Driving a 2021 model new car after spending two decades in my old one has been a trip in itself. Luckily I’d been at the wheel of rentals over the years and a passenger in autos more modern than mine so the transition wasn’t exactly like in the movies where someone wakes up after being frozen in time and the world has changed, but there is a lot to get used to.
Over the years my dearly departed Rav4 had developed some quirks that I got completely used to. All the audio connections except for radio quit working probably over 5 years ago. The lighter plug burned out even before the music did, so charging in the car was not an option and had to ration my GPS use if going far. Sometime last year the spring in the back passenger door close/locking mechanism suddenly fell out. I bought a ratchet strap to keep it closed until I could get it fixed then, upon learning it would cost at least $200 if they could find a used part, I chose to stay with the ratchet strap.
When I started driving the new car, it honestly took me a few days to remember I could once again open the back doors to stash stuff in the back seat. Being able to listen to my choice of music off my phone is a fabulous thing, as is the coordination that app does with my map app so I know where I’m going while I’m singing. And since I plug it right into the USB port of my dashboard (!!!), I don’t worry about running out of battery and can go right to playing my games once I’m at my destination.
I’m learning about the features slowly so as not to overwhelm myself, but have the basics down, so I took it on the road to stretch its wheels and get me to my pre-planned Tiny House getaway.
Sometime over the last few years, I’ve formed a dream of living in a tiny house. One thought is that a good friend will buy a house with a huge plot of land that they will let me build it on, or to have a plot of land and develop a small community of tiny houses. During the pandemic, when my pet and housesitting business evaporated and I was looking to leave the situation I was stuck in when lockdown was called, I looked for furnished apartments, guest houses, and tiny houses for rent. Lo and behold, I discovered tinyhouseblock.com – a community of tiny houses in a resort area of the mountains east of San Diego. They have long and short term rentals or you can build on their land by renting a space, similar to an RV park, so I figured I’d do a test run and make sure I actually do like the idea before I dream up my whole future in one.
I do like it. I like it a lot. My entire adulthood, no matter how much space I’ve had to myself in small apartments or large homes, I always pick one spot on a couch or bed (whatever is facing the tv) and use that as my spot for as long as I’m there, so I’m good with a small space. Even though the one I’m in is smaller than a hotel room, there is something about it being a freestanding building, with a bit of space between your neighbors. Long-term residents decorate around their space and its a homey feel. Pets are allowed and there are lots of very well behaved dogs. Inside there is storage under the bed, and lots of drawers in the kitchen area so I easily put everything away. Each house is different in layout and the rentals have themed decor.
The people that work here, Nick and Natalie, have been incredibly nice and have given me a lot of information about the Tiny House Block itself, as well as, tiny houses in general. And they gave me a gift certificate to the restaurant that is on the property where I had the most delicious French onion soup I’ve ever had – and I’ve had a lot.
Over all the place feels like summer camp, both for the fact that it’s out in a nature area and how nice and interesting people can be. I’ve had at least one fairly long conversation a day with various people and all say how like-minded people (like to travel, like nature, minimalist, interested in others) gravitate to this community.
Best of all, alone in the woods, I am getting stuff done on my project, and my story will be featured in the May Tiny House Block newsletter!