Today We Leapt Forward in the Art of Living in the Box

Keith Howard | Monday, April 13, 2015


April 12th, 2015

In the words of the immortal Phil Rizzuto,  “Holy Cow!” It’s now 10:15 at night and I feel like Lucy and I are reliving the evolution of human culture. In a box.

Let me explain. For a week, we’ve been heating the box with a great little propane heater, with two separate propane feeds. That is, I’ve been using a one-pound propane tank (roughly the size of the bottom two-thirds of a two-liter soda bottle. The Mr. Heater BIG Buddy heater we use can heat the box effectively in about 15 minutes (at 35-45 outside temperature) although with zero insulation yet, the heat dissipates within another 15 minutes. Hence, we get chilly (although Lucy, with her fur coat and lack of spoken language, doesn’t complain), turn on the heat, shut it off, get chilly again. This isn’t a big deal, and we’re thankful for the heat, but each one-pound can only lasts an hour or two. This has meant changing the can in the middle of the night, using just a flashlight. In short, we had gratitude for what we had while I went on complaining to myself about the minor inconvenience. Sigh.

Today, though, we leapt forward in the art of living in the box. Having almost no practical experience in life, the idea of connecting the Mr. Heater to a 20-pound tank (like those used in your backyard grill) had terrified the bejeezus out of me. Given the bright sunlight today, and having a spare 15 minutes, I took the plunge, made the attachment and tested it outside the box using soapy water to test the seals, etc. Just like a big kid.

Right now, we have heat that will run whenever we need it. Because of the danger of either fire or carbon monoxide, we don’t use the heater while sleeping—still, this will make the middle of the night heat pick-me-ups WAY easier and less anxiety ridden. Another cause for gratitude.

Even bigger, way bigger, we picked up a propane lantern today. Instead of using a flashlight and an ill-conceived experiment with mirrors to reflect light, we now have an incredibly bright light illuminating the whole box. Hurray, Hurrah, Hurrooh!

In one day we have moved from struggling for heat and light to having them available almost on command. What is really cool, is that the system we use now will be superseded in a few weeks as we move forward with the transformation from box to Liberty Home. The heater and the lantern will be boxed and put away so the next Liberty Home creator can use them during his or her pioneering days.

Again, it is a good time to be at Liberty House.

-Keith Howard

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