Every New Beginning is Some Other Beginning’s End.

EDIT on January 4, 2014: Our house was recovered on January 2nd, thanks to the power of social media!!! It was intact. A very strange story indeed. When I am able to share the details, I will. Thank you all for your support!

Radio silence over here for a few weeks. I originally wasn’t going to write about this, but it’s me, and I write about everything.

Our tiny house was taken from us last week. Stolen. Gone. Gone tiny house. Gone. You can read the whole post, the whole story over at my husband Casey’s blog.

I have some great readers on this site, but just to fend off the inevitable trolls: If you feel like posting anything resembling advice on what we should have done to prevent this from happening, DON’T. I will delete your comment. If you want to go to your own site and compose a separate article with ideas for tiny house loss prevention so you can foster discussion, please, go ahead and do that there. Not here. I don’t want advice. The horse is out of the barn. Don’t tell me I should have locked the doors or put up security cameras or stuck a GPS up the horse’s asshole. The people who took our house were determined, and they had all the time in the world to make this theft happen. If someone wants to take something: they can. There are bad, bad people out there. Sometimes they do bad stuff.

Also, if you have questions involving the tiny house, please read my husband’s post first. I think he answers most of them. If you read the post and STILL have a question, I’ll be happy to answer it.

It’s been a devastating week, but we’re not ones for dwelling. We are moving on as best we can. We are getting an apartment this weekend. We’re making it our home as quickly as we can. New bed! A real live sofa! A garden on the balcony! We’re making time for all of the things we’ve put off over the last three years of this grueling, grueling process. We’ve put off our friends, our hobbies, our free time, our health, and our budget. Ironically, all of the things that were the main reasons for building the tiny house in the first place were the things that were the first to go while we were building.

The last three years have been more stressful than I can adequately articulate, but they have not been a total loss. Casey has built up his business so he can work anywhere in the world. Our relationship is strong. I don’t know why we’re still married when so many other people who build houses don’t make it. I guess it’s our communication and our stubbornness. And also the fact that we got married knowing that we both were choosing to love each other. There was no fairy tale involved. We made a choice to love each other and be on the same team, and we continue to make that choice.

I also realize now that a tiny house can just be another “object” that can be used an excuse to put off living your life. It’s no better than that elusive perfect weight, or haircut, or sports car, or suburban home. You don’t need a tiny house to have a garden. You don’t need a tiny house to have more time to spend with your friends. You don’t need a tiny house to spend less money, or have less stuff, or have a lower electric bill. You can do all of these things where you are, right now. If there is one thing I can implore you to do, it is to examine your own lives. What have you been putting off because things aren’t “just right” for beginning? Begin them now. Don’t allow an object to get in your way. Just begin.

Casey ended his own post so eloquently: to go out and follow your dreams because we are both rooting for all of you. I just wanted to add that our own dreams are not extinguished. We are moving on from tiny houses and the tiny house community (such as it is), but a tiny house was not our only dream. It was a means to an end. We have always had bigger dreams, and those dreams are not by any means dead. The loss of this one dream means moving up other dreams on the timeline. It’s a dim silver lining at this point in time, but I’ll take it.

Thank you all for your support over the last three years! I’ll still be here. You’ll have to stick around to see what kind of beginning this end has created.

Go forth and live!

Jessica

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109 Responses to Every New Beginning is Some Other Beginning’s End.

  1. Diane says:

    I am so incredibly sorry to hear this has happened to you and your husband. One of the things I most appreciated on both your blogs was your frank, honest, enthusiastic provision of what it really is like to build a tiny home. It seems especially dreadful that two people who have been so open, honest and sharing should have this happen. I’m so glad that you are able to find an apartment and get into it quickly. I hope it becomes a home and haven for you.

    • iamchesapeake says:

      Diane- thank you so much. Your support has been incredible, and I’m happy to hear that you appreciate our honesty. The last thing I want to do is to lead people on that life is one way when it really isn’t. I’ve not been helped by rosy portraits of other people’s lives. It always just makes me feel worse!

  2. kippiann says:

    Love you! xox

  3. Joe3 says:

    Thank you both for the blog postings … I appreciate the learning experience, and for telling the Scott Stewart story and exposing him for what he is. Also I appreciate Caseys feelings on the Tumbleweed Workshop – I made a comment to Elaine Walker about going to the (cancelled) workshop in Texas and expressed that I felt it was for newbys to give them a sense of RAH RAH YOU CAN DO IT … rather than actual practical building experience. I will continue building my Housetruck and will be much more security minded thanks (unfortunately) to your experience. Life is about change, some planned, some not, I’m looking forward to your new beginnings …

    • iamchesapeake says:

      Scott Stewart! Yes. That single post from my husband seems to have prevented at least ten people from being scammed by him.

