

Until next time... stay tuned as @hobotang + I continue to bring this dream to life.

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Hi, I'm Amelia! It's nice to meet you.

I'm a writer, minimalist, tiny home dweller, and maker living in East Tennessee, USA. You might have found me through the Ladies of Steemit curation initiative, showcasing the female voices on the Steemit platform. Let's hang out on the blockchain and see where it takes us.


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those weren't failures @ameliabartlett... just confirmations of how not to do something. Mark them off the list and move to the next effort.

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💪🏼 You better believe we will!

Uncertainty can be the hardest thing. As for struggle, and things taking forever, and living in a renovation that reminds you of mistakes made... I understand all too well. But this:

And after all this time, we're starting to learn that it's okay to be in-progress. Going against the grain, differing from the path laid out for us all, and going forth into the unknown will inevitably have challenges that don't get neatly wrapped up and solved at the end of every episode.

This is such wisdom. I admire your honesty, your dedication, and your spirit. Heart hugs for the sadness and struggle. Much love, my friend. Keep taking each day as a it comes. 💖

It was so cool to read about your progress. I love that you are striving for something you both believe in and I can't wait to continue reading about the journey!

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Thank you, @papacrusher! Even though times are tough, we still keep trying.

Scott and I have always wanted to rebuild a school bus to live in and travel. We love to see others who have accomplished it. Thank you so much for sharing your success. I can't wait to see how much more you do over the next few months.
Ren

I dream of living in a school bus some day... for now we stay in a Teepee over the summer months here in Canada

Posted using Partiko iOS

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Very cool! How do you like living in a tipee?

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We love it...

Posted using Partiko iOS

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Glad to see you back @ameliabartlett. I will have to drop by sometime when I visit my parents in Knoxvegas again :)

Thanks for sharing(

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Yes, do let me know when you’re coming into town!

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@ameliabartlet, great to see you back! It seems like forever since we last spoke!
I am so sorry to hear that times have been tough, I hope things take a turn for the better now. Keep swimming forward as they say ;)
I am so sad to hear about Princess Tiger Lily, I hope she makes her way homes soon.
BB x

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Lovely to see you here 💙 I’m feeling so much love after publishing this post, it’s like you and all of my Steemit family are hugging me across the Internet!

Absolutely stunning post.!! Really enjoyed it.

Hey, do you guys know of "Wild We Roam" on YouTube? You kind of remind me of them a little :)

Peace.

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I'll have to check them out!

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Outstanding!

You have a lovely cat <3

wow.... but you know what?

this is exactly what makes us love you both. because you're real. you're not the pinterest - only - life -is -a-dream couple LOL

don't get me wrong - you're pretty pinterest fabulous! hehehehee

but - in the moments where you need to be vulnerable - you always are. and this is what makes you genuine. and draws us in...
AND......
makes us cheer all the more for your victories!

loving you both!

Even though it must be frustrating at times you two are living the dream. My husband and I have talked about a little plot of land and small home of some sort but sometimes life has other plans. Great to see your post!!

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