The First Few Days

I remember the first few days we were one hundred percent living on the property. Tenting was our home option, because the roof was not yet finished on our box to be house and tarping was just not enough to control the night temperatures, or the bugs. Tents are designed to hold in warm air and keep out moisture and bugs. Our box to be house wasn’t yet. In the daytime hope was easy to stir up because it was absolutely beautiful on our property.

At night though, the rustling in the brush and right outside the tent was louder because there were no ambient sounds from other homes or people. Those sounds when you are camping for a weekend have a tendency to be less noticeable because you are from the city and your mind is filled with noise expectations that come with living in the city. Your surroundings don’t seep in right away.

Faint sounds of cars, people walking, sirens, planes flying overhead. Music on the wind because there is always someone else up and either making their own sounds or making noise from their music players, televisions etc.

But after a few weeks you tune into the land that is right up in your face.

With no other people to add other noises you suddenly can hear every twitch of an insect, every tiny footstep from a beetle and the slither of a snake or lizard as it wanders by. Living in a tent in the woods after living in a city for so long; at night, can go from soothing after a tiring day to downright frightening. Once you snuggle into your sleeping bag and stop making noise the woods around you begin to move. Deer would come right up to the tent and sniff at us. You can tell those from the sounds they make. It is a dry whistling snort and huffing sound as they talk to one another. I describe them now as if I were relaxed and comfortable with the sounds. Nope, I was stiff with fear not knowing what they might do. Contrary to what most people think, adult deer are not that docile. They have very sharp hooves; they are stronger than most humans and if riled up they can turn on you and kill you easily. If they are afraid of you, they do not always run away. I was brought up as a hunter so although I have had many experiences hunting deer, bird and bear, I had never had them come and check me out after I went to sleep. We were evolving into an accepted part of the woods so naturally the deer and other fauna came to check us out.

I still hunt, but not on my own property I want the animals to feel free to come and go as they please and not be afraid to stay and watch me as I do my own thing. If I had to feed myself and had no other way, I would hunt but I don’t at this time. Because we don’t the animals move in closer and I have had some amazing experiences with many of them. Deer, fox, marmot, quail, turkeys, wildcats, a rare wolf, once in a while a cougar, a few bear and thousands of bats, and insects. I have an bald eagle that has adopted me which is rather marvelous.

Of course, all the while we moved towards getting the shell up around the gazebo. Our box to be house.

In the beginning it was about adapting to our new lifestyle and then building a house that fit into the woods, and was one hundred percent about fitting into both the land and our needs. Yes, there is a lot of eye candy I have poured into the design because I am an artist and I have to go there, but ultimately it has been built to needs not wants. Amazingly enough, our needs weren’t what we thought they were so the house has evolved as we have grown accustomed to living out here. Our budget started out nonexistent and has always been just short of what we need for the basics but we were determined to pull the build off without credit, without loans and without excess. Most of the house is built with pre-used, upcycled and reconditioned materials unless we absolutely had to have something new, even most of the paint is from a second hand store. I am absolutely thrilled with how it is coming along but it is a very slow process because of our building conditions. Unless we saved for the larger needs like electricity, or the other basic needs. No more than 100.00 comes out of my husband’s paycheck each pay-period. This means I have to be uber creative in finding materials that fit into that budget. As I go along, I will start showing you some of the great finds but for now I will leave you hanging. If you are in need of hope, we have a lot of that to share. Hope is how we built our home. Come back for more stories. Feel free to share them as well, one never knows who needs ideas for their own rehoming.

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