      Your thoughts on the Tumbleweed workshop are spot-on. Glad we aren’t alone in feeling that way. We attended one of the last ones Jay did before he left the business. Couldn’t have been more apparent he didn’t give a shit, and we found out later he already knew he was quitting. It showed!

      Housetrucks are amazing!!! Good luck with your build.

  4. Selina Grissom says:

    I am so terribly sorry for your loss and not just of your home…but also of your time, money and sweat equity you two have put into this home…it’s hard not to wish hateful, terrible things on people that would do such things…so let me just keep it as simple as I can: I hope they suffer nothing but hardships until they make this right again… ♥

  5. Nancy says:

    Well said and my deepest sympathies. Your husband wrote that he had nothing to show for the 2.5 years of hard work. I think you both have much to show for your labor and in time you’ll see it.

    • iamchesapeake says:

      Thank you so much, Nancy.

    • Pam Burns says:

      I agree. After this devestating setback in your lives, it’s got to be hard for your husband to see any positive. But, you guys are different people from the two who started this particular journey. You will always carry that growth, knowledge and kutzpa with you in your future endeavors.

  6. youguysarereallynuts says:

    No questions for you, blame only for the thieves, wishing you well on the rest of your journey, and a serious respect for Casey’s blog post saying a lot of things that needed to be said. I saw some of the shitty things people were saying being oh so helpful (I was NOT one of them!) and wanted to slap them over it. How people can think that blaming someone for having a crime done to them is beyond me, blame solely lies with the assholes who stole the home. I hope you find it, I really do, and I hope the thieves get caught and charges stick. People can be such asses… but yeah, Casey’s blog post needed to be said, glad you guys came out, bravo.

    • iamchesapeake says:

      RIGHT? It’s incredible. Even on a moderated group, it’s just unbelievable the things people say.

      Once woman called my husband a “jackass” and said that if she saw the tiny house rolling down the road, she wouldn’t bother calling the police because Casey uses so much profanity. Really nice.

      Thanks for commenting and letting me know that we’re not alone in our feelings!

  7. lady stephanie says:

    OMG, what a nightmare. My heart goes out to both of you for the suffering and loss you’ve experienced. Sending you many blessings on the next phase of your lives; an earthship biotecture home perhaps. Or backpacks, dog and traveling the world. Regardless of how you move forward, you will. Karma is boomerang for those who stole your tiny home; it’s gonna hurt! Much love to you in the New Year.

    • iamchesapeake says:

      Earthships! My husband proposed to me in an earthship. The corner cottage in Taos. We absolutely love them! And hard to steal. ;-)

      Thank you for the lovely sentiments. We always love a good adventure, and feel great about where our new path is taking us already.

  8. Wendy says:

    So very sorry for your loss… I also read your husband’s post. His pain, your pain is palpable.

    Things have happened here that I would never have imagined. I got chills when he mentioned that this could have happened when you were alone…or when the dog was left in the tiny home…and he is right. Who wants to live in an area where they do such things. Too bad we live in a world where this sort of thing happens.

    So on to new adventures…. Best wishes! Your attitude is admirable and an example to all of us about being knocked down…and getting up, dusting yourself off and carrying on to the next adventure.

    Wendy

    • iamchesapeake says:

      Yes, we definitely will not be living in that area any longer. It’s just too much to bear. Hopefully as a result of all of this, the people involved will be caught ensuring a safer neighborhood for people not as fortunate to have the flexibility that we do. Thank you for your support!

  9. Jody Newman says:

    My heart aches for your loss. Evil is always lurking, but love wins in the end. Congratulations on the survival of your marriage, may you be blessed with many more years sharing love and giving support to each other.

  10. Baylie says:

    Much love to you guys. <3 After hearing your story, I have had nightmares every night about our Tiny House getting stollen. I wish you the best!!! I hear you are getting a bed with the GoFundMe. I highly suggest a Temperpedic. We are usually organic nutballs, but I LOVE my Tempurpedic, chemicals and all. Haha.

    • iamchesapeake says:

      Gosh I hope the nightmares stop!

      We don’t like Tempurpedics, but we are getting a chemically foam mattress of a slightly different kind. We’ve been sleeping on a wool, organic one for two years, and it was great at first but it has compressed to almost nothing. Sometimes, chemical stuff just works better. :-)

      Thank you for your support!

  11. Laura says:

    Dear Jessica and Casey,

    I am so terribly sorry about your house.

    It is terrible to be the victim of crime, I can relate, unfortunately. That criminals exist, is a damned crying shame. I truly hope these ones are caught.

