I was living in Maryland with my fiancé, Coy, when the the pandemic hit. We'd been renting a 3-bed apartment for a few years together, supported by our jobs at the local BWW, barely. I was in debt from college, and he was in debt from hospital bills. Bored with life but eking by, always dreaming about what we'd do when we just had "the opportunity", when we'd finally be making enough to save a little. The pandemic didn't help with the boredom.
BWW had closed, and we'd been sitting at home on the couch doing nothing but becoming increasingly depressed. Then Coy's mother called.
She and Coy's dad (Rhesa and Evan) had decided to move out of Missouri, away from the land they'd developed from raw forest into a full homestead with a beautiful little home sitting on a creek, an abundant, giving garden, and two vacation rentals that earned them a steadily increasing side-income. Rhesa's parents in Oklahoma, still living in the town where Rhesa was born and raised, were both suffering from health problems. The call to care for her parents in their final years was strong enough to call her and Evan to pick up and move back to the small town in Oklahoma where Rhesa was raised, and had vowed to never live again.
So she was calling to ask for our help with moving. We didn't have anything better to do, after all. And they'd pay us. So we agreed. Two days later we left for Missouri.
We realized the income opportunities in the Midwest were way better than what we'd had in Maryland. After two weeks of packing his parents to move, they asked if we wanted to go with them to Oklahoma, and we said yes. We took a quick trip back to Maryland for our cats and our stuff, and moved to Missouri.
Coy's parents had a little camper on the back of their property. It was given to them by a friend for them to get rid of, and had sat there for years. They told us that if we wanted to do the work of fixing it up, we could have it to live in.
It's always been a small dream of mine to fix up a little camper or tiny home. So we eagerly jumped at their generous offer, and got to work. And we gave our new home a name: the Cozy Camper.
The first step was to pull it out of the field it was sitting in, and up near the house. When we had it in place, we opened the door and were greeted with a sea of dead beetles. There was a rotted, old, rolled-up tarp over the door. The oven was filled with a mouse nest, as were basically all the cabinets and mildly small, enclosed spaces. It was... mildly horrifying. But I suited up in my ugliest clothes with a pair of bright pink rubber gloves and a bandana over my face, equipped with a bucket and an army of cleaning products, and also a vacuum. Then, after three days of scrubbing and sanitizing, the camper was clean and livable once again. And so we moved in.
The toilet was our first project. We needed to remove the holding tank-- which it was just, like, sitting on. In the bathroom. (Gross.) So, Coy and his dad went in there and began work on what they anticipated would be a three day project: remove toilet and tank, run necessary plumbing, patch floor, replace toilet. Simple.
Not so much. As soon as they began to tear into things, they realized that much of the frame was rotted. The further they went, the more and more rotted frame they discovered. No good. It all had to come out. Their three day project became three weeks of floor and wall replacement. Also patching the pesky leak that let all that water in, totally uninvited.
Once they were done with that, however, the rest was smooth sailing. Replaced the floor, painted the exterior and interior, sewed some curtains, and called it good.
Right before we were set to move to Oklahoma, we had a few major bumps in the road all at once, which led to us making the decision to sell the camper and buy a new one.
I'll write about that later, for sure.
We have a Facebook Page where we post about all our adventures since going rogue and ditching the conventional job scheme. Follow us if you want: Coy & Cristiana.