Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chasing the Dream . . . again.

As many of you know, Vern and I came up here to get a little bit of land and build a home for our family.  A place where we could have a garden, some chickens, and a meadow and a little forest where the children could run free.  Where we could have a dog or two, some cats, and watch birds at the feeder; grow berries and irises and children side by side.  Our first attempt was a grand one: twenty acres near the top of the east side of Gold Mountain, bordering on forestry land uphill, and with a clear view of Hope and several islands out the huge wall of windows.  The house, once we completed it, was gorgeous.  The view, even more so. (I still miss that view.)  But it was far, far too expensive for us to keep, and far, far to distant from our ward building (twenty minutes in good weather, and up to forty-five in bad).  We learned volumes about construction, building costs, priorities, and location, location, location.  We were supremely blessed to be able to sell that house (to an oil executive, no less), and after just over five years of stumbling around from house to house (four moves in all), we're back to square one.

At the end of December 2009, we purchased nearly twelve acres in a little mountain valley.  We love our little patch, and hope that we can entice good neighbors to come live on either side of us (we're the first ones to buy along that stretch of road).  Here are a few views of our place:




Meadow? Check.  Forest?  Check.



Pretty sunsets? Check.

Since December before last, we've made some progress on the place.  We've got the driveway in (500' of it), the well in (that went smoothly, thank goodness, with a good well sealed by more than 200' total of layers of clay and granite), and a carriage house dried in (mostly).  Here's the carriage house after most of the framing was done:



 Here's what I saw upon approach my first time out there after the framing guys had been hard at work for a couple of days.  (Don't you love how crazy fast framing is?)


And a gratuitous close up, because I was so excited to see it taking shape.  Well, except for the hipped gables.  We had a little talk with the framing guys about that, and it's all straightened out now (thank goodness).  Vern had tried to explain gable returns, and apparently something was lost in the translation.


So, ignoring the hip roof atop the gable end, it looked pretty great.  My mom and the kids came out with me, and we all oooh'd and ahhhh'd over it, and smelled the fresh lumber-y smell of new framing and sheathing.  After a few weeks, this is what it looked like:


(Cue the Monte Python French Soldier accent) Verrry nice, no?



The windows in the shed dormer are in the kitchen.  The west gable (which reads left in this photo) will be divided into two very small bedrooms for children, and the east gable will be living area.  Opposite the kitchen are the stairs and tiny full bath.  The west window downstairs is in the garage proper, and the east window (on the right) is in the workshop, one corner of which will be walled off for Vern's office (7'x8'--a closet, really, but it will do the job).

And, with that VERY basic update, HJ is awake and hollering, so I had better get going.