    I am also so sorry that you have been trolled during this. As a writer for Tiny House Listings, again, I can relate because I know what it is like to be trolled. Even so, I can’t imagine how hurtful it must be while you are in such a state of shock.

    I am sure that you will have a long process of grieving and I hope that you can find strength in one another during this time.

    Sending kind regards to you from my husband Hj and I: Tiny House Ontario, Canada.

    Laura Moreland

    • iamchesapeake says:

      Crime is horrifying. The sense of violation is so damaging. But through this we have also learned that there are far more good people than bad.

      The trolling within the tiny house community is unreal! I read a lot of places on the internet, but the TH trolls really take the cake. All we can do is ignore them and try to drown them out with positivity, I guess, but it’s so hard! Thank you for your kind words.

      • Laura says:

        At the THO facebook site, I ban the trolls so it is not too bad in there. I think with bigger sites it is harder…
        We tiny housers get it from a few sides unfortunately. Those who can’t afford a tiny house and would like to enjoy that freedom that we have, will sometimes troll. Conversely, those who can’t imagine giving up the big pile-o-consumer-crap, really troll. We get a lot too from people who lack imagination.
        You are right, it is hard to drown them out. I vacillate between slamming them with words of my own, outing them publicly (without blocking the identity) or if on my own site banning them. I wonder what propels them and how they find energy to do what they do?
        Really, who takes time out of their life to go to a site about things they are personally disinterested in and picks fights. You know… I don’t much like wrestling – and never once have I found the time to go to the WWF site to troll. I guess I find just about anything else much more interesting.
        On another note, I am so glad you and Casey got your home back and I hope that you will move in and enjoy many happy years there!
        All the best from the Canadian Tiny House community!
        Laura
        Tiny House Ontario

  12. Gael Feliciant says:

    Dearest Jessica – is there anything we can do to help? We care. True respect for both of you.

    • iamchesapeake says:

      Gael- Just this note was a balm to our sorrow. The support of people from all around the globe has been overwhelming. The fact that you took the time to leave words of encouragement means more than anything else. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. :-)

      • Gael Feliciant says:

        Thank you, and I understand your TH has been found, yah! I do understand the violation you must feel right now, even if i cannot feel your feelings. It still stands – I’m from Canada but would be more than happy to assist in any way I can – come down and give you a Hug if that’s what would help or welcome you both into my home. Just let me and or the community know. I know I’m not the only one.
        Much love, Gael

  13. Marianne Parker says:

    I’ve never understood the attitude that if someone steals something of yours that somehow it’s your fault. My prime example has been when you leave your keys in your car at the gas station. Really – somehow it’s okay that my fellow human beings can’t figure out not to take something that isn’t theirs. I’m sorry this has happened to you. We’ve had a rash of Boy Scout trailers stolen in our area over the last year or so – I can extrapolate between the two – thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours just gone. I’m sorry this happened. And, if I see it out here in the east – I WILL call the cops.

    • iamchesapeake says:

      “Really – somehow it’s okay that my fellow human beings can’t figure out not to take something that isn’t theirs.” <— So well put! Boy Scouts! Stealing from the Boy Scouts?!?! I mean, really. What is wrong with people???

      Thanks for keeping an eye out. Hopefully you saw the news that it was recovered a day ago. There are good people in this world, and you are clearly one of them. :-)

      • Marianne Parker says:

        I had not seen that. But, I’m so happy for you no matter what you decide to do with your tiny house.

        I blame the thefts on meth and illegal use of prescription drugs. Folks will steal anything to make a buck to score their next hit. Addiction is a powerful thing.

  14. I’m so sorry to hear about what happened to you.
    Ignore the victim-blamers… you and Casey know that already.
    Hoping the new path turns out even better than the one you were on. Also hoping the universe deals with the people who stole your house swiftly and justly.

    • iamchesapeake says:

      It seems the new path is already better. :-) The police are definitely on the case, which is great.

      Thank you so much for your support!

  15. Holly Murphy Brackin says:

    I’m so sorry for what happened. I don’t understand how anyone can

    • iamchesapeake says:

      It does boggle the mind the things that humans can do to one another. Thank you so much for your support, and good luck with your own journey!

  16. Alderin says:

    I’ve had several losses due to theft in my life. I agree that just after a loss is the absolute worst time to be given ideas on how it could have been prevented. Bravo to you for being much more positive about it than I was ever able to be (over much less stolen from me). I hope your future projects and endeavors remain yours or you part with them amicably. You and your husband deserve much more.

