Magically slow progress

At least once a week we are asked:

How is the house building coming along?

Four times already today… and it’s only noon.  This is, of course, a legitimate question to ask of people building a home.  But it starts to feel a bit ridiculous when the answer for months (and months) has been:

Good, good.  Still milling wood. Still waiting for it to dry before building next year.

And truthfully, who knows if it will actually be next year!  Next October is what we’re all working toward right now, but that will require some stars aligning for good milling weather and finding elusive pine logs.

I confess there have been a few times when the children have asked me what my star wish is that I couldn’t help but lean toward an answer that involved a finished permanent home, now.  I don’t…

Even as I’m thinking it, I know that a house “magically” appearing here is not what I really want.  In fact, that’s basically what we DID get when our previous subdivision house was built for us.  Then it did seem like a wish come true.  But now, now I know that that kind of wishing misses the parts that I didn’t even know to wish for.

Like when Josh “needs” to mill wood, and I “need” to keep working on garden bed creating, and the children really, really “need” baths, and it leads to something so foolish and fun and fantastic that I never knew I wanted to experience, or have them experience, until it happens.  Like taking baths IN the garden…

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Then there is our shiny red shoe girl who when she was 2 years old and we were first making our pathway into this land kept asking:

Can we go inside?  I want to go inside, take me inside?

We kept laughing, asking where was the inside to go to?  She’d look around, confused at this idea of being out in the middle of the woods with no “inside” in sight.  But now, even though our yurt now offers an inside, now this little pip knows what it feels like to plant yourself in the earth, free from any need of an “inside” in these moments (but now you see why the need for the bath…).

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I HAVE previously wished a bulldozer and excavator could swoop through here and smooth the clearing into a gardening blank slate.  But again, we all would have missed out on the experience of digging in and forming this landscape ourselves;  complete with a fairy-dress-clad assistant helping grant my garden wish, in its own time and way.

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Until the four swaled beds we’d hoped for are now sheet mulched and (hopefully) already working on composting down into soil for planting into next spring.

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It didn’t happen quickly, but it did happen (barely) before the first snow flew today…  🙂  Phew!

I know the house will be the same, happening when it should happen.  We’re getting there bit by bit.  There was a time when we’d pump our water surrounded by these piles:

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And now we’re surrounded by so many of THESE piles!

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So much has been done, just not necessarily at a pace that most people (including me) have come to expect for house building.  But it does enable some time to REALLY mull things over before they’re set in concrete, like tonight when we were tucked into our little yurt, imagining the permanent yurt that would be five times this size, and Josh said:

What would you think if we built the wooden yurt a bit smaller?

And time for getting to know the wood that will eventually be part of our everyday living…

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For getting to play on boulder mountains/trains before they are eventually moved to their new resting places…

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For playing squirrels among the sideways branches of brush piles…

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For making mud cakes in giant tractor rut puddles…

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For dreaming about what that final wooden yurt will be like…

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So I am not using my star wishes to try to make this go any faster.  What AM I wishing for?  My camera to work again… How to make Aria’s requested fairy wings that really fly… More time for holiday crafting… New ways to answer “how is the house building coming along?” 🙂

5 thoughts on “Magically slow progress

  1. Wow, we were there not long ago and your garden had been barely been started! I love your positive emphasis on this stage of your life. You amaze me. Your proud Mom.

  2. Here Melanie, I’ll answer for your next time someone asks, “Its coming along MAGNIFICENTLY!” Look at all that milled wood! You are so right about an “instant house” skipping so many moments, so many memories and feelings and thoughtfulness. Cheers to you guys!

  3. Dear Melanie,

    My family is presently building a yurt around itself, too. We are living in it, but everything (walls, counters, floors) is either roughed in our missing completely, as we’ve run out of money to buy more lumber. however–we live on a old tree farm. We own a pine tree forest! As you’ve milled your own lumber, I was hoping to get some information/advice/assistance about how to go about milling that wood. Any info you could provide would be so deeply appreciated.

    Thanks so much.

    • Oh, a whole forest of pine! There are several options for milling – perhaps there’s a wood sawyer near you who might be able to do the work in exchange for some of the lumber or some other trade? We bought our mill with another family. It was an investment but one that will be far, far less expensive than buying all of the equivalent lumber. I know there are often older mills for sale as well, so perhaps that might be an option. Good luck!

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