Our Story

Picture of the Sherman Family

Dan, Allison, Haley and Zoe

Hi. Thanks for taking an interest in our journey from grid to no grid.

We are the Sherman family. Our merry gang started in Oregon where Allison and I got married in 1997.

In July of 2011, we decided to make a drastic change in our lives and we moved from Oregon to Arizona. The reasons were many, but top on the list was Rain = Oregon and Sun and No Rain = Arizona. Do the math. 🙂

I knew a few people here in Arizona, but we chose to settle in Gilbert and the people we knew live an hour away. So, for all intents and purposes, we jumped into the deep end of the pool without knowing how to swim, intentionally.

Second looks… sour faces… people saying, “WHAT??”… “Are you crazy?”… “Do you know it’s hot there?”…etc. Those were the reactions we got when we announced we’d be moving to Arizona. We had an extensive network of great friends and family there and our neighborhood was probably one of the most community oriented, neatest, close knit neighborhoods in America. An amazing place to live if you have to live in Oregon.

But we moved anyway.

I can site a lot of reasons on paper. Oregon was too cold, too rainy, too liberal, too moldy, too congested, bad roads, and too money hungry for my income. All great reasons to move. But one of the biggest reasons was more subtle and non-quantitative. Life is meant to be experienced, not merely lived. I’m a firm believer in the idea that you need to insert life altering events into your life in order to experience life changing experiences. That sounds kind of obvious, when you think about it. But most people only experience life-altering events when it’s forced upon them. To be sure, those are going to happen and even when they are sad, they make us grow. But for whatever reason, most people abhor and avoid, sometimes at any cost, anything that changes even the location of the objects in their little box called life. The status quo is what most of our society strives for. I can’t live that way, and won’t.

Now, I’m not saying I need to go out on a limb and jeopardize the safety of myself or my family. I don’t need to swim with the sharks or run with the bulls.

But whatever you CAN do to turn over your box, think about actually doing it. Your world gets more colorful and full in the process.

For sure, we’ve missed people in Oregon. But we’ve never looked back on our decision. It’s actually brought us closer together as a family (we were already very close), because initially, we didn’t know anyone so we had to rely more on each other. And we love living in Arizona. The desert life fits us nicely. And the beauty here is astonishingly under rated. I’ve been to almost every state and the scenery here is some of the most varied and beautiful I’ve ever seen.

So that brings us to July of 2012. In May, we purchased 40 acres of raw land up in the boonies of Arizona. No power, no water… nothing. Only a semi passable road maintained by the realty company selling the land. We really just wanted it as a kind of a getaway place. Go there and hike and enjoy the outdoors. But on a journey there this last July, the notion of actually moving there came up. The more we discussed it, the more it sounded like a cool adventure to embark upon.

WE INTERRUPT THIS PAGE TO BRING YOU AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT. After much thought and prayer, we’ve decided to NOT move to the property for a year. However, we are embarking on building a few tiny cabins on the property… so continue to follow our journey. It’s just a different journey. I write more about this decision, here.

Welcome to gridrid. We’d love for you to share in our journey. Should be interesting.

8 thoughts on “Our Story

  1. Very nice preamble. I agree… Make it happen. This is a quote from a guy who one day, after realizing that he was merely existing and NOT living, decided to get on his motorcycle and simply ride. “Our lives can be spent carrying out actions that we hope will lead us to a greater sense of purpose, accomplishment and meaning, but all these are secondary to the need to feel alive.” Antihero ADV Rider

  2. Awesome!! You articulated my sentiment perfectly and I have decided to travel down the same road. I am moving out of my place at the end of the month and will be exploring the country in a van for several months. Eventually I want to find a small plot of land and build a tiny home on wheels. Looking forward to your adventure. Bob in Colorado

  3. Awesome. I love this idea. I want to know everything about what you’ve been up to. I’m actually looking to build a house from a Conex box but would like to know (from a current point of view) about how your transition to off-grid housing has been. Also how easily a low income earner would be able to replicate this sort of housing. Hit me up if you have a second: http://www.johndangerstorey.com or check out my latest projects at http://www.johndangerstorey.com

    • Thanks for commenting, John. I hope you’ll follow our journey. Although, it has changed slightly in that we’re not moving to the property any more. We’re still going to build a small cabin (or two) though.

      Anything is possible, on any budget. The variables will be different, though.

  4. What do you mean? What’s the new story? Gonna buy and RV now? Do you still have the land? Have you ever considered doing a Conex box?

  5. If you noticed the last paragraph above. We mention this.

    Nothing is changing other than we’re not moving there for a year. Still building an off the grid cabin…etc.

    Although I’m sure a CONEX box would work for many people’s situation, it’s not for us. I am in love with the aesthetics of the land. Putting a CONEX box on it would get in the way of my enjoying our stays there since I would have to actually look at it. I know they can be made to look nice, but it’s still a large metal box. And I want the romanticism and aesthetics of a rustic cabin.

    Different strokes for different folks. 🙂

  6. Hi Dan, Allison, Haley and Zoe!

    We just came across your tiny house website and it’s fantastic!

    We’re making a feature length documentary about the tiny house movement called Small is Beautiful – A Tiny House Film. http://thetinyhousefilm.com

    As part of the film we’re accepting photo submissions of people and their tiny houses (built or in progress) and we would love to include you! Our aim is to have as many tiny houses in the film as possible to celebrate and promote the tiny house movement.

    It’s completely free and, of course, up to you if you want to be a part of it. Here’s where you can find the details: http://thetinyhousefilm.com/include-me

    We’d love to have you on board!

    Cheers,
    Jeremy & Kelly


    Kelly Nardo
    Production Manager

    Jeremy Beasley
    Director

    website: thetinyhousefilm.com
    twitter: tinyhousefilm
    join team tiny: team tiny

  7. Like I said, good luck. You may be doing something right if the most dangerous thing in your world is a liberal. Either that or you live in a bubble. Yep, good luck with that.

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