    • iamchesapeake says:

      Thank you! It’s hard to remain positive sometimes, but I find my depression rears it’s head too quickly if I allow myself to spiral into grief. It also helps that my husband is such a support to me! We’ve allowed both of us during every moment to be totally honest with one another. If we feel angry, we say so. If we feel happy, fine. And we made a new plan almost immediately. Also, a good grip on the concept of sunk costs is also a big help.

      Thank you for your support and words of encouragement!

  17. Paige says:

    I read your husband’s post first and followed the link here to read yours. I am so sad that this happened to y’all

    • iamchesapeake says:

      I’m hoping many people read that 7th paragraph and really get what I’m saying. Too much wish-delaying going on for my taste in the world, even in the wonderful and small tiny house community. Thank you for your kind words.

  18. tmalloy21 says:

    I’m so sorry your adventure ended in this way. You can still create another version of your dream though (I know you’re moving on with an apartment for now) but down the road maybe you will consider full time RVing. I have a 33ft travel trailer and travel alone with my 4 greyhounds. We visit greyhound rescues and their events around the US. I have solar panels so use little electricity and a compost toilet (two of the things Casey mentioned in his post). And I get to travel the US. If I don’t like my neighbors I drive away from them. I never have to worry about dog/house sitters, packing, airports or any of the other inconveniences of traveling and I never forget anything on vacation either :) I’m sure you both will be okay as you both sound strong, determined and adventurous. May your next adventure end well and make up for all the hardships of this one.

    • RV travel is so appealing. I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up doing something like that, even short-term. One of my favorite bloggers, Pat at Bumfuzzle, is doing just that with his wife and two small kids. Love seeing their adventures. Thank you so much for your support, and happy travels with your animals. We’re hoping to rescue a dog this year. Now we can do it even sooner since we are moving on from the tiny house project. Yay!

    • iamchesapeake says:

      RV travel is so appealing. I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up doing something like that, even short-term. One of my favorite bloggers, Pat at Bumfuzzle, is doing just that with his wife and two small kids. Love seeing their adventures. Thank you so much for your support, and happy travels with your animals. We’re hoping to rescue a dog this year. Now we can do it even sooner since we are moving on from the tiny house project. Yay!

  19. Rikki says:

    I am so very sorry y’all have had your dream shattered. Some people simply do not understand the experience of putting all your passion into creating a new life only to have it ripped away by someone who believes they can do what they want & have no care or concern for anyone but themselves. You are on the right path by pursuing the “dim silver lining” – as long as you have another dream you can build on you will ultimately do well. Wishing you calm success in your future.

    • There definitely is a strong feeling of being violated. But sharing our story has made us realize there are far more good people than bad in this world. Good people like you! Thank you so much.

    • iamchesapeake says:

      There definitely is a strong feeling of being violated. But sharing our story has made us realize there are far more good people than bad in this world. Good people like you! Thank you so much.

  20. Don Pearce says:

    Hope you can put this behind you and Live Your Lives! God Bless <3

  21. Jamie Patton says:

    I am so sorry that in this country we seem to feel the need to blame the victim in every aspect of crime. This is only the fault of a heartless thief and no one else. I hope that you both find happiness in the new year and follow the dreams you have. And anyone who has a stupid remark to make about how it is somehow your fault, I wonder how they would react if they were VIOLATED in this same manner or any other! Crime is never the fault of the victim!

    • Jamie Patton says:

      Please know I am not implying that you are Victims, as I know that can bother some folks. Just hating the climate that we live in where every thing from theft to rape is somehow the fault of the person it happens to. GRRRRR

    • Thank you so much! I think people victim-blame because it makes them feel better; like they would have not made the “mistake” that the victim did, you know? Like, “I wouldn’t have been raped, because I don’t wear skirts like that.” Makes people feel safer in a sense to think that way. It’s still awful.

    • iamchesapeake says:

      Thank you so much! I think people victim-blame because it makes them feel better; like they would have not made the “mistake” that the victim did and thusly would not have had the crime happen to them. Like, “I wouldn’t have been raped, because I don’t wear skirts like that.” Makes people feel safer in a sense to think that way. It’s still awful. Awful awful.

  22. Patricia D Todd says:

    There is a special place in Hell for people who steal Tiny Houses.

  23. Shane says:

    That’s so shitty, and I’m sorry that this happened to you!! I hope the fuckers who did this pay.

  24. Ben says:

    Came across Casey’s final post on Tiny House Design FB. Damn – talk about worst nightmare stuff. I certainly hope you guys get your dog back pronto (houses can be rebuilt, furbabies can’t) and my fingers are crossed you get your house back too, hopefully in some kind of salvageable/sellable condition.

    We’re about to embark on our own Tiny House build this year, and I’ll confess, security hasn’t been much of a concern. Perhaps this is then a sharp wake up call for everyone else in the community; sadly some people will stop at nothing to steal your shit… even something as big, awkward, unique and (hopefully) hard to hide as a three-tonne house on a trailer.

