The Residential Shipping Container is HERE!

THIS has been a CRAZY week!  Wonderfully crazy, BUT CRAZY!!

If you have been following along you know that getting the Tiny Home Shipping Container shell delivered has been a process that has been going on for 2 months.  There was flooding and tornadoes happening in Texas (where the container was constructed), followed by waiting for trucking permits in Louisiana and then the delivery truck broke down.  Zach from Tankabox was doing everything he could to get the container to me and we kept having breakdown after breakdown.

Last Friday Zach flew from Portland, where he was installing a large project, to Louisiana to rescue his trailer and my container.  He unhooked the trailer and hooked it to his cab and took it back to Texas.  He couldn’t make it all the way to Florida because he had to get back to Portland.  When he got it back to the shop in Texas he discovered that while it was parked for weeks, someone had broken into the electric box outside the container and stolen all the fuses, etc.  So he had his guys repair it and check the rest of the container and then he had David, his dispatcher, hop into the truck and head off to Florida Saturday afternoon.

David communicated with me along the way and we arranged to meet Tuesday morning at 9 AM.   I got there a little early and then David showed up!  I was so excited I could barely breath as I saw him coming down the street.  David hopped out of the truck and we hugged and then we walked the property together so I could show him where I needed it to go.  He got back in his truck and pulled past the gate and began to back up towards the gate.  I was imagining him being done in 30 minutes and on his way.  He had said it was a little sandy but he had seen worse so I think we were both confident it would all be OK.

That was when the real fun began.  As David made he first turn of the trailer to point it through the gate his truck tire got stuck in the sand.  He managed to pull it out and tried again and got stuck again.  He said he needed a large 4×4 to help give him some traction.  I didn’t know any neighbors that could help so David headed down the street to find someone to help him.  And, soon he came back with 2 guys and a BIG 4×4.  Off they went to get David unstuck. They hooked up chains from his tail toe and began to move David slightly.

Then their 4×4 got stuck. I couldn’t breathe for a whole different reason at this point.  They tried all kinds of different ways to get him unstuck.  Suddenly a large Kabota tractor came through the gate.  Seems one of the guys had called for reinforcement.  The Kabota got the 4×4 unstuck and then they both got David unstuck.  The dilemma was that David had to keep finding a way to turn the trailer around in the sand.  And every time he turned the wheels the weight of the container (12,000+ tons) and the trailer (8,000+ tons) would pull David’s truck back into the sand.  It was like quicksand.

What ensued was then 4+ solid hours of David and the 4×4 getting stuck every few minutes and then the process of the tractor getting the 4×4 unstuck and the truck getting David unstuck and starting over.  At one point they finally got David and the trailer straightened up a little on the gravel road and both the tractor and the 4×4 were pulling him in synch. It was a complete nightmare.  If I wasn’t so freaked out it might have been funny.  But I was totally freaked out.  All I could do was stay in the shade to avoid getting heat stroke, curse outloud and keep bringing them bottled water.

These guys just kept going though.  They just weren’t going to stop, it seemed, until they could put the container down on somewhat solid ground as close to the piers as possible.  They were out there in 90+ degree Florida sun getting stuck and unstuck over and over.  At one point poor David was lying partially under the truck by the tires digging them out with shovels.  I couldn’t believe what a mess it had become.  So much for the initial confidence and David thinking he had seen worse.  The gravel that had been put down by the concrete guys did NO good what-so-ever under the weight of that trailer and container.  It was just loose gravel and either spread or got buried.

Finally they got the trailer as far down the gravel road as they could and it needed to be sat down on the ground.  David could not go any further because he needed to be able to still turn the whole trailer around and head back towards the gate and the sand was even softer looking up ahead.  So we placed stacks of 2″x6″x4′ boards, that I had screwed together last Sunday, under all the corners and David lowered the container to the ground.  I was sooooooo grateful to finally see the container sitting on the ground.  I was just praying it was level enough to not cause any damage to the container itself.

There was no time for any real excitement though because they still had the task of getting David and the trailer back off the property.  That took over an additional hour of getting stuck and unstuck again.  Finally they got David and the trailer out the gate and back on the road.  The 3 guys, after multiple thanks yous and handshakes, drove off and then David needed to go.  I thanked him best I could and he headed back down the street.

I can’t explain the amount of gratitude I felt for those men.  It was a job of complete determination.  The neighbors didn’t know David or I.  They just jumped in and didn’t leave until it was done.  I figure next weekend I will show up at their doors bearing thank you gifts but for the time being I am still shocked at their kindness.

