Well, I wouldn't necessarily say that this winter has been a particularly hard one. We have had worse winters in the past with lower temperatures and a lot more snow. But it also definitely has not been an easy first winter in the tiny house. Every day feels like WINTER VS. TINY HOUSE and we are constantly losing the battle.
I haven't written a post for a month now mostly because we are constantly working on and trying to solve different problems that are happening in the house. So far this season we have had to figure out how to haul our water in freezing temperatures, how to keep that water from freezing inside the house (which it did, in our pipes) and how to deal with freezing water as it drains outside the house (which it did--5 feet of solid ice backed all the way up into our sink and we couldn't use it to wash dishes or spit out our toothpaste for over a week). We have had to figure out how to heat our home sufficiently--our options being to turn our oven on, which quickly warms the house but also gasses us with propane fumes or rest solely on our electric fireplace that sometimes turns off randomly and is expensive to keep up. We've also been battling a mold problem due to the constant moisture created in such a small space. Mold is under our mattress, on all of our windows, on the underside of our bench that stores our water tank, etc. Our door has frozen shut multiple times (a problem a friend told me sounds like baby-making conditions! lol); our locks freeze and either cannot be unlocked the next morning or locked later that night. And even though we can't keep plants alive because of the cold inside the house, leftover pests like ladybugs and flies are still somehow buzzing around! Just when we think we've cleaned up the last of them more find their way inside. I don't know how they are alive right now! And where are they coming from?!
In many ways I am struggling with this feeling that I have failed in my tiny house adventure. I easily dream up ideas and goals and romanticize the hell out of everything in life. I constantly see the world through rose-colored glasses. And that's why it's always an especially hard "thud" when I fall off my dreamy cloud. Living tiny is hard! We knew there would be challenges and we knew winter would be the hardest. But, damn! It's really really hard!
There are moments when I still love this house, love the adventure and what we're pursuing. I still experience a joy when I look at my home and think how lovely it is or that it is truly all I need. I have already learned so much from this life that I could never regret it. But, more often, Jordan and I both think about how nice it would be to have a table that is unfolded all the time for eating or working on. It would be great to have a more comfortable seating option, to host our friends more frequently, and to actually shower in our own home! Living tiny is to strip yourself bare of non-essentials. It has been an amazing tool to learn just what it is that we need in life and it has been eye-opening to see just what we want in/to do in our home as well.
We have thrown around ideas for what if we don't make it to two years. Originally, two years was our minimum goal for living this way. And even then there was a possibility that we might continue if we love it. But now we look at each other like, we'd be crazy to go through another winter, right? Who knows though. Spring will be here soon and my rose-colored glasses might fall right back in place. When we can be outside, enjoy our patio, keep the windows open, and not worry about heat and moisture and freezing, we might go back to thinking this is exactly the life for us.