    All best from Australia – Ben.

    • Just to clarify: we don’t yet have a dog, so THANKFULLY there was not one in the house. Casey was just speculating what could have happened had we been living in it when it was taken. The theft would have just as easily occurred then. Thank you so, so much for your comment and support. All the way from Australia! Wow. The internet is an incredible resource.

    • iamchesapeake says:

      Just to clarify: we don’t yet have a dog, so THANKFULLY there was not one in the house. Casey was just speculating what could have happened had we been living in it when it was taken. The theft would have just as easily occurred then. Thank you so, so much for your comment and support. All the way from Australia! Wow. The internet is an incredible resource.

      • Ben says:

        My bad – must have misread your husband’s original post. Sounds like you guys should probably get a dog though, preferably a big one ;-)

        Thoroughly relieved to hear you got your house back.

  25. Cyty says:

    I am so sorry for you guys. we renovate homes and put a ton of heart and soul into them…. I can’t even imagine. I actually have tears rolling down my face thinking about it.

    • Thank you! It was a terrible two weeks but we are so happy the house was recovered. People who don’t build just can’t understand what it’s like to lose something like this.

    • iamchesapeake says:

      Thank you! It was a terrible two weeks but we are so happy the house was recovered. People who don’t build just can’t understand what it’s like to lose something like this.

  26. Stephanie Pollard says:

    I am so in “awe” of you and your husband. I have stumbled upon you both because the news happen to be on(I do not watch the news, was just to involved with the comp to get up and change it). Found his blog and came to yours next. I am so sorry some ass hats have done this to you both. But, my gosh you two are such strong human beings, I am so encouraged by your will to keep on going and the realization you two have both come to as a result of this horrible event! I will for sure be keeping up with your blog!

    • Wow, thank you so much for your generous words. I’ve been shocked at how many people watch the news (either accidentally or on purpose). We never tune in, either, but happy that so many do. Glad to know that I have a new reader.

    • iamchesapeake says:

      Wow, thank you so much for your generous words. I’ve been shocked at how many people watch the news (either accidentally or on purpose). We never tune in, either, but happy that so many do. Glad to know that I have a new reader.

  27. Misty says:

    It cant have gone far. Someone with a big chunk of land somewhere nearby has it squirreled away. My guess is that within a year you might be able to locate it by Google Earth satellite, probably within a 50 mile radius. There is no end to the lows that some people will go. My condolences.

  28. Rose says:

    I have read different blogs, watched different shows, and enjoyed the idea of a tiny home. But never once did I ever imagine or even think of someone stealing it. The thought never entered my mind that someone out there would steal it after putting all that work, money, sweat, imagination, learning, and parts of yourself into it making it into your dream. I would be devastated at this point. I guess at the age of 58, I am still so naïve to believe that most people don’t do these things to other people. How do you make the decision to go and steal someone else’s home? I read your husband’s blog and am afraid at this point, my language would be far worse.

    • We didn’t consider theft, either, and it seems most of the tiny house community didn’t as well. It makes us feel better to know that the armchair quarterbacks are as useless as a pocket on a necktie. And Casey appreciates you saying your language would have been far worse! I think he held back a little. :-)

    • iamchesapeake says:

      We didn’t consider theft, either, and it seems most of the tiny house community didn’t as well. It makes us feel better to know that the armchair quarterbacks are as useless as a pocket on a necktie. And Casey appreciates you saying your language would have been far worse! I think he held back a little. :-)

  29. Joe Kennedy says:

    People are thoughtless no doubt about it, Its the equivalent of blaming the rape victim for being raped.

  30. Kathi says:

    I found the link to your blog from your husband’s after reading that your Tiny House has been found. Happy dance for both of you! So sad that this happened, keep us up to date on what y’all decide to do next.

  31. Smokey Mtn Lady says:

    I found your husband’s post first and followed it here. I have been investigating Tiny Homes for the last 2 years in preparation for retirement. I’ve been learning about the limitations like zoning and building codes, weighing them against the benefits and looking for a builder. It never occurred to me the entire house could be stolen or that I would not be able to insure it until construction was final. This loss at my age (61) would be something I would be unable to recover from financially. There just isn’t enough time. I appreciate so much, all your posts and information over time. I think you may have saved me from making a mistake. I will still be small and green but I’m going to look for another option. I feel awful for what has happened to you. Your courage and bravery (I really mean that) are inspiring. I wish you much security and safety in the future and the continued health of your relationship. Your honesty may have saved me. Thanks!

