They Called Us Crazy
In hindsight, we probably were a little crazy; or maybe a lot. But, everyone’s adventure has to begin somewhere, and this is where our’s began –
‘that tiny life love’
I remember it clearly – the day ‘that tiny life love’ story started – the day that my husband talked me into building a Shipping Container house on the 5 acres of rocky, hilly goat country that we had just purchased in southwest Washington.
Do you ever just dream of something more? Do you look around, or look at yourself in the mirror, or look at your bank account and ask yourself – ‘There has got to be more to life than this?’ That was us. No matter how many hours we worked, or how much we saved, the constant challenge of keeping up with those around us just weighed us down. We just didn’t want to do it any more; so we made a radical, life-changing decision to rewrite how our story was going to go. Little did we know how little control we really had 😉
Our initial goal was to be mortgage free after building a tiny house on our new property. We had a little nest egg saved and some basic skills. My husband is a fabricator, so metal was right up his alley, and I, an accountant/controller, have never been afraid of a challenge and loved the thrill of problem solving and thinking outside the box (pun intended). How hard could it be? ‘WE CAN TOTALLY DO THIS! No one else has, but WE CAN!’ – That was our pep talk to ourselves daily 🙂
It wasn’t very elegant – the start of this journey. We spent months searching the web and reading every available piece of information on how to build a shipping container home. And after all those months of research and learning, we were almost exactly were we started. Knowing next to Nothing about how to build a shipping container home!
The internet was about 5% helpful; meaning it was also 95% not helpful. There are a couple of resources from other DIYers, but nothing that worked with what we wanted to do. But hey, who needs an instruction manual on how to build a shipping container house? How hard can it be to put 2 metal boxes together and make it livable? And it couldn’t cost that much – I mean you can buy shipping containers all day long on Craigslist. Easy peasy! –
Our family was right – we were definitely crazy! We will own that 🙂
Here is the honest truth; it was hard, and expensive. I am not going to lie or sugar coat this part and tell you that it was no big deal, because it was a big deal. It was really, really hard and very, very expensive. But again, there was not much usable information available on just how challenging and expensive it was going to be until we were already well on our way. And then we only figured it because we were living it. Every evening after work, every weekend, every vacation day and holiday – yes, even Christmas.
We weren’t quitters. This was OUR dream and nothing was going to stop us. And we had our pride too. Yes, you read that correctly – OUR PRIDE. All the people who said it was silly, and crazy and there was no way we could live comfortably in the same box you see on the bed of a semi driving down the road – yes all those people who said it was impossible. We refused to let them see us fail. True, we could have taken the easy route and built an ‘off the grid’ container that would have been much cheaper. But, we wanted to live in it and be comfortable and healthy while living in it; and all those corners that we could have cut meant things like – not passing inspections, mold and moisture problems, unsafe electrical, leaky plumbing, poor venting, pesticide soaked flooring – just to name a few.
Fast Forward Ahead
And so, 10.5 months from the time we got the go ahead to proceed from our local Building and Planning department, we held in our hands our Certificate of Occupancy for a Single Family Residence. We had done it – we had accomplished what we set out to do!!!
Not to shabby for an accountant wife and a fabricator husband who had a massive brain bleed mid way through our project, if I do say so myself 😉 I know that I mentioned how hard and expensive it was – did I forget to mention that my amazing husband had a major brain bleed in the middle of our project that left him with a 2″ blood clot on the left side of his brain? So, when you add a life-flight helicopter bill and 4 days in the ICU to the cost of building our house, we realized exactly just how hard and expensive our dream of building a shipping container home had become.
That Was Where Our Story Get’s Really Exciting!!!
That’s where we got to see miracle after miracle take place; the first one being that my husband LIVED after suffering his major ICH that left him with little feeling or sensation on the right side of his body and a seizure disorder. That was where we got to see those same family and friends who said we were crazy step up and help us continue building our dream. When my husband could barely walk or talk – they got to be part of something amazing too! That is where we got to see God take our pennies and give us hundred-dollar bills and grow our faith by leaps and bounds. That is where we got to see our persistence and never-give-up spirits keep fighting. That is where we got to see exactly what we were made of and for…
God saved my husband’s life – period. Our dream, our goal to turn 2 shipping containers into a house – that gave my amazing husband purpose to get out of that hospital bed and to work through 5 or more therapy sessions a week so that he could finish what we had started. And finish we did!
That silly, crazy dream – it was just the beginning! We thought we knew exactly what we were doing – we had it all planned out. And that is the beauty of our story – that simple dream has turned into our new life’s story, and the dream is still growing. Everyday, just like the flowers and vegetables infront of our 406 square foot home.
So, I Ask Again
What is your dream? What are you working for? Do you look at your life and ask yourself, is there more to this? Our dream started as turning 2 shipping containers into a mortgage free house. God took that dream and multiplied it and grew it by turning 2 shipping containers into a home.
So, welcome! We are glad you are here. In the past 4 years, we have learned so much about building and health and life and diet and living and loving. We can’t wait to share our story with you and invite you to learn as we do. We will be covering lots of different topics like simple living, food, diet, exercise, chemical free options and we will continue sharing our story on how we got here and it all began with our dream to build a shipping container home. We hope you come back soon!
Chasing our Dreams~
Jaimie and Dave