Here we I am ! I’m finally going to do this ! I’ve been told I should write a book ,but really how can I write a book if I’m still in the middle of the story ? I’ll start from the beginning or well the beginning of this.
My 6 year autistic son Noah and I live in a tiny house in Maine. When I say tiny I mean TINY, our house is 200sqf .
Here I write our story of the events that brought us to our tiny house and our life living in it. A story of loss, love, tears, hopelessness, faith and miracles.
My hope in the end and the reason for telling my story is to be a catalyst in fighting the war on poverty. To make home ownership and the stability of home ownership possible even for those with the biggest barriers.
For us owning a tiny house means my house will be paid and I will have no mortgage in under two years. Having a child with special needs also means as a his parent I need to care for him for the rest of his life, not just the rest of my life. I now have the security in knowing my son will always have a place to live.
We moved here August 1, 2018. It is now August 24th. The beginning of a new chapter but not the beginning of the story.
I have been obsessed with tiny houses for years, and spent any spare time I had trolling the internet for tiny house ideas, watching YouTube how to videos at nauseam and building a hefty Pinterest collection of all the pictures and ideas I had found. Everyone thought I was crazy but I think they even knew someday, somehow I would be the proud owner of my very own tiny house.
The beginning of July this year I found this house on Facebook. I wiggled like a puppy when I read that it was for sale in my town but never dreamed that it would be ours. Honestly I just wanted to go look at it. I had never actually been in a tiny house so I thought maybe just standing it would tell me if this should or could be a reality for us.
The Hobbit House
I contacted the man who owned the house and set up a time to go see it the next day. Noah was anxious at first but soon made fast friends with Jay(the owner) . I found out after chatting with him a bit that Jay worked with individuals with special needs as well as children on the spectrum. He went right to work helping Noah to feel comfortable and before we knew it we had been there snake hunting, Bigfoot hunting and playing in mud puddles for 3 hours !
The longer we stayed the more Noah and I fell in love with the house, so I took a chance and asked Jay if he could possibly finance it for us.
He said YES !!
I was floored ! I couldn’t believe it !! I held back my tears of joy but could not refrain from football tackling this poor guy with the biggest hug !!
Back to the beginning(Of this story anyway)
There I am, ready to go ! I had two plans for my life, a tiny house and to hike the Appalachian trail.
After a lifetime of raising kids, work and school I had decided it was time to go on an adventure !
I was living life ! Having a blast !
Life is full of unexpected surprises
The biggest surprise of my life ! I was pregnant at 44 years old ! This was not the plan ! Needless to say the Appalachian trail was not in my near future .
The pregnancy was hard and there was lots of complications
But this guy was worth every minute of it !
And how stinking cute he was !!
Money was tight, and we was barely getting by. When my husbands brother invited us to go to Arizona we jumped at the chance.
We got a job working at a horse ranch at the foot of the Superstitious mountains in Apache Junction Arizona. It didn’t pay much and we lived in a camper but what an awesome adventure !
It was about then we realized, Noah was struggling. He became more withdrawn and struggled with more and more very challenging behaviors.
My husband began to struggle with the long hours, poor finances and depression. After many years of sobriety he lost the battle and turned to alcohol for relief.
Then he left……………..
Back to Maine
Noah and I flew home with little money and alone. With meltdowns several times an hour it was hard to find a place to stay never mind a childcare provider so I could work. One evening I was face with the reality that we were either going to sleep in my car or we had to go to a shelter.
New Hope Woman’s Shelter
Having been a volunteer at this very same shelter many years before I felt ashamed. I was afraid of the reaction the other ladies at the shelter would have to my sons never ending meltdowns. How could I ask them to go threw what they were going threw and what we were going threw at the same time. It was one of the scariest loneliest moments in my life. My feelings of helplessness was overwhelming.
I will talk more about this later.
As a behavioral Specialist I knew early on my sons diagnosis. I had worked with both adults and children on the spectrum for 15 years. Getting a diagnosis for me was admitting to myself that no matter how strong my skills were, no matter how many years I had worked in the field I was not able to manage it myself. I needed to get a diagnosis for Noah to get the help we needed. It was a tough pill to swallow. I was learning the hard way working in the field and being a parent to a child with autism were worlds apart. Now it had as much to do with my ability to manage my own anxiety around Noah’s behaviors and coming to grips the reality that this was not going to go away no matter how hard I tried no matter how many hours of ABA I subjected us to. I couldn’t fix this, I needed to except that though things could and would get better,but I couldn’t teach the autism out of him.
More about this later.
The Yard Sale
After being homeless and having little but a few outfit you will never guess what I did !! I horded as much stuff as I could ! You know JUST INCASE !
Moving into a tiny home was little unsettling for me, having to let it all go. I tried to look at the positive side LESS TO CLEAN !!! YEAH ME!!!
Back to the Tiny House
Our first big project (thats if we don’t count moving)
Here is the bathtub when we moved in. Nice right ? Here is the problem. I got a kiddo that is OBCESSED with playing in the mud ! There is no room for the washing machine ! So I did what any resourceful mom would do and made a deal with Jay to give him the tub and shower unit in exchange for renovating the bathroom. This guy is either a saint or he’s completely lost his mind, he said YES again !
Here is my bathroom all torn apart. YES that is a galvanized troth ! The troth solved problem number two. Noah does not take showers, we couldn’t keep the tub and he is still going to play in the MUD.
The next problem arose when we realized the tub had ribs in the bottom and would not drain entirely( it looked so easy on Pinterest ) so we filled the bottom with cement and Jay donated his marble collection to make it look pretty. Its not dry entirely in this picture and we have yet to use it. I will let you all know how it worked out.
Jay installed galvanized metal roofing on some of the walls tonight. Looks pretty awesome don’t you think ?
I will continue to add updates and pictures as we go !! Meet you back here tomorrow !!