    • This comment means so much to both of us. A lot of people don’t seem to understand that not living in a tiny house on wheels doesn’t mean that there aren’t other options to be frugal and environmentally conscious. I just wish I had realized this three years ago before we started the build. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this comment, and good luck with whatever path you decide. I’m glad sharing our story was of benefit to you.

    • iamchesapeake says:

      This comment means so much to both of us. A lot of people don’t seem to understand that not living in a tiny house on wheels doesn’t mean that there aren’t other options to be frugal and environmentally conscious. I just wish I had realized this three years ago before we started the build. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this comment, and good luck with whatever path you decide. I’m glad sharing our story was of benefit to you.

  32. JJ Santa Fe says:

    Congratulations on the finding of the house. I understand your extreme disappointment in it having been stolen, and hope that you are both able to move forward with new optimism after its recovery. Wishing you both many more good times than bad in the future. Keep creating …

  33. Cahow says:

    Jessica wrote: “I also realize now that a tiny house can just be another “object” that can be used an excuse to put off living your life. It’s no better than that elusive perfect weight, or haircut, or sports car, or suburban home. You don’t need a tiny house to have a garden. You don’t need a tiny house to have more time to spend with your friends. You don’t need a tiny house to spend less money, or have less stuff, or have a lower electric bill. You can do all of these things where you are, right now. If there is one thing I can implore you to do, it is to examine your own lives. What have you been putting off because things aren’t “just right” for beginning? Begin them now. Don’t allow an object to get in your way. Just begin.”

    Jessica and Casey, first allow me to say how HAPPY I was to read about your tiny home’s recovery! I found out about the loss and recovery via Alex’s blog; it’s nice to read a Happy Ending.

    Now, on to my pasted Quote of yours. THANK YOU!!!! and THANK YOU, AGAIN!!!, for stating the obvious!!! I have a Love/Hate feeling about The Tiny House Community for the above reasons that you stated. There are some very prolific bloggers that give off such a “Smug Hipness” to the movement that I can no longer even read their posts. To hear it from THEM, any and all person’s who have more than 2 pairs of shoes, 2 shirts, 2 cups/plates/sporks and don’t crap in a bucket are Eeevil, incarnate!

    I’ve read blog postings where ANYONE who is attached to the Grid is a Planet Killer, yet when the same blogger gets injured or sick, they high-tail it to a friend/relative’s home…ON THE GRID! I’ve read blog postings where Tiny House Hipsters blame square footage on why THEIR lazy arse’s couldn’t visit friends, donate time, plant a garden, or contemplate their navel! I’ve read Tiny House Hipsters who blame TV for all evils of the world because THEY can’t walk away from the set if one is in front of them! Hey, Hipsters!!!! Youtube videos ARE “TV”, just watched on another format than a flat-screen “TV”. (Sidebar: I have friends who claim “I never watch TV any longer”, yet they stream 100% of the shows on their laptop or tablet! Hipster Hypocrites!)

    As you stated, Jessica, you do NOT need a T.H.O.W.’s to have a garden, visit friends, travel, be environmental, take classes or donate time to a cause. I’ve had gardens on window sills! I’ve traveled up to 100 miles, one way, to donate an entire month’s time to help replant prairie’s; I’ve donated time at The Chicago Botanic Garden, Lincoln Park Zoo and more Nature Centre’s than I can recollect….teaching anyone from kindergartner’s to seniors about nature conservancy, the importance of heirloom crops, Native American plant usage, and local flora and fauna. And guess what? I did ALL of this from studio apartments, mega apartments, condos, homes and now our tiny cottage.

    It’s the absolute SMUGNESS of some rabid tiny houser’s that will do MORE DAMAGE to this movement than anything else! Fights on blogs over A) grid vs off grid; B) flush or bucket toilets; C) Wheels or Foundations; and the silliest fight…D) when some people start busting on Alex because he DARES to post about a “tiny house” that’s over 120 sq.ft and isn’t on wheels!

    Jesus Christos! It reminds me of all the fighting in Uni about Raw/Vegan/Vegetarian/Pescetarianism/ or Omnivore food choices. Just STFU and eat whatever you damn please! Beating someone up over eating an organic turkey burger while you eat your Cup O’ Sprouts isn’t doing ANYONE any good!

    So, best of luck to you and Casey and whatever the two of you decide for yourselves, I have confidence that YOU BOTH will make the right decisions for yourself and really, that’s the ONLY people you need to please.

    • iamchesapeake says:

      The TH community does seem to attract all-or-nothing people, it seems, from either direction. Sounds like you live in the Chicago area? We love that city! Amazing place.

      Thanks for your support and your comment!

