When we built the replacement house for our home that burned that is documented in this blog, we expected to be our forever home. Yet, here we are. Living in temporary quarters building, as we did last time, a tiny house in the house, so we can move into that while we build the rest of our new house. It feels familiar but different.
People have asked us why, after losing one house to wildfire and then working so hard to build a replacement house, we would sell it. The simple answer is we misjudged the amount of maintenance our three acres and tall wood house would require. The complicated answer is that we did not misjudge the house, we misjudged our life.
We are blessed with family from toddlers to super seniors and somewhere in the middle is a life we love that is populated by the house, deer, bear, trees, gardens, photography, writing, and people. Balancing all of that with our advancing age became overwhelming.
We are not ready to move to town to assisted living. We have 10, maybe 15 years that we can conceivably still shovel the snow. So, we are building again. This time we are aiming for a low-maintenance, green house that is as close to Net 0, or Passive House, as we can get. That, and space for a dining table to seat 14 people and maybe a few more.
We love our neighborhood, 405 acres and even with several newly built houses, still an animal and native plant sanctuary. We did not want to leave. We were lucky enough to be able to purchase 20 acres at the end of the road, 300 feet up in elevation and a half mile past our old house.
Gazing at budgets and building materials we are shocked at how muddy our minds were in the haze of the post-fire recovery days. Nonetheless, we did a good job. We build a good house that held many memories and yielded food from the garden to feed us most summers and sometimes well into the winter. We will build another good house.
We are recycling all the features we loved from the old house. We can wake up and go to sleep facing the same way. The mid-night path to the potty is exactly the same and the bathroom doors open in the same direction. The kitchen is exactly the same except an extra two inches in the corner to prevent the dishwasher from banging into the cabinet drawer.
Our huge garden and four-generation deer family stayed at the old house. There is group of deer new to us that live on the new property–along with mountain lion, a part-time wolf, and bear.
The garden is already started at the new house. Friends helped us put in the deer fence and we rooted transplant perennials from the old house. Our stuff is spread across multiple warehouses and we are restless in our temporary quarters. It is the same, but different. Although we have no house, we have stuff and the perennials are awaiting our arrival.