Tiny House Blog

Big Life in a Tiny House: Travels to Texas

By Michelle M. Ashton

Previously on Tiny House: The electrical, plumbing and composting toilet are in place, but with a sudden move to Washington state on the horizon for Michelle, finding a place to park it becomes a hassle.

A week after I break up with my boyfriend, my brother-in-law shows up to take the house to Texas. He helps me install the front door. He giggles as he tells me it isn’t going to fit in the raw opening. He thinks that he is really funny. I purchase a couple spare tires for the trailer just in case there is a blowout on the way to Texas. My brother-in-law and his friend decide that they want to see the Grand Canyon and so will taking the tiny house on a detour. Makes sense to drive to the Grand Canyon while towing a tiny house as long as someone else is paying for gas.

I wish I could say that I, with great composure, gracefully held a fluttering handkerchief and waved goodbye to my tiny house as it was pulled away. Actually, I sobbed uncontrollably. I had invested so much time and money and now it was gone. I was no longer teaching. I was single. In essence I had all the free time in the world but no tiny house project to work on.

Before the house even arrived in Texas, I asked my sister to go ahead and sell it. I was getting frustrated and tired of my never-ending project. She said she knew some people who were interested but she wasn’t making any promises. It wasn’t finished, she reminded me, and that would make it harder to sell.

In July, I finally went to Texas to work on the tiny house. No construction had been done since I’d seen it last. I can barely write, talk or think about how frustrating it was for me to confront this giant, expensive, abandoned project. My dad tried to cheer me up by helping me work on it. We went to Habitat for Humanity and found 120 square feet of high quality bamboo flooring at $1.24 a square foot. No one had purchased it because it was such a small amount. It was more than I needed. I got a Masonite kitchen counter for $20 that already had a hole cut out for the copper sink that someone else had given me. Things were falling into place.

I cut up redwood bead boards and built the bathroom walls. My sister came up with the idea of covering the bathroom walls with Plexiglass so that you could see the redwood and still take a shower. My dad and I went back to Lowe’s and bought all the Plexiglass they had. We installed one side of the shower. It looked awesome. And then…I started to cough a little. I threw up. I passed out. I had come down with the worst illness that I can recall. I took a bunch of Dayquil, made it to the airport and flew home.

After that weekend, I decided that I would not be returning to Texas, and I sank into an even bigger depression about the tiny house. I kept asking myself why I was building a tiny house? Why had it taken me so long and I had got so little done? It was almost three years from when I started and I felt no closer to living in my own little sanctuary. I didn’t want to build a house for someone else to buy. I asked myself if I really wanted to live in a tiny house or if I just liked the idea of tiny houses.

Next week: the tiny house is still in Texas and possibly gets sold.

This article was originally published on November 18, 2016.