      • Cahow says:

        So very nice to hear from you, iamchesapeake! :D Sadly, I agree with you about the zealous nature of some tiny house’ers. It breaks my heart when I see a blog posting at Alex’s site for an amazing 600 sq.ft. home and the zealots come out of the woods, bashing every aspect of it! Hey, I thought that the idea behind going “tiny” was going smaller! So, if you go from 4,000 sq.ft. to 600 sq.ft, doesn’t that count? Apparently NOT, according to some. It’s one of those Old Man Philosophies of “It’s MY way or the Highway!” regarding some, where in >their< mind, we should bulldoze all of society and go back to "Huntin'-Fishin' and Countin' Numbers on our Hands." The problem is, we're a ba-zillion people away from going that far back in time so we have to do what we can do with Reduce/Reuse/Recycle.

        And to answer your question, YES!, we split our time between Chi-town and Michigan. I lived in Chicago full time for 40 years and now my husband and I run our companies from our tiny cottage in Michigan and reverse commute to Chicago where we have a 3 bedroom condo that we rent out 2 of the bedrooms to grad students. You should visit the new Maggie Daley Park, which is kissin' cousin close to Millennium Park. It's gorgeous and another stunning addition to our Lakefront.

        ALL the best to you and your sweetie and thanks for taking the time to comment. <3

        • iamchesapeake says:

          Totally by accident, we were there opening morning of Maggie Daley!!! Narrowly missed running into the mayor. :-) We were just visiting Chicago for my birthday and fell deeply in love with the city. We are seriously considering moving there later this year in fact! I’ve heard Chicago renting is better done in person and not online. Apparently online the prices are super marked up? We have a lot of research to do and a few more trips, but we’re excited about it!

          • Cahow says:

            Jessica: if I can be of ANY help, please tap into my knowledge!!! I’ve NEVER heard of the online prices being jacked up; all you need to do is simply request to see the lease of anything you plan on renting and that will solve all fear. Same goes with utility bills: we show our renters the lease and utility bills so they know we’re honest. If someone refuses to do that, then they aren’t worth renting from! I rent our two rooms out exclusively through craigslist; I know that there are other agencies out there but it reaches the largest targeted marketplace. If you choose to come here and look for a place, then there are some wonderful hostels around the area that I’ve been told are very, very nice. Places to avoid, simply because of the HIGH COST of the rent are Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, and Bucktown. They are incredible places to live but you PAY for the luxury of having EVERYTHING in your lap, so to speak. If you can’t find 100% of everything you need within a 2 block area: bank, laundry, cleaners, Starbuck’s, every ethnic restaurant possible, then you’re not looking. We got our condo in Logan Square when it was a sleepy little backwater; now, sadly, it has become one of the most desired places to live by young hipsters BUT….you can still find incredible prices if you go west of Milwaukee Avenue. Make sure that you talk to LOCALS as to where the gang activity is located in ANY area: you can be perfectly save in one area but 10 blocks over, well…it’s not as safe! And be sure to check for easy public transportation and a grocery store within super easy walking distance; we got a “sweet spot” with our condo: 1 block from two major bus lines; 6 blocks from the Blue Line and one block from a major grocery store.

            I’ve lived all over the U.S. and in Europe and I must say, for our tastes, Chicago is the most beautiful, affordable and friendly major city that we’ve ever lived in! Plus, if you are aching for “country”, Wisconsin-Indiana-& Michigan are a 1 hour drive away. All the corn and cows you could ever want to see.

            Hope this helps you and again, reach out to me if you need/want more info! :D

          • iamchesapeake says:

            This is such great information!!! I will definitely be in touch as we explore more.

            Feel free to send me an email so I have your email address. Thank you!!!

          • Cahow says:

            Jessica : where do I find your email address?

          • iamchesapeake says:

            There’s a “contact me” up at the top. Then I can reply to you directly from my email and you’ll have it!

          • Cahow says:

            Got it and sent it to you! <3

  34. Mish says:

    “A tiny house can be just another object…” Jessica, that comment really struck home for me. I don’t have a tiny house but have been following the community and the journeys, including yours and Casey’s, for some time. As in any group, most are truly good people but there are always a pathetic few whose only contribution to this planet is to convert precious oxygen to carbon dioxide thereby negating their narcissistic pontification to reduce carbon emissions and throwing selfish shade on what was a fantastic story worthy of a screenplay about a modern trip down the yellow brick road. You and Casey made that house; it didn’t make you nor will it break you. You reminded me that a tiny house is a state of mind and what happened to you could have happened to me or even those idiots who asked if you installed the latest NASA technology to catapult the house across the State of Texas should the wrong person ring the doorbell. Whether someone steals your house, car, pension, investments, identity, or well being, the feeling of violation is the same What now? You have each other and hopefully, your health to pick up the pieces and continue on life’s odd, weird but incredible path of great stories. I was happy to hear the TH was recovered but I’m more interested in hearing the same about you and Casey. Take care and looking forward to your next installment of “TGIF”.

