I'm sitting on the sofa in our tiny house, listening to Pandora from Kacey's phone. It's plugged into our surround speakers. The LED strip lights are casting a warm yellow glow up the ceiling. I look out the double front doors, and I see Kacey making a precision cut on the table saw. He painstakingly sets up the table saw, brings the wood to the very edge of the blade, makes a tiny kissing cut, and turns the saw off. He pulls the piece of wood back, measures it. Confident that it's perfect, he turns the saw back on and finishes the cut. I look to my right and I see the coffee pot sitting on top of black granite countertops, nested underneath the two shelves on the wall. Just across from the fridge, our staircase has transformed into five pull out drawers. Kacey walks into the house whistling to the music, makes sure the piece he just cut fits. I hear him mutter, "Damn, it's a 64th shy." He chuckles and says, "Looks good from my house."
These past few months have been fast and furious. So much progress. In fact, within one week after I finished the last blog post, the electrical work was finished and our house became truly off-grid. Granite countertops were installed, as was the kitchen sink faucet. One night, about a week after my "are we there yet?" meltdown, Kacey and I were working in the tiny house and I asked, "Kacey, are you ready to be done working on the tiny house?" He responded gently, "I'm savoring every moment. Because in a few months, we won't be building a tiny house." I took a sharp breath in, letting the realization sink in. Even as we push so hard to finish line, tired and proud, we'll be closing the chapter on a really, really special time in our lives.
I can already hear my friends and family expressing a rally cry against my early-onset nostalgia: "Don't worry, one door closes, another opens!" "It will be such an adventure learning to be tiny housers!" "You've wanted this for so long!" All true, indeed it's the preparing for the next step that makes these final long Sundays outside all the more rewarding and meaningful. Before building the tiny house, I wasn't so comfortable holding competing thoughts in my mind. Things were good or bad, happy or sad. These days, I'm much better able to live in the gray area, in the space between exhausted and exhilarated, longing and looking-forward, listening and recommending.
It's somewhat regrettable that personal growth and transformation is invisible. If, for example, our moments of personal growth were visible in our nervous system and neural networks, I'm sure they'd be far, far bigger and far more intricate than a tiny house. And worthy of the same feelings of pride and awe as sitting in our tiny living room tonight. As amazing as this house is all on its own, I'm even more deeply proud of it as a symbol of our growth, our struggle, our success, our learning, our teamwork and our dynamic.
If you're anything like me, you're mostly here for the pictures, so check 'em out :)