Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Budget, a Blazer, and a Bus

Since I made the decision to build a house on the Mesa, things have been coming together in a serendipitous way.  In terms of the initial financing of this project, the plan consists of several intricately timed steps, including getting my tax refund and then using that to buy a used 4W drive vehicle and and an RV to live in while building, and then selling my nice newish (and completely useless for the rough terrain of the Mesa) Chrysler Town & Country, in order to pay for land and get the initial things in place needed to live and build out there (i.e., a cistern, a generator, tools, and building supplies).

Wanna buy me?
I realize that it's somewhat taboo to publicly discuss the details of one's financial situation, but I will be flying in the face of that taboo on this blog because part of my purpose in writing about this project is to demonstrate that it's doable for anyone, no matter their budget.  As a single mother receiving no child support, I have been on and off food stamps and Medicaid for years.  With rent as high as it is in Taos, I've even considered getting housing assistance, but something in me has never let me go and turn in an application.

I do need to clarify that I have been blessed with parents who can and will help me financially from time to time, and my van was a gift from them.  In that sense, then, I have it a bit easier than many single mothers who find themselves dancing with the welfare system, but honestly, the level of my resolve at this point is such that even without the van to sell I would find some way to move forward with this.

So we're talking about a tight budget here, folks, but for $4000 I managed to get a 2001 Chevy Blazer in good condition and a 32-foot converted schoolbus.

Now that's more like it!
Our local organic grocery store, Cid's, has a huge community bulletin board, so I went there as soon as I had the tax refund, and found both vehicles at the same time.  It all went swimmingly, even better than I had hoped, in that I got a newer vehicle and a bigger living space than I had anticipated.  The bus is old (a 1968 - the year I was born) and in need of cleaning, but is really well-designed for livability, and actually feels spacious inside.  It has a kitchen area, a good sleeping section, a bathroom, and even a woodstove.  And, it's already out on the Mesa, so moving it once I have land will be relatively easy.  I'll take pictures of the bus to post next time I'm out there.

I haven't had time to deal with getting  the van ready to sell (i.e, gotten all of my crap out of it), because being so preoccupied with this project and spending hours researching various aspects of it, I've gotten really behind with work.  I've been making myself focus and get caught up this week, so no money for land yet, although I've looked at a couple of pieces.  More about that next time.

Incidentally, you may have noticed that I've used the word "serendipity" (or some derivative thereof) for two posts in a row now.  Because of how things have been happening, it's a word I've been contemplating a lot lately, and have now decided that this is what I will name my place, once I have it:  "Serendipity."  You know, kinda like "Tara," except without the slaves or the melodrama.  Or the trees, for that matter.
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  1. Good for you, Susan! I've always wanted to live in an old bus, and even now I look longingly at neglected school buses sitting abandoned in people's backyards. Must be the hippy in me. Looks like things are on track. I love it when the Universe works for us instead of against us. We could certainly use some of that serendipity up here at Green Desert Eco Farm, but I guess there's a message in that too...maybe it's not the right time for us to move, but it appears that it is for you, or at least to walk the path of building an Earthbag house, and whatever adventure that entails. Hope the magic continues.

  2. Thanks, Kerry! Yeah, timing is a finicky thing sometimes. I know things will work out for you guys one way or the other. You have so many wonderful things going on already!

  3. Polli, I have just been looking for something Goethe said, a great quote, having to do with serendipity. The closest I got to is: "Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

    Well, you have begun! Blessings, young sister!

  4. Thank you, Claire, that's a wonderful quote.

  5. Lots of inspiration in reading your posts about the new home. I think you realize that with your readers there is a moral support team that is eager to offer you prayer and words of encouragement. Yeah house!!!


  6. SS - Thanks! Yes, I really do feel blessed to already have community around this through blogging.