moving homes.

Moving the tiny house to Eugene proved a bit more halting and complicated than expected (which I think everyone did, in fact, expect). We went to pick up the Uhaul only to find their 2” ball welded into every one of their trucks- a problem for our 2 5/16” hitch. We then called almost every trucking rental to no avail. Then the phone tree began. Within hours, my grandmother’s neighbor Taylor volunteered to drive FROM Eugene and then tow the tiny house BACK. He came up the very next morning, helped pack and prepare the tiny house and then trooped through the long drive to Eugene – a drive that took us 10 minutes over the St. John’s bridge to discover we needed a longer hitch. We pulled over on highway 30, next to a trucking company, and began calling around to find the heavy duty hitch. For a brief moment, we thought we found the perfect one on the back of a truck in the parking lot next to us. The owner said we could use it and bring it back whenever, but we couldn’t get the rusted ball off. So, instead, we made a new friend and then waited for a quick trip to purchase the hitch before venturing onto the freeway. From there, though, the tiny house was sturdy and sure on the road. We couldn’t have asked for anything more. Needless to say, it was a very long day. A long day Taylor weathered with the grace of a true cowboy’s unwavering devotion to his neighbors.

Because I stared at nothing else than a side mirror reflection of the tiny house for 6 hours straight, in a deeply sleep deprived state, I had some fuzzy think time. Which can sometimes lead to profundity. Or a very real illusion of it ;). I was thinking about moving, and all its meanings, and how much the tiny house embodies every synonym for the term.

1. Be in motion, or put in motion. Not only has the tiny house put into action thoughts that I have had about sustainability, responsibility and interaction with community, it also has made me re-realize that for every desire or compulsion, for every political objection or vision, large change begins with a single shift of weight forward. Left, right, left, right and all that. Clichés exist because they resonate a truth so universal it sounds too “on the nose”. But a journey of a thousand miles (or, in this case, 117) really does begin with a single step (or, in this case, a … hammer swing?). The tiny house has definitely moved.

2. Affecting, exciting. I think this must speak for itself. But an example from moving day: the goose bumps that covered my body as we turned the final corner, truck horn blaring and my family out on the street waving and yelling. It made me feel as tall as my tiny house. And pretty teary.

3. Mobile. Again, probably obvious, but the notion of mobility is far more complex than the four wheels underneath the tiny house. The tiny house movement itself inevitably invokes issues of mobility and modes of access. Among them, the privilege one has to have to build and/or own a tiny house. I am incredibly blessed to have the opportunity, but I do recognize this blessing is in sharp contrast to the many, many people who are denied it by the technologies of capitalism, greed, globalization. However, the tiny house idea itself is born out of the hope that living small will work, albeit in small ways, to increase access by decreasing consumption. And yet, mobility is also, in some ways, colonial logic. I claim a space as my own and build my structure; I hope it to be self-contained; I want to protect it; I put up a fence; I declare myself free.  Regardless of the theoretical, though, mobility is just that: mobile. Especially in its implications.

Moving homes. The tiny house reminds me of the power of a move. She has affected me and the many, many people involved in the creation of her. And she moved, after a slight hiccup, gracefully down the highway into her new home. Mobility does not have to mean moving upward, gaining more, building on top of and over. It can just mean moving. Moving others, moving yourself, moving with the community of all that surrounds us: “Birds have wings; they’re free; they can fly where they want when they want. They have the kind of mobility many people envy.” – Roger Tory Peterson

Here are some photos of the journey. I’ll post more when she is all cozy with books on her shelves. 🙂

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