5:30 a.m. Sunday morning. “Awake yet?” a crow rasps from the pear tree on the perimeter of sleep. A sprinkle of co-conspiratorial twitters tumble through the loft window. One eye opens, then the other. I check my bearings… check again... Looks like I finally made it to Portland... Yes, it's true! I'm in the loft of Stacey Whitcomb's tiny house, Smidgeon, into which I moved Monday after work. Work: another surreality. I landed a job before I arrived! But i digress! Admittedly, blog posts have lapsed so as to fall short of even ‘sporadic.' Let's get up to speed. First a brief recap:
You may recall last summer’s decision to move to Portland strapped to the financial contingency of selling The Mighty. Here’s a synopsis of events in (initially slow) motion:
- WOH! Baby!
- Continued client attrition
- Artistic explorations
- Mid-December quick-trip for a TinyHomes.com meeting with Kenny Bavoso and Lina Menard
- New business strategies and artistic output
- Opened Etsy Shop and DIY Coaching business; waited for calls/orders
- More angst
- Nagging intuition that it was time to move my house again, though not to Portland
Angst aside, Spring eventually tip-toed in the back door, trailing a smattering of work (gardening, coaching calls and catering). Amid the undercurrent of new activity, I loosened my choke-hold on the Portland dream, entertaining a re-investment in Island life. However, given that the garden to which I had moved, was clearly done, I embarked on a new farm search where I might live in my tiny house and share in the labor. At the beginning of April, I put out feelers and by mid-month, had an offer.
Enter Daniel Goldsmith, a tango friend, realtor and new owner of The Freeland Farm. The property in question, a long-time, family-held farmstead and woodland, had suffered bisection by the highway and languished in a serious state of neglect and decline. I gotta be honest: it was not the farm I had envisioned, but it was unmistakably the right people. The Big Deal: wee house and I would move to The Farm with a contract until October. In my spare time, I would join the labor force re-loving the property for resale. I also hired Daniel as my agent for a new tiny marketing strategy. Great! Now, maybe I could settle in and get to work, renew my connection with the southerly wing of my tiny network... Part of that was right.
- Large, marginally legal object towed by the police station, through the heart of Freeland and across the highway to The Farm, where I took up residence behind the red barn
- Attended Lina Menard’s Memorial Day Weekend tiny work party in Portland, OR
- Lina called about a job opening, I applied, interviewed, and was hired as Office Manager for The Breathe Building Living Building Challenge Project (All in 3 days! Only 2 weeks to move!!)
- Housewarming/farewell BBQ, client closures, packing
- barn sale
- moved house to highway-visible spot
- packing, cleaning, farewells, packing, cleaning, farewells...
- final car load-up, pics of empty house, tears
- Island departure and arrival at Kenny Bavoso’s temporary crash-pad in Washougal, WA
- June 16th started new job at The Breathe Building
- Lina Menard’s tiny roof work party
- Subleased and moved into Stacey Whitcomb’s tiny, Smidgeon in Portland.
- June 25th first full night’s sleep in over a month
- PAD’s tiny house mixer with Dee Williams, Joan Grimm, Derin Williams, Kol Peterson, Lina Menard, Laura Klement, Ben Campbell, Kelly Nardo and Jeremy Beasely, and so many others…
Energy is a funny thing. You can beat yourself bloody trying to move it. Let go and it takes off. Life changes over night, or in the weeks, months, years you’re looking the other way. The MightyMicroHouse is still for sale up on Whidbey. Daniel has been showing it and is confident it will go. I don’t yet know what this means for my blog. No doubt living in Stacey’s Smidgeon, immersion in the tiny scene and next year’s Tiny House Conference in Portland—to name a few—will provide rich material. I’m taking it all in. Stay tuned.
Extra special thanks to those who played big roles in making my tiny transition possible: Dori Hallberg and Chris Hallberg for heroic shelter and sustenance; Anna Wolcott, Beck Paffrath, Joan Gerding, Sara Fidler, Dawn Isaacs, Alyssa VanBlaricom and Brad Rice for unfailing encouragement and support; Mom and Dad Ramseyer for believing in me; Daniel Goldsmith for inviting me to the farm and for his marketing savvy; Barb and Jeff Ewing, Deborah and Rob Smith, JoAnn and Art Peterson, Teri Jo Summer and Dale Reiger, Maryel Duzan, Marni Zimmerman and Robbie Cribbs for your patronage, inspiration encouragement and friendship; Lina Menard and Raffi, Kenny Bavoso, Stacey Whitcomb, Mike Vogt and The Breathe Building for providing me with the opportunity and infrastructure to make a new home in Portland.