Tuesday, February 24, 2009

BUILDING THE VARDO: What does it take?

"My life with MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITIES is being transformed with APPRECIATION, HOPE, INNOVATION. Welcome to Vardo For Two (Vardo: a traveling Gypsy wagon)... the space we are creating both on this blog and in real-time/real-life. Follow our journey from utter despair as fugitives from a chemically threatening world, to a place where BIG DREAMS (of a tiny home) grow GIGANTIC hope!"

We began building our tiny home on a trailer 9 months ago. Pete and I arrived in Seattle in May, 2009 shop-worn and dazed from life in the open market so to speak, living in our Subaru we camped in driveways, beach parking lots and front lawns. Something very special happens when all the former definitions of your self, your security, your entitlements change. If you live to tell the story that special something is REBIRTH. Our journey is that, a piecing or peacing together of many 1) thoughts and beliefs, 2) emotions and feelings and 3) intuitive knowing. Like nurturing a human being, VardoForTwo, has been growing within and in public for 9 months. Today's post "BUILDING THE VARDO: What does it take?" gives me a chance to re-trace the bread crumbs as once two wee ones did in a fairy tale long long ago.

What does it take?


  • While we lived without a house with walls on O`ahu, we did have incredibly beautiful Island experiences
  1. Lived for weeks, every night at one of my favorite, treasured beaches. Slept to the sound of ocean waves crashing on the tide pool lava; watched the moon rise and sun rise from the horizons of the water; felt the salt-air on our skin; breathed deep the clean ocean air.
  2. Got to know our cousins who shared their lawn as a camp spot. 'Ohana in Hawaiian means family, the months of being 'without house' tested the meaning of 'ohana. We learned humility, gratitude, and recognized everyone has a different definition of 'enoughness.'
  3. We swam in warm Waimanalo Beach water almost every morning; took cold showers and learned to like them. We made friends with the beach park caretaker and the neighbors who live across the street. They shared without being asked, and asked nothing of us.
  4. Received lomi lomi (Hawaiian body work) from CKB my son, on Sundays in the park near Paki Hale in Waikiki.

  • The months of living in Scout the Subaru pared us to our basic nature. Without STUFF the foundation of SPIRIT began all present. Without too many words here ... the power and knowingness of KE AKUA (creator of all) consistently gave us hope.
  1. When we could not stay in rented houses because of pesticide use, after anger there was a reserve of energy that fueled me to ask for what was needed: "Fair treatment, just compensation, strength to write letters to city officials, education re. MCS."
  2. Health and Spiritual support made the daily experiences with MCS tolerable. I found people who believed my symptoms were real, cared for me with their skill and their vulnerability. I learned to have faith.
  3. We learned how close we could become as a couple. Life together changed us. We learned to respect one another. We expected less and got more if that makes sense.
  4. When no real and affordable options for safe housing revealed itself after 7 months, we sought answers else where. We asked. Pete's old friend Joel answered, we took a chance and packed up once again, and moved to Seattle.

  • Building a tiny chemically sensible home on a trailer is a process of INNOVATION. Every thing about building VARDOFORTWO is innovation. With his building experiences of 50 + years, Pete is challenged to innovate every day. His earth-bound Ox energy (Pete was born in the "Year of the Ox") sustains him when a once tried-and-true method or material simply "don't bake." There were no blueprints for this life nor for this vardo. Oh yes there were many, many drawings and detailed mock-ups. Here are a few of the things it takes to be an innovator:
  1. Be open to being right.
  2. Be willing to be wrong.
  3. Talk to each other, ask for clarification.
  4. Talk to God, ask for clarification.
  5. Laugh a lot.
  6. Find things to laugh about every day.
  7. Seek information.
  8. Make your own decisions.
  9. Get good nights of sleep.
  10. Take breaks.
  11. Make friends with nature. Birds love our company.
  12. Pray unceasingly.
  13. Be still.
  14. Invite success.
  15. Eat good food.
  16. Make love.
  17. Be patient even when you're not.
  18. Make friends with yourself.
  19. Open to other answers.
  20. Be kind.
We are thankful to all of our readers and visitors. It is important to be reassured, innovation can be a lonely journey. Transformation is a personal experience and yet it has a rippling effect. It is our wish that we have an effect that inspires you to good things.

Have some fun today. Cheers! Mokihana

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