Work is progressing on our little cabin in the woods. I often reflect upon the wonder, in the face of modern wisdom about how life is supposed to progress, of having purchased a home on 8 acres debt-free, right out of the proceeds of the sale of our Bellingham home, and even after having roamed the United States in transient-fashion from April to September!
Still, you don’t buy a property at this price without being prepared to do some work on it, lol! The Lord has had it in our hearts, since we lived in Bellingham, to work with our hands, and we are working now!
The home that we bought had been abandoned for about 6 years, after the elderly lady who lived there lost her husband and left the area to live with her daughter. And so, naturally, there’s a bit of straightening-up to do.
There’s a rotten front porch and upper deck. There’s a fallen-in mobile home. There were 100 empty kerosene containers behind the house.
Inside, there was stuff. And more stuff. Stuff on top of the stuff and stuff underneath the stuff. But, happily, not garbage, not water damage, not pet mess…Just garden-variety, old, dusty stuff.
Still, after all that time, and the assortment of rodents that had made their way through it, everything was pretty much dumpster-bound. It filled a 30-yard dumpster to the brim. And we will still have runs to make to the dump with our trailer. And there will still be the mobile home to empty and dismantle at a later date.
One thing we did find, and keep, was the wood-stove! Joe, amazing as he always is, dusted it off and scrubbed it down, and pieced it back together, and got a toasty fire roaring! It is a real blessing as the days turn chilly, and allows us to keep working steadily along even when it’s cold outside. It’s quite cheerful on a rainy day, too!
Day by day, the work goes on. The house is emptied. Contents are sorted into a burn-pile, a metal pile, an appliance pile, and a trash pile. The yard is cleared of brush and trash and raked clean completely around the house. The interior walls are removed. The insulation is removed. All electrical and plumbing lines are removed. The entire house is vacuumed, top to bottom. The rotten porches are removed. The exterior siding is re-nailed, snugged tight, and exterior caulking has begun. The inside of the house is bare, down to the studs, and has been scrubbed, top to bottom, with a mixture of water, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, tea tree oil, peppermint oil and a bristle brush. It is cleared, cleaned, cleansed, minty fresh, filled with the sounds of cheerful labor and songs of praise to God, and so being renewed daily through the work of the Lord!
We’ve got a long ways to go…We need to have the electrician out. We need to hook up the well, and get the water tested. There’s re-insulating, and sealing the floor, and a bathroom, and walls, and moving in, and unpacking, and then plenty more finishing work while we live there…
But, no matter what you might like, you can only take it one day at a time, and the days are good when you’re working together as a family!
The kids, clad in their dust masks and safety glasses and work gloves, pulled the nails and staples out of the walls after the insulation was removed. They scoured the yard with a magnet to find and remove all the metal nails and staples and odds-and-ends that had amassed over the years. They have carried loads of wood and books and magazines and metal to their respective piles. They have sawn up firewood into 14” lengths to burn in the wood stove, and stacked it.
And they have found hibernating salamanders, netted moths, and discovered an impressive variety of bizarre insects and fungi and creepy-crawleys!
They have most certainly worked up big appetites and hard nights’-sleeps!
And while we work, we live, quite contentedly, in our little motel room, one room and one bathroom. 2 beds, 1 air mattress, 1 table, 2 chairs, 1 dresser, 1 coffee-pot, 1 mini-fridge, 1 microwave 🙂 The entire motel has shut down for the season, but the owners kindly allowed us to continue to rent one side of a duplex until we can move in to our house. Life in one room is not as difficult as I might have thought…We have all we need. We eat well, we sleep well, we learn well, we even play well. The kids enjoy blocks, we play movies from our laptop on the flatscreen TV, there’s plenty of room for drawing and coloring, and the 2 armchairs are perfect for watching the sun come up over the fields with a cup of coffee before the kids wake up (hopefully!).
Of course, after life-on-the-road-camping-for-40-days-and-40-nights from Kansas to Bellingham, after a quick two years in our little Bellingham cottage, after life-from-house-to-house-for-one-month-at-a-time from Bellingham to Texas to Alabama to Florida to Maine, maybe life-in-one-room-while-we-remodel-our-house-on-8-acres is just the break we need!