“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A lot had been decided since my last post. So at the time of my last post I was dreaming about passive solar house designs and researching types of foundations for solar homes, I did go on to design what I think is a very cute and economical three story passive solar home. I called around and the most affordable estimate I got was $79,000 for construction, including metal roof and metal siding but excluding the finish work inside, I would still have to do the insulation, wiring, plumbing and v-match pine (not to mention all the appliances!). I stared at my design and the quote for months.
I dreamt about what it would be to live there, I even promised my daughter that there could be a slide beside the stairs from the third floor and was she ever excited about that idea. I tried to be excited but I couldn’t get rid of the nagging thought that it would never come to fruition. I took my plan and went down to my local credit union with whom I have two accounts and asked them if I could get a personal line of credit for $80,000 using my one Amish cabin and my land as collateral. I have to preface this with the fact that I haven’t had a real income since my youngest was born and even before that I didn’t pay income taxes on the money I was making from house cleaning and massage so on paper I look terrible as far as a bank is concerned so they said they could not give me a loan and there wouldn’t be a traditional bank out there that would even consider giving me a loan. I walked out of that office and to my car feeling like the most deflated, saddest balloon there ever was. I got very depressed, angry and jealous. I couldn’t drive by a new house under construction without feeling debilitating pangs of jealousy, “must be nice to afford that” I would hiss under my breath. I hated picking my kids up at other people’s homes and seeing the interior of their amazingness, I tried to hide my bitterness but my kids definitely noticed and didn’t like version of me very much. Feelings of being trapped, stuck and hopeless consumed me and all I wanted to do was drink more, retreat to my own thoughts and wallow in self-pity.
I still feel like that but some things have begun to open up to me. I made a huge decision last winter to buy a second Amish cabin for my land in Lincolnville and rent it on Airbnb as the first cabin in town has been a huge success on Airbnb, Airbnb has been my largest income source in the last few years, I never would have thought that! To finance the second cabin I had to sell my camper which I wasn’t nearly as sad about as I thought I would be and I was overjoyed to get the same exact amount back for it that I spent years ago and I also had to write a balance transfer check out to myself from my discover card to afford the rest of the cabin and that was and is terrifying because I still owe a lot on the card even though over the summer it rented out like a hot cake and was busy almost every night. Somehow I still owe a lot on my credit cards even though I did well renting both cabins out on Airbnb and saw a bunch of clients, it’s a never-ending battle. Since I had to give up on my house idea I’ve been mulling over other ways to live on my land and with my deep love for tiny Amish cabins a light-bulb went off, I thought “I could totally live in one” but what about the kids? I came up with a solution that should fit everybody, including the dog (he’s just a tiny pug). The Amish cabins can be built as long as 32 feet so I drew up plans for a main cabin 12×32 feet and a secondary cabin for bedrooms that’s 12×28 feet. I will have them delivered parallel to one another with a 16 foot span between them that will be a patio (eventual greenhouse) joining the two together.
I’m starting to get very excited about the idea but I had to get over the hurdle of the disappointment about not have a “regular” house. Sadly to finance the “sheds” I had to apply for every unsecured loan that I could find online, most applications were declined but Marcus, Capital One, Bank of America and TD Bank came through and my total amount to build is $45,000. I’m so nervous and so excited all at the same time, I can’t believe I’m really going to get to live on my land. I met with Joas about the sheds and his quote was very fair, $19,000 for the big one and $12, 600 for the smaller one so I wrote out a check for the deposit and they will start building in February. I also have a site-worker coming to do a septic system and the large dirt pad for the two sheds and patio between (it will have to be 42×32). I hope his estimate isn’t terribly high, I’m going to run out of money fast since I still need enough for a well, a plumber and appliances. I really debated doing a water-catchment system rather than a traditional well but I’m not sure the savings are enough after I factor in the necessity to bury the large water storage tank to prevent freezing in the harsh Maine winters. My sheds are already going to be cramped at least I want them to have modern conveniences like running water! It’s going to be a tough winter waiting for my sheds to be completed and delivered April, 2019 but they will be well worth the wait as all good things are. It’s nice to have something tangible to look forward to, I have already noticed a lifting of my spirits and now when I drive by beautiful spacious homes I say to myself, “sure that’s nice but imagine the cost to heat it, I’m going to have a perfectly organized and cozy-warm tiny home”.
The most poignant breakthrough is the one though the dark and depressed cloud over my mind but I still enjoy my nightly wine.