the waiting game
we hit a bit of a pothole in the building process. Its funny that it would happen right as we are listing our bus for sale as it means we have ample time to sit and think and stew on the whole if it...but of course that's whats been thrown at us.
It's now been two weeks since we first called the city of portland requesting our rough-in inspection. We had been pushing hard to get everything done so we could move onto insulation, heat, drywall...things that would actually start to make our home livable (and warm, since it was in the 20's at the time) before christmas. The inspector came out first thing in the morning, looked around and told us everything looked great- but that he couldn't sign off because our subcontractors weren't named on our permit. Argh!
We just assumed our subs had forgotten, even though they told us it would be handled weeks before, and we let the inspector walk away. Calls to the contractors proved more informative and they had indeed sent info in. Simply a matter of delayed paperwork, and a subsequent delay for our move in date.
We used the downtime to further our discussions about listing the bus for sale, to begin laying out/welding some of the kitchen cabinet frames, putting up temporary house numbers and other minor tasks. As it turns out, most of our time was spent talking about the bus...
Notes on the blog, emails and phone calls have been pouring in since the last post. They range from questions and surprise to a very common response of anger. Really? Yes. People are actually angry at us for making a decision that will allow us to keep living a life of freedom and could actually allow someone else to find theirs as well. Hadn't seen that one coming. One person actually wrote us with a simple "shame on you". Ouch...and more importantly, why exactly??
Many people contact us telling us that their hearts pour out to us and that they are heartbroken for us. Oddly we wouldn't describe our hearts as broken. A heartfelt and deeply discussed decision certainly, but we feel good about our decision...at least for now. We also keep in mind the fact that the bus hasn't actually sold- that day may change our emotional status significantly. But for now the decision still feels like the right one.
We also have many writing us with their story and telling us why they deserve to have the bus for cheap or free. We always enjoy the stories of others, especially if they are actively creating freedom and happiness for themselves (or others) and we wish we could help everyone with that journey. We've heard from some already living in central america and those planning/dreaming of a trip. We've heard from people who think the bus would be a perfect mobile art school for kids (i wholeheartedly agree), and from those who want us to return the bus to the states so they can buy it and put it in their garage.
I've realized while reading these stories that what i would truly love is to simply give the bus to someone who needs a chance at change. Someone who is where we were maybe 5 years ago and feels stuck and doesn't see a way out. Maybe owning a bus (that begs for adventure) would also give them the strength and focus to make the hard decisions. To cut the cord, leap toward happiness. Maybe they would even write about the whole thing so we could share in their adventure along the way. Sadly in our financial reality, gifting the bus simply isn't an option. We still need a vehicle and we still need money to help finish off our project...and as much as i keep searching for a way to make that dream a reality...it simply cant happen even if we receive the perfect email from the perfect people.
As time continues rolling on however, we will need to make some decisions and make them relatively quickly. It's not to say that if we pick the bus up in March that we then won't sell it back in the states, but we are aware that once we've been reunited, it will most certainly be even harder to imagine letting it go.
A full week of these sidebar conversations pass, faxes and emails are resent to the city and somehow our subcontractors still aren't on the magic list. Honestly, for us it's little more than a frustrating inconvenience and some rescheduling, but if i think about the major projects out there burning money each day (or with a 50 person crew simply sitting on the job site and waiting for paperwork/pending inspection to come through) i cant imagine how they are equipped to deal with such unplanned downtime and expense.
We keep pushing the city, and eventually get our inspector to agree to return under the condition that we have subcontractor forms in hand when he arrives. 9 days later we finally get another inspection and he returns to our tiny home in progress. He takes one look at the shower pan (which in our case is the entire bathroom) and explains its supposed to be full of water and cant be signed off until it is. Rookie mistake.
I knew the premise was that the seal around the shower was to hold water and ensure that it all makes its way to the drain. What i didn't anticipate is that i would actually have to fill our entire bathroom with a few inches of water to prove it. Don't get me wrong- I wouldn't mind having an indoor pool...but this isn't exactly where i would have put it. Luckily the seams all held fine, but bringing in the hose and turning the valve fully open inside your house is a bit terrifying.
Pool approved, we now have our signatures/approval and can move on to the next phase. From here we install mechanical/vents and start insulation. So exciting!
It's also 2 days before christmas, and we made a last minute decision to spend it with friends in BC so we've got to hit the road...after figuring out how to drain our new pool of course.