Most of us at the age of twenty didn't have Spooner's Tansy Pocernich's view of life. We were either heading to, or completing, our first year in college, or making headway in the employment field. Tansy looks at life differently than most.

Yes, she has just completed her first year at North Greenville University in South Carolina pursuing a future in Theater and Youth Ministries. If her name sounds familiar, it might be due to her mastery of ventriloquism and her local appearances at the Washburn County Fair.

Or you might have seen her Facebook posts describing her progress on building her tiny house. That's right, a tiny house, and it all began in her Tech Ed class when she was a junior.

Or maybe it started a year before that when she, through the Spooner Wesleyan Church, went on a mission's trip to Nicaragua in 2015. “These people were desperately poor, but happy. They smiled a lot. They were living life and praising God.”

The following year in school, Tansy took a class in Residential Design and started playing with the idea of designing an efficient tiny house. She developed quite a few floor plans and realized she could actually live in one!

Not to let things get stale, she began looking for a trailer and discovered an old camper was her best option. The one she found was a 1983 model that measured 8x24 feet, and it was perfect.

“Her name means tenacious,” said her mom Tina, “so we weren't surprised at what she planned to do.”

Her dad Chuck thought if it didn't turn out, or she lost interest, she could always sell the trailer.

At the end of the year, the family had the camper disassembled to the frame, and Tansy used masking tape to map out her new layout for everyone to see when people came to her high school graduation party.

Work began in earnest this summer, and it's all hands on deck. The holding tanks, fridge, stove, heating unit, and microwave were saved from the old camper and thanks to friends, the folks at church, and the ReStore, she was able to procure flooring, paneling, counters, roofing material, insulation and some windows for her project, everything recycled or repurposed.

She had set her budget at $7000 and the weight to be under 7000 pounds so she could pull it with an SUV. So far she is way under budget.

Many days have been spent refurbishing many of the recycled items like scrubbing the corrugated tin panels from a friend’s old barn roof. Mom Tina, as well as good friend Rachel Kidder, gave it their best effort so it would be ready to be roofed because rain was predicted.

Tansy still needs to purchase an air conditioner. But now that she's leaving for another year of college, the goal is to finish the tiny house exterior, so it is sealed for Wisconsin's harsh winters. The project will be on hold until her return during Christmas and next summer break.

Tansy has the heart for people and a heart for God. "He's been in this whole project," she says. She also added that she has no student debt, and will have no mortgage. Her goal is to remain debt free all of her life. When her tiny house is finished, she plans to take it wherever God leads her. She hopes to inspire others to pursue their passions and fulfill their purpose.

If you'd like to keep up with her progress, she's on Facebook at Tansy's Tiny House Adventure.

About the Author

Diane Dryden

Diane is a features writer for She started her fifteen-year career as a features writer for the Washburn County Register and has written for assorted newspapers and national magazines. She has also just released the third novel in her Chicago series of books – Scott Free in Chinatown. You can visit Diane's website at or her facebook page at

Last Update: Aug 16, 2018 6:57 pm CDT

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