Several years ago DrydenWire.com first reported on Tansy Pocernich's tiny house project that began when she was still at Spooner High School, graduating in 2017.
Tansy had been painfully shy during her early childhood, but notwithstanding, she wanted to participate in the school's talent show when she was in fifth grade. When she consulted her mom to see if there was a magic trick she could teach her, instead, Tansy was surprised by the suggestion her mom made; she should learn to do ventriloquism as her mother did. “That way,” said her mom, “you won't be the one people will be looking at and listening to; they'll be staring at the dummy you're holding.”
As she progressed in ventriloquism, she started to get invitations to perform. Then it was Spooner High School's English teacher, Robert Thornley, when she signed up for an acting class who encouraged her to get involved in the school plays and before she graduated, she had been in Bye, Bye, Birdy, Hello Dolly and other plays, including doing some work at Shell Lake's Theater in the Woods.
“I liked how everyone worked together on the plays to make something bigger and better.”
Theater became her focus. “It all started when I was either five or six, and my parents were talking about God being the King of all Kings. I had always wanted to be a princess, and I decided that if I accepted Him as my King of Kings, I would become that princess I had always wanted to be. Years later it was God who changed my shyness into boldness, which helps me focus my life on a Theater Degree from North Greenville University in South Carolina.”
She participated in two missions trips with her church, Spooner Wesleyan. One was to Nicaragua, the other to Peru.
Each trip reaffirmed that people didn't need that much creature comfort in order to be happy. A class at church that her parents took supported that theory and when Tina and Chuck started downsizing, even moving to a smaller house now that the majority of their kids were grown and gone, she followed suit.
It was in an architecture class in high school where Tansy began designing houses. She started with a three-floor house, and after her parents downsized, and after she realized how little space was needed to live, her house plans got smaller and smaller, more doable, and her tiny house concept began.
When still in high school, an eight by twenty-four foot older camper came up for sale. Tansy and her dad talked it over, and she bought it for $1,100.
They hauled it home and took it down to the frame. Then piece by piece, they reconstructed it, this time using Tansy's plans, and all the reused, recycled and repurposed items they could scrounge around and find.
Now, three years later, the tiny house is not only finished, but it's been relocated 1,100 miles to a farm in South Carolina that's owned by relatives.
They made a family trip out of it with Tansy and her mom driving Tansy's car, and Chuck and a friend hauling the tiny house using a fully-loaded truck.
She's just twenty-five minutes from school, and being South Carolina, she doesn't have to worry about snow and inclement weather.
Her “Living Area” can be converted into a table with side benches, a sofa, or another bed.
She has a generous shower and a composting toilet that uses sawdust in the process. “That worked out well too as a recycled item, we saved all the sawdust while we were constructing the house!”
A full-size bed that lifts up and down with the push of a button, a sofa made from homemade crates open in their fronts for storage, holding a foam mattress (free) that was cut into cushion sizes, and covered in sturdy table cloth fabric by mom.
There's an electric fireplace in the middle of the kitchen cabinets near the floor for heat, and windows on all sides to let in that sweet Carolina air.
The original estimate was to try to bring it in under $10,000 and weighing under 10, 000 pounds.
Happily, they came in half of their original costs; under $5,000 and only 5,600 pounds.
“There's no way my tiny house could have ever been built without the help and support of my friends and my family. Not only did they offer lots of free labor, and ideas, they were a constant stream of encouragement.”
Once people found out what she and her parents were trying to accomplish, donated, or drastically reduced priced materials started pouring in: wood, insulation, plywood flooring, and paneling, styrofoam, trim, outdoor siding, a front door, and even the aluminum corrugated roofing along with a kitchen countertop.
Also items like roof bars, ground stakes, rubber roofing, and roofing adhesive. Winter storage was provided for the project by a business in town along with discarded wood pallets.
There were a few things, the kitchen sink, faucet and showerhead, the fireplace, a bit of inside paneling and plywood that was purchased, but ninety percent of the construction materials were leftover from someone else's project or sitting in someone's garage gathering dust.
It's the beginning of Tansy's Excellent Adventure as she continues to see what God will open for her to do with her future, whether it's theater, architecture, or even tiny house building. She's open to everything.
The tiny house is now located in South Carolina on her aunt and uncles' property, and it's fitting all her, and her cat's needs. Now that she's lived “tiny”, there are a few things that she'd change, but wouldn't we all in our own homes?
Read Diane Dryden's first article on Tansy from 2017: Thanks To God, The Spooner School's Tech Ed Class, And A Desire To Live Simply.