Tiny Winter

We survived through our first winter in the 5th wheel and nobody lost any fingers or toes from frost bite. No really, it wasn’t as cold as we had anticipated. This could be due to the mild winter we had here in Idaho this year or just that Jeff did a really good job getting us well insulated. This was also our first Christmas here as well. Just last year we purchased a 7.5ft faux Christmas tree, which fit perfectly at our old country home but there was no way it was going to fit in here. Jeff and I have a tradition of getting a new ornament every year, so we’ve accumulated quite a collection in the last 8 years. Well, we gave the big tree to someone who needed it more than we did and we found the cutest 2ft tree that fit just perfectly. Our ornament collection obviously didn’t fit on that tiny tree, but they sure did help make the 5th wheel very festive!

Of course with Christmas comes new clothes and ‘toys’. Now that we’re living tiny, I’ve incorporated a new rule: Something new comes in, then something old goes out. At first this was hard, especially when it came to my clothes and kitchen things but now I don’t even give it a second thought. We can throw away or donate our un-needed items without even trying to barter with each other. Rules like this, help us continue to make progress settling into this new life style. We also have to be more conscience about purchases when we’re out shopping, one example is groceries. Our little fridge is about half the size of a standard fridge and our pantry holds food, but not nearly enough as we’re use to. Things have to be arranged in the fridge just so in order for the door to even close, we now call it ‘fridge tetris’. We’re also learning that having different work schedules actually effects each other now. I often miss work due to my pain, or even if one of us just sleep in and the other gets up for work there is no way to be quiet or to keep the place completely dark. When someone is at the other end of the 5th wheel moving about, you can feel it shaking in bed and the trailer is 20 years old so it creeks and squeaks here and there that you just can’t avoid not matter how quiet you’re trying to be. Our front door sticks and often needs to be slammed, so just as your about to get back to sleep the other person leaves for work and slams the door.

At our old house we both had our offices, mine was more of an art studio and Jeff’s for his photography. Having all the extra space for offices at the old house we really didn’t notice how much stuff we had. Our artwork related items were among the things we both agreed we wouldn’t downsize if we didn’t need to. Our passion for our arts was one of the reasons we decided to change our lives upside down. Jeff’s things don’t really take up a lot of room though, just a computer and a printer for his photos. The printer stays in storage until we need it for a show, so it’s never in the way and he’s set up his little corner in trailer, it’s perfect. Now my stuff is a different story, I’ve pretty much taken over every little nook and cranny I can. I have containers upon containers full of beads and supplies. You can often find rouge beads on floor or half started projects on the book shelf. Right after we first moved in I had a craft show and I had this little trailer so full of stuff getting ready we could barely walk around. The table we have in here that doubles as a work station and a kitchen table is now mottled with hammer marks and patinas.

Besides getting more acquainted with the new tiny life we have acquired, the winter months have brought on more ideas for our trip this summer. Jeff spends countless hours on Craigslist looking at vans and smaller campers or RVs. We still haven’t quite decided what vehicle choice would be best suited for us, figuring we still have some time. Most days I’m sure we’re choosing a van, then I go to bed dreaming about the RV we just looked at. I just figure the right one will come and when it does we will know. Jeff has been working hard at saving money towards the trip and we’re getting closer to the goal! For Christmas I got him an updated Atlas, a book about National Parks in US and these cool coffee mugs that say ‘Let the Adventure Begin’. Now we’re just itchin’ for June to get here!

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