I have moved 42 times in my life and Luke has been there for 9 of those times. After 17 states that I called my home at one point, I came to know that wanderlust was a wonderful thing but it came with a sense of loneliness. A new home was never one that was mine. There were no roots, just traveled boot prints that never pierced the depth of the soil. So, it was time.
Luke and I sat together at our local eatery with a napkin and our trusted sharpies. We had gone back and forth about tiny house living for months ever since the idea crept into our heads and took residency next to where all those annoying commercial jingles live; the place where an idea cannot and will not go. Our nervous excitement lead us through 18 months of designing and redesign and our crude napkin sketch turned into full blown engineered tiny house plans.
There were a lot of challenges along our travels because our tiny house wasn’t just for us. We had three dogs at the time, two with special needs. Maya, our therapy dog extraordinaire, was confined to a wheelchair during her battle with a neurological disorder. Finding space in a tiny house for a 100-lb wheelchair-riding Akita was going to be tough enough but we also had a semi-blind Mini-Aussie who had her own challenges of navigating the world. Luke and I dedicated, and still do, a lot of lives to helping dogs with special needs and it was imperative to us that we made each and every one of our family members, furry or not, comfortable with their new surroundings. After many a test run at pet-friendly space saving solutions we felt overwhelmed with a sense of pride at what we had accomplished.
In November 2015 we stepped foot into our completed off-grid tiny house nestled in the foothills of Mt. Hood, complete with roof deck, hide-away dog dens/beds, hidden dual-purpose furniture, and storage. Storage. That word is enough to send a shiver down any tiny home owner’s spine. Being avid ice climbers and mountaineers, we knew it was going to be important for us to find space that could store our technical gear properly.
We brought our love of the outdoors indoors with locally sourced redwood, poplar, mahogany, black walnut, pine, maple, and cedar. We wanted to be reminded of the peaks and summits we fell in love with when we were busy falling in love with each other.
In the end, it was important to us that we were the principal engineers and designers behind our home. Luke and I wanted to share the experience of designing our house and then revel in the moment we could call it a home. I, and we, finally have put down roots. The roots may not travel past the wheels of our home but they have given us a place to finally call ours no matter where we are.