The Mayday Experiment: Seventeen Things I Never Considered

Artist Lauri Lynnxe Murphy started writing about The Mayday Experiment, her project that calls for building a tiny house in which she will tour the country, talking about the dangers of climate change, recently sat down in the midst of another spring rainstorm to think about the seventeen things she never considered before starting construction....

1. Budgeting for every single thing. Who knew hardware would be so expensive? Who knew Philip Spangler ate so much cheese?

2. My home will have the ability to have a flat. Think about it: My home could have a flat! How do you change the tire on a house? Note to self: always have AAA.

3. How hard it would be to have the discipline to blog about this shit Every. Damn. Week. And yet, how rewarding. It creates a place for self-reflection that I might not otherwise indulge in.

4. How many people would be curious and start conversations, and how much that would slow down work. Building in a city, yo. On the street.

5. How many people would ring my doorbell to talk about the tiny house. I can only imagine what that will be like when I'm living in it…and then I won’t be able to pretend I’m not home!

6. How long it would take. I was seriously unrealistic about that. I was sewing curtains in my head before we built the platform. Haven’t thought about curtains since.

7. That my home could be STOLEN. Literally. That hadn’t occurred to me! Now, instead of a lock on the door, I have a lock on the hitch and on the wheel, too.

8. That anyone would break my windows before I was even done. Jerks.

9. That rain – something I previously looked forward to with great excitement and joy – would become the bane of my existence. Curse you, watery sky demons!

10. How many times I would drive to the hardware store. In a day.

11. That I could actually wear out a sawblade. More than once.

12.  How wonderful my friends are, the ones I had and the ones I've made along this journey so far.  And all the friendly strangers who will become friends in the future.

13. That dudes will pull up next to you at stoplights if you’re a chick in a giant diesel truck and tell you that they “like how your truck smells” as a weird pickup line. Apparently, that’s a thing. Who knew?

14.  Where every low bridge in Denver is.

15. That hammers, measuring tapes and drill bits disappear and reappear at will.  There is a Bermuda Triangle of tools in my studio.

16.  How much unnecessary and inappropriate lumber I would acquire.  "Free" still means you have to move it.

17.  How to calculate solar load.  Oh, wait...I still don't know that.  That's on the "need to learn" list.

And here's the bonus thing I never considered:  How much I don’t know. I have never been more keenly aware of how much I don’t know, how much I haven’t considered, how much I will learn. Which is part of what makes this journey exciting…I have wanted to live off-grid for years and years, and there are so many tiny decisions, every day, that become a part of that. What more could you hope for than to be learning...always?    

Lauri Lynnxe Murphy, a 2005 Westword MasterMind winner, is blogging about her tiny house project, The Mayday Experiment, on Show and Tell. If you'd like to support her journey, you can pledge here. See more of her work at

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Lauri Lynnxe Murphy