I was not able to go inside the container that day.  Zach had sent the keys overnight to me because in the rush to get the truck out of Texas he found them in his pocked after David had left.  I left so early on Tuesday to meet David that they hadn’t arrived yet.  I had client calls I needed to be on that Tuesday, so I simply had to close the gate and head back to St. Pete where I am currently staying.

The keys were waiting for me when I got back to St. Pete and I knew that even though the upcoming Sunday was my normal first-Sunday-off-the-property that I had to go back and see inside the container. 

So Sunday morning bright and early Gracie and I headed to the property.  I couldn’t wait to get inside my container after waiting for this moment for almost a year.  I frankly, was just praying that the container was still up on the boards and everything was OK.  I also had with me 2 housewarming gifts given to me by a friend, Heather.  One was a big rolling mac-daddy ARC lithium battery operated fan and the other was an indoor/outdoor rug.  Both were going to come in handy in that container when I get inside LOL

I got the the property and the container was just as I left it.  I grabbed the fan, rug, broom with dustpan and some water and headed towards the door of the container with the keys in my hand.  I opened one of the french doors and slid the fan and rug inside and stepped in.  OMG … it was 45 feet of sheer amazement inside.  I plugged the batter into the fan and went back and got Gracie so we could explore it together.

Gracie hopped in like it was hers (well … of course because it is LOL) and we walked through it. I couldn’t believe how big it felt and there was tons of light flowing through the windows and french doors to lighten up the whole container.   There were also tons of surprises that Zach had not told me about.  It looked like he had just continued to add things along the way out of pure generosity. The Hardee board sheet rock walls, screens for all the windows, tons of extra electric receptacles and outlets for things like washer/dryer and ceiling fans, interior walls between the kitchen and bedroom and bedroom and bathroom AND a tub was even installed.  I just kept being blown away every way I turned.

I had to calm down so I did one of the things I do best – I cleaned – I swept the place out. LOL.  After I managed to get all the remains of sawdust, etc. out I laid down the rug for Gracie and I to sit on and cranked up the fan.  We just sat there staring around.  I was in disbelief how spacious it was.  It was beautiful and it was just a shell still with no cabinetry, appliances, furniture, etc.

I grabbed the tape measure and measured everything I knew to measure so I could begin to think out the placement of things and what sizes I needed of appliances and cabinets, etc. .  I pulled out my bundle of sage and went throughout the space burning it and blessing the container.  I then went outside and measured the distance of the container from the piers.  I thought it was 300+ft.  But NO, it was ONLY 85′ away.  Now, don’t get me wrong that is still a distance but not as far.  I also straighten out the solar panel and turned the camera some for the motion sensitive security camera so I could better keep an eye on the container remotely.

Then I needed to pack up and leave because I needed to get Gracie’s nails trimmed back in St. Pete.  Gawd, I hated to leave.  But I did.  About 20 minutes away I got a text message and call from Nair, my friend and General Contractor … she had spontaneously decided to come see the property and container.  I dropped the concept of Gracie getting her nails trimmed and headed back to the property.

I pulled back up … secretly so thrilled to be back … and there Nair was.  I was so happy she had come up to the property so she could see it and we could talk about what was next..  Nair and I walked through and measured things I didn’t know to measure and talked about what appliances and cabinetry would be needed and what I wanted.  She sent a video to Danny, her guy that would be doing a lot of the work, and he said he could get it all done in about a week if he had everything to work with.  “OMG, this is really happening,”, I kept saying outloud.

Storms were brewing outside so Nair and I finally locked the doors behind us and I headed back to St. Pete with a BIG smile on my face, singing at the top of my lungs.

I posted videos of everything – the FULL delivery ordeal (if you want a laugh it is worth watching the long one LOL) and a tour of the inside of the contain, on the Freedom Acres YouTube Channel, and as always my exciting end of the day report with Gracie. Feel free check it all out by clicking HEREAlso, feel free to subscribe and you can get notified when new videos go up! 🙂

We are at the end of the first week of July now and the game is still on to be living on the property THIS Summer!!  LOL. Monday/Tuesday of this coming week Jason, from Guardian Fencing, who is the guy that will, with his team, get the container up on the piers, will becoming to the property to re-evaluate how to do that.  The extra distance from the piers and the new info about the weight of the container may mean we need to do it differently that he first thought.  We shall see what he thinks when he is able to get here.  All I know is that the container is now on the property and this is a BIG victory.  Everything else will get figured out from here.  Soon it WILL be on those piers and it will have siding on it and the inside will get flushed out and electricity and plumbing will be hooked up …. and … and … and.  STAY TUNED!




As always, I send you FREEDOM and LOVE!



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