There have been two times in this tiny house process that my stomach has been in knots: the day I ordered the trailer (a $7,000 purchase) and the day we bought our truck to pull the tiny house (more than a $7,000 purchase).
We saw in on Craigslist, it was everything we were looking for. It was a Ford F350, with the good 7.3 L diesel engine, not a bad price, even had a few extras to up its “cool score”.
So, with trembling hands, we handed over the cash and rumbled away with a humongous white truck. The whole way down the freeway, I was nervously checking my rearview mirror, sure that he was slowing down and driving to the shoulder. I just knew we had made a bad decision and it was a lemon.
But we made it home. I woke up the next morning and saw that thing out the window and thought, “WHAT have we DONE!!!” It looked like an untamed bull and felt like a rash purchase. One thing I knew for sure, I never wanted to drive it.
Then commenced all the repairs. It’s a good truck that hasn’t had quite enough love and attention for several years. It needed a few new parts, batteries, brakes, oil, stuff like that. It has taken a good amount of Trent’s time, since he is a dyed-in-the-wool do-it-yourselfer. We got so close with the guys at Napa Autoparts that they gave Wade a football.
It’s been frustrating because progress on the tiny house has ground to a bit of a halt. And while I care about this important part of the tiny house journey, I have to admit I don’t care about auto repairs… at all. It’s the most boring thing in the world to me.
Trent finished the repairs with replacing part of the turbo booster, but now the thing won’t start well. It’s a bit of a mystery.
I’m sure we’ll get it figured out, I’m just wondering how much it will cost. It might (gasp!) involve a mechanic’s help.
Once it’s fixed, we will sell our minivan and call the truck our only vehicle. The minivan was bought in a very different time in our family’s timeline: we had two babies, had just moved to a new town, and weren’t sure how many kids we would have. We just wanted a comfortable, normal life— so we bought a comfortable, normal car. The car that society expected us to buy.
I think this truck is really a symbol of the change that is happening to our family. It means we will finish and move the tiny house. It means we will leave our old dreams of comfort and societal approval behind. It means we have plans to move to a more rugged place, far away from the places we know. It shows our hopes that we will work from home and be a one-car family.
It also embodies my insecurities and fears that seem to be almost taking me over. What if it’s un-fixable and we lose lots of money? Are we making bad decisions? Are we not thinking this through well? Will we find property? Will Trent get a job? Will we have friends? And then there’s the visual I have when I’m half-awake in the middle of the night: The tiny house tipping when being towed, and crushing in the side like a cardboard box.
And every once in a while the thought comes sneaking in… Why can’t we just be normal and buy a normal house? We could stay here close to home and Trent could keep the same job. Screw that fact that you will be in debt until Wade gets married and you have grey hair. Everyone expects you to do it, so DO IT! for goodness sake.
So yeah, this is a weird way to leave off with the story, but this is just real life. Sometimes questions aren’t answered yet. Sometimes you’re not sure what to do. A LOT of times, you’re just not sure if you are taking a good path or not.
But as my sister Karen reminded me, bad decisions are succumbing to an addiction, ruining friendships, racking up unmanageable debt, or getting sent to prison. The rest is negotiable.
Sometimes, there are no “right answers”.
Dang, I hate being grown up.