    • iamchesapeake says:

      “even those idiots who asked if you installed the latest NASA technology to catapult the house across the State of Texas should the wrong person ring the doorbell.” Hahahaha! Yes! So true!!!

      Thanks for following along, always happy to know I have people interested in my slightly bizarre but normally boring to me life!

  35. lisa j says:

    Hi Jessica, I came to your blog, after reading about the devastating situation you and your husband had dealt with, in loosing your tiny home (and then regaining possession of it yay!!). I felt so compelled to write you, and give you both, my sympathy for the loss, but also sending well wishes, and hope for you guys to find some peace in your hearts after all this dies down, and you are comfortably settle in your new home. I have been reading and wishing to have a tiny home for years. We went and stayed in one, up at Canyon Lake built by Brad “Tiny Texas Houses”. Just to see if we could deal with the sized down components at our age. I was influenced back in South Dakota, by a couple that were in their 80’s “she”, and “he” in his 90’s, surely we could do it too?? He had been one of the carvers of Mt. Rushmore, such a lovely couple. Anyways….I just want you guys to know, I can hear/feel the pain, and I know so many others do/did as well, in both your words…there are so many people that do not understand the trials and tribulations, the sweat, and tears, the sacrifices you guys have endured, the problems incurred by those looking to “make off of those unfamiliar to this new lifestyle trying to learn how to do it”….They may never understand; it takes a special kind of person, to be committed to help in changing lifestyles, and mind-sets, for the earth we all share, and will eventually leave to the next generations to come. They will never understand what it’s like to have that dream smeared, after someone takes that away. But I do know this, we can’t understand, unless we’ve walked in your path, I appreciate everything Casey had to say on his blog, those are his feelings, and they are justified in many ways. It’s nice to hear from your experiences, they were yours, no one can take those feelings away or try to make them go away because they weren’t there living them. People can be so critical, self righteous in definitely opinionated (myself included) without politely being asked….You guys seemed to be young, and luckily have each other to lean on and fight for the right things to make your impact on this world. I hope for your future to be bright, and you figure out something new to look to, in the years to come. Best wishes to you both…Sincerely Lisa Broussard Januska

    • iamchesapeake says:

      Brad Kittel is a mad genius! His work is truly amazing.

      Your words are beautiful and so kind. Much appreciated, Lisa. Thank you.

  36. Amy says:

    I read your husband’s post first. I’m relieved to hear your house was recovered! I am a single mom of four and, with the economy being what it is, I’ve seriously considered building a tiny house for my family in order to have debt-free housing. It seems like you’ve met some horrible folks as well has helpful ones. Any good direction you can point me in as to getting started in the process? I live in NC, so even just general info is good at this point.

  37. Erin says:

    It broke my heart to read about all you’ve been through. I am outraged reading it. I would just like to mention something that may help you heal- because healing is what it’s all about. I know these things because I’m very old& have experienced a lot. Years from now you will realize all you have gained in knowledge and wisdom from this terrible experience will be beneficial- you are angry right now, but you will heal. Humans are so resilient that way- this is how life works. The amazing thing is the horrible experiences become gifts- you are nowhere there yet- but you will view this differently- you’ll still be mad, but not with the pain you now feel. This terrible experience strengthens you. People who cheat, steal, lie and hoodwink always get what they deserve eventually- there is Karma- believe it. By exposing those people who cheated you in building your Tiny House, know that for all those who are angry you exposed the charlatans, twice as many have been saved by your disclosure. You can’t save fools, don’t feel bad- this is totally normal in that there are those who always seem to defend the charlatans, it’s a defect in their character, not yours. Lastly, this poisonous vile broken down soul who came along to destroy your dream did so because he despises dreams- don’t let HIS POISON permeate your life- you who have been cautious and careful and thoughtful, the worst thing that could ever happen with this experience is that you allow a drop of that poison to contaminate your lives. You are still the same two people you were before he showed up and you will continue to be those same thoughtful, careful, kind people after. I wish you the very very best. I wish you a happy life and after this I expect the rest of your dreams will all come true!

  38. Pingback: Tiny Homes: The 5 Weirdest Things (That No One Talks About) - Earth911.com

  39. Melissa says:

    That was absolutely beautiful to read Erin. I couldn’t have said it better myself! Good luck to you both!
    Btw…Karma is real! Karma is all but what’s ugly in your heart, it always catches up with you!
    God bless karma!

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