Saturday, September 23, 2006

this old house

30 years ago we started building our house. The house plans had been picked out way before my time and were shown to me while we were dating - "This is the house I want to build …"

The dirt was moved and shaped, the foundation was laid, time to start the building of The House.

The blueprints were starting to fade just a little, from the few years of gazing at them and imagining the house, and from figuring the materials list.

We went to the local lumbar yard and met with the owner, Mr. Brock. Buddy gave him our initial order of materials for the house, and they discussed the special order long beams for the A-frame, and 2 inch tongue-and-groove pine for the ceiling/roof.

Buddy, his dad, my dad, and one hired helper - William, made up the entire crew, but most of the time it was just Buddy doing the work. We did almost all of it ourselves, only hiring out the stonework.

It was a treat to watch the stonemason at work. He would look over the pile of Tennessee field stone dumped in the yard for just the right stones to fit together for the chimney. The 30' high chimney in the living room is indeed a work of art, and will no doubt still be standing here when the rest of the house has long gone back to nature.

It took a year from start to finish, Buddy working full time on the house. We started in August 1976 and the carpet was laid in July 1977 - finished at last! We cheated and actually moved in January 1977 ( as soon as there was heat - with the only rooms finished being the kitchen, bath, and bedroom.) A year later we added the only addition to the house - a nursery!

We have replaced all the major appliances at least once over the years, replaced the furnace, carpet, and deck, and are dreading the replacement of the roof coming up soon. The shingles had a 30 year warranty, so they did their job. Buddy says he wants to wait as long as possible, so if he times it just right, he won't have to do it again - ever.

Some folks move around a lot in their lifetimes, but Buddy says this is The House, the only house, and we will be here forever. Well, unless maybe someone offers us a lot of money…

May the roof above us never fall in
And may we good companions beneath it never fall out.

~Irish Blessing

A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life: he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The fellow that owns his own home is always just coming out of a hardware store.
~Frank McKinney Hubbard


Motherkitty said...

Susan, this is a stunning house and a testament to the great work Buddy does. I'm sure you both love living in this house and appreciate it more each day.

Who needs Little House on the Prairie -- you have your Little A-Frame in the Woods. Maybe you should write a book about the adventures of living in the big woods down south.

jellyhead said...

I'd be proud, too, of such a fine house - no wonder Buddy doesn't want to move!

Linda_J said...

what a journey you all went on together. Love your house in the woods!

Tammy said...

the hardware store bit is for true...very beautiful house!

Thy said...

that is a beautiful house.


John Cowart said...

Must be nice to live in a permanent resort spot. Lovely. And you two did it yourselves!

"Grandi" said...

It is really beautiful and in a beautiful setting! It is so special to be able to build "The House" yourself!