All the signs were there but, to be honest, what good would knowing we did not have enough to finish the project have done? Stop us from doing it? That was just not an option. We knew we were taking a chance, many chances as a matter of fact.
We were buying plans to build a Tiny House, on wheels, in a world where the absence of regulation, direction and general assistance was a looming presence. But as Emerson once said “God will not have his work made manifest by cowards”.
A few weeks ago it became apparent that there was not going to be enough and when our suspicions proved to be a reality I was not anticipating the effect it would have on my system. I had become tired, but could not sleep, irritable and the feeling of unrest had settled over me.
It was then that my beloved had a break down. Yes that’s right my Jeep Huck had a busted Drive shaft to the tune of $1089.00. As I sat in utter disbelief and dismay it was then that it had come to me. What would my father have done?
We had gone through a good many rough patches in my youth. I remember the cheese you could get in the box downtown, weeks on end of Salmon cakes, canned veggies, day old bread from the thrift store and whatever else my parents could afford. We spent an entire winter without electricity (in the days when they could shut off your electric in the dead of winter).
We used a wood stove for nearly everything. At night my mom would heat up pots of cold water for a bath and bricks on the wood stove, place them into a hand sewn bag and put them in bed with me to keep me warm. Even so there were mornings when my hair had a thin crust of frost on it.
I would get dressed in bed, hand me downs with patches in the knees, and do my best to get my hair under control. Due to my appearance I earned such names as Birdnest, Scruff and plenty of other clever names kids came up with.
This would not win me any popularity contests but it would, in times such as this, grant me a better perspective. Help me to see clearer. An appreciation for what others go though as well as guide me through the turbulent waters of life.
It was my parents resourcefulness and determination that would ultimately add the most value to my life. They were Minimalists of necessity. Despite our lack of cashflow my dad always found a way to come through for Christmas. Never missed a summer at the beach and Mom would always have food in our bellies, especially Thanksgiving.
So it was in a flash of inspiration I’d realize that the same answer to a complicated, overextended life of consumerism and endless debt would also be the answer to my dwindling budget. Minimalism.
I had already scaled back my clothing to a few efficient, complimentary outfits. Rid ourselves of needless trinkets, gadgets and clutter. We even divorced ourselves of a mortgage. The time had come for us to apply the same minimalistic method to our spending. It was time to draw on the knowledge gleaned from leaner times.