Written by Addison Godine, and edited by Sarah Ruehlow.
This past Tuesday, August 11, was a busy one for the Getaway Team. We arrived at the East Boston Shipyard (where we built our second tiny house) at 6AM to prepare Lorraine for its maiden voyage to New Hampshire. We loaded vehicles with tools, building materials, half-finished structures and ourselves, and hitched Lorraine to the big F-250. An hour and a half later, Jon and Justin drove off with her while the rest of us hit Dunkin Donuts and Burger King for breakfast. Trucks, trailers, and fast food: does it get any more American?
Due to a few complications driving the tiny-but-not-so-tiny house through East Boston and onto the highway, we all arrived at Lorraine’s site about the same time. By then it was pouring rain, so the dirt roads were muddy and it took Jon three ballsy tries to get Lorraine up the short, steep hill and onto its plot. Exciting to watch!
With Lorraine more or less in place, some of the crew headed to Ovida to take care of a fairly long “punch list” of items before that day’s guests checked-in. Patrick and Sean set up a makeshift lean-to with some tarp and various tools to shield everyone from the rain, while Wyatt and I started plugging away inside. We replaced the fan, secured the kitchen drain, installed a porch with steps, replaced the propane stove, lowered the table, and more. There was an awkward moment when the cleaners showed up in the rain and had no space at all to work – we had to ask them to change the sheets and be on their way so we could quickly finish up.
Before we could finish, however, there was another awkward moment when our guests showed up early (surprisingly chipper!) while we were still working. To our relief, they were very understanding and needed to go into town anyway to pick up supplies. We noted they had New Hampshire plates; Live Free or Die!
The Team finished up what we could at Ovida — completed all the big things — and headed back to Lorraine, where we scrambled to make a list of needed items and get to the hardware stores before they closed. Fortunately, we managed to buy most of the necessities and grab a quick burger before heading back to work.
By this time, everyone was a little tired and a little wet and there were some frustrating moments. The house was too heavy to level using the standard scissor jack crank, which meant we couldn’t put the porch and stairs on. There was a leak, somewhere. The water filling system had overflowed a little. Sarah was still on crutches. My groin was still pulled.
But we learned, made mental notes, and kept going. Headlamps went on. The first fire was lit in our makeshift fire pit, had to be extinguished for a propane test, and was relit. Somebody brought beer, which always tastes best after a physically demanding day.
After finishing the critical items on Lorraine’s “punch list,” Justin and I finally set out for Boston around 10pm while the rest of the team headed to a nearby hotel. I had to apologize to Justin for the bad pop music blaring from my car’s speakers; I needed it to stay awake on the drive.
But at the end of the day, we had accomplished an incredible feat: we had moved, completed, and readied a tiny house for her first guests. A busy day indeed!