Monday, March 30, 2015


Well, partly it is my fault. I sold the concept of a new building as a rescue point for the books we love. We have, after all, an old, bear battered, rainsoaked cabin on the land already. My sweetie built it with his own hands and hand tools, and the help of random shaggy anarchists invited to come camp out and pound nails and talk about the way the world should be.
I still recall Molly and her baby, who was the age of my baby, my middle kid, my daughter. How we bonded over nursing and sawing. And how I never heard from her again, once she was back to real life.

So, anyway, there are memories in every inch of the old cabin.

And my dear says 'but you said library" and I say, yes, of course, and we figure out how many books will fit in my plan without even bookshelves in the middle of the room (around 6000 books) and he is somewhat mollified. We talk bed nooks, bed placement. Where the doors should be. A courtyard between the buildings, perhaps.

He is talking of a high room where I might write and I think...well, I could have a loft in the plan, maybe, but then I realize he thinks I will be in the upper room of the original cabin. Which is a pretty room, plastic windows and dry rot and leaking roof and all. One year I glued mirror pieces around the window frames, and tarot cards on the door to nowhere.

Yeah, there's a door to nowhere from the second story. We kind of meant to have a porch, but...well, the decades went on.

It is going to be a long conversation.

Meanwhile there's a dead tree to be felled, and a store customer, Dave, who understands trees. Talking with him I am finally talking with someone who understands how grave it is to cut an old tree, who understands that I want to tred lightly. We have a worker willing to walk gently through the next steps. That's good.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

other wish list thoughts

Sometimes I turn pragmatic. Heaven knows I will need that. And then I think:

Storage! In such a small building, we will need storage (or, we can put everything into the leaky roofed bear destroyed original cabin, for the mice...but no).

And then I go back to dreaming of velvet chairs and window seats and castles.

the wish list

In thinking of the house, I found I had many desires. Pinterest is all too enticing: we could have chickens! We will have fountains and marble statues!

Yeah, right. But poring over Pattern Language and thinking about what worked in the old cabin and what decidedly did not work, some thoughts keep coming up.

The house should face south, and there should be some sunlight. (this is difficult, the site is well wooded and I love trees).

The size needs to be small for economic and practical reasons, but not so small it is oppressive. People in the new house will be 3: a man fond of clutter and more fond of books; a young man who will need oxygen and other medical equipment and room for his toys and books; a woman who longs for a little space of her own away from the general rush of things (and who also has many, many, too many precious objects and books).

We settled on maybe 30 feet by, oh, 24? Thinking out size in terms of what sizes lumber comes in naturally might change that, but that is the basis.

Wish list includes such fantasies as an attached solarium with bath tub amongst the plants (again, remember, deep shaded woods. Somehow in my mind sunlight will magically break through).

Books. One of the primary items (remember, we are booksellers and if our store must close there are still shelves of orphaned and beloved books we will want to keep). The main area of this little house will in fact be a library. Shelves along the walls. Books everywhere. Comfortable chairs.

And light. There will be light from all sides (and in such a small space will this be hard?)

The roof will not leak!

Bed nooks. I like the idea of bednooks, which close up and sort of disappear during the day, but which provide cozy retreat. My nook and that of my son need to be very close to each other, because I must watch over him in the night and make certain the machines are running.

Machines bring up the need for electricity, which I am told will be far, far more expensive than I imagine (it will involve a generator, batteries, etc). I think of solar (but note: deep woods)

We need to have some sort of kitchen, though I have thought of using the original house as the cooking and pantry area; the new building will be quite close to it.

Compost toilet.

(and that will need to be close to my son's bed area, for his comfort, but not so to speak in our faces).

A porch. The approach to the building, from the road, will come to the front entrance, which will be on the north side of the house. I want a porch entrance, inviting, with plants. (always with plants!!)

Bay windows? A loft? I ponder and look at pictures and go off in fantasy. Reality is quite another thing.

The past comes in

One unexpected factor is how the past wells up. It was, after all, here that two of my three children were born (and conceived, for that matter). As we look at the land and try to figure out where our place really is, the shreds of our past life tug at us. Nostalgia is around every turn. And yet, everything has changed.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Finding the right place

The first step seems to be finding the right place. It has to be fairly level, pretty near our dirt road so that my son can manage to walk from the road to the house and back again. I want some sunlight, which on my forested land will be a challenge, especially since I love trees and don't want to carelessly cut them down.

I thought for a moment I'd found a good spot.

And then the calypso orchids, rare and delicate, showed up.

Well, maybe a bit further away.

The return and the start

It's not new. My children were raised in the woods, and for well over 20 years we all lived among the trees and the wild things. But life changes, and we ended up in town. And now life changes once more; with our town place, and our business, in a very fragile place due to sale of the property we rent, I have turned once again to the land, seeking to build a place that will be a safe and good home for my youngest son, who has many health issues, for myself, for my partner, and for our assorted companion critters.

We don't have much cash. But we have vision. This blog is a place for me to work out the step by step happenings as we move...forward? backward? into the woods.