its about all there is to do. Since we realized we're out of money, things seems to have slowed to a crawl. We've mostly halted the studio remodel except for the contractors we've already paid to get underway- not much we can do about those already written checks, and at least it means we still get to see a small amount of progress. Luckily, it's graduation time and the beginning of summer, so we got to enjoy seeing our tiny people end the year with their classmates. So fun, and so amazing to watching them being not-so-tiny people...
We're still keeping busy but it feels like we're mostly just killing time and waiting until our situation improves a bit. We clean and turn the places in between AirBnB guests, and just re-opened the calendar hoping for more bookings at the garage.
In turn, we have settled in to our "temporary" home sleeping on the floor in the construction zone. Not excellent timing given the fact that portland is going through a full on heat wave at the moment.
The place currently has no windows or circulation, much less a/c... so we spend most of our swelteringly hot days lounging out front in the shade, hoping for a breeze and waiting for sunset and some relief. Occasionally at the end of the day we will grant ourselves the opportunity to grab happy hour at a local air conditioned bar and engage in a bit of shuffleboard to pass the time (typically with me losing), and we never get tired of walking the rapidly changing streets in our neighborhood.
We have still had a steady stream of calls for zenbox consultations and spend an hour or two most days looking through old garages and helping their owners start to visualize what's possible in the space. The conversations are still fun and we enjoy the chance to meet people and hear their stories. By far most are looking for a place to rent out on AirBnB, but we also find the occasional story opportunity to design a place for an aging family member or someone looking to downsize to a smaller home while tenants pay their mortgage.
We also spent a day working onsite at one of our client jobs under construction... so much for laying down the tools and only designing... This tiny garage needs a new foundation, so we are taking the opportunity to turn a problem into a value-add. Were raising the entire structure a couple feet to increase headroom at the same time.
Jen and I handled two of the four jacks and enjoyed the transformation as the garage levitated around us and now hangs out dangling from a strong wooden box built just inside the walls. I'm no longer getting paid for work on the project, but I also can't seem to walk away from it or the client. Probably doesn't make great business sense, but these first ADU projects feel a bit like my babies and i want them to grow up big and strong!
Speaking of wrapping up projects, we also stumbled over the fact that the stool project we worked on before returning to central america last summer has finally seen the light of day. Local Brewing in SanFran has opened its doors and appears to be doing a great business (no surprise there). If you're passing through or live in SF stop in and enjoy what i understand to be pretty amazing beer while sitting in some of our stools. From the photos, their space looks absolutely amazing and we might just need a road trip of our own to snap photos.
We continue our deep conversations...and we think we have a plan of sorts. It involves a lot of waiting, some new clients and a lot of work, but we think we can have the credit card paid off in as little as two months. We'll see...and then we see where things fall after. The topic is always lingering there in the depths of our conversation, but we've been doing a good job of not letting it consume us and remaining positive. I'm thrilled that we didn't spend the last year waiting for the bottom to arrive and having no plan when it got here. Im glad we worked so hard to have at least some potential of an income stream... now we just have to hang on tightly and see it the theory works.
We didn't quit our jobs and walk away thinking the road was going to always be easy, or that we would never have to work again... This was all somehow a part of the "plan", just the part we've never really wanted to talk about very much. But now that its here, it's less frightening than it was when lingering out there in the future. Now it's a tangible thing to be dealt with and handled. I think this is why, even when we had good paying jobs that we always decided to invest in our homes rather than in the stock market. With the homes we have some tangible object that can be improved or changed. Some sense of control that we can alter or make better rather than just watching helplessly as things crash around us. For us, our future seems to be the same...and very much tied to those homes.