Settling In

Clearing the area to build
My son watching from a high vantage point

Sleeping in the tent turned out to be a lot of fun. I had my cot with my cushion on top which helped me get great sleep. I was able to fall asleep with the sound of an owl hooting. He wasn’t there every night but it was great falling asleep to when he was.

One of my favorite things that I hadn’t expected was the conversations with our children as we were laying in our cots. We had some great discussions and laughs. It was priceless family time. No distractions, from TV, etc.

Getting cleaned up before bed was a bit special. We bought a Costco box of wipes. Because it was summer everything was dusty. Every step would send up a plume of dust, so when we went to clean ourselves up at night we ended up with a lot of black wipes.

Taking showers was quite the process as well. We would heat some water on our propane stove and pour it into a large bucket. When the temperature was right than we would use a bowl and pour the warm water over our heads and shower that way. Much more time consuming and labor intensive than turning a knob. As a result we found ourselves stopping by my parents house whenever we were in town and taking showers there.

Laundry was never my favorite chore but having to load six peoples laundry into the car, head to my moms and spend all day getting it done easily turned it into my most dreaded task. After doing laundry at my moms a few times I found a laundry mat and would do it there. That way I was finished after only a couple of hours. But it was still a hassle to transport and expensive.

Building started! Well it wasn’t really building, it was getting the ground ready for building, but it was still exciting. We spent hours watching the process. It was so intriguing to watch the men use their excavating machines with exactness. It was like an extension to their own hands.

The First Week

If you are asking yourself why I didn’t blog about this adventure while it was happening, I’ll explain. We had no electricity except our generator which we used to power the pump to our well. It could have charged my laptop and other technical toys but was rather inconvenient. We moved in July but didn’t officially have electricity until December 26th. My plan had been to keep up with my blogging and writing during this whole adventure but found it to be much more difficult than I had previously anticipated.

It was really exciting to finally move to our property that we had been working on for months. Our first day in the tent was July 6th. We also picked up our new puppy, Gypsy, that day as well.

Each person had their own hammock, so we spent time picking the perfect spot to hang them and enjoyed the summer days laying in them and looking up at the trees. However by the second day it was obvious my kids were suffering from slight withdrawals of our technological world. The four youngest ages are; 17, 15, 12, 8. They were all bored out of their minds. We had no TV, no internet, no gaming devices and lousy cell coverage. All things that my kids had grown up depending on. As a good parent I had limited their use of these items over the years but the sudden complete lack of them was a bit of a shock.

So I headed to the book store and bought eight books. To my complete astonishment they started reading. Well not my youngest. He was reveling in the outdoors. He spent his time catching bugs and making a terrarium, playing with the dogs, and roaming the property imagining.

I spent my time trying to set up house in the woods. We called the area where we slept Tent City. We had one large tent for clothes and one for sleeping. We also had two canopies. One with all of our camp chairs and one covering two tables, our camp stove and some shelves.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention. Our builder was supposed to have an outhouse (Honey Bucket, Porta Potty, whatever you call them. They go by many names) for us by the time we moved up there. We got up there on a Friday and there was no outhouse. We called our builder and he said they only deliver on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So we had to wait until Tuesday before we had a something other than a hole in the ground. It sure made us appreciate it when it arrived.

That first week, I was very ambitious. I woke up early to take the puppy on a walk. Afterwards I came back and made blueberry, chocolate chip pancakes. There wasn’t much to clean so most of my time that first week was making sure things were organized. All and all, it was an exciting and enjoyable time.

A Summer Adventure

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Something about the word Adventure has an exciting ring to it. It sparks a fire of anticipation. Yet just like in the stories, adventures seldom turn out the way the participants expect. Such, has been my summer.

Originally, I would have to say my own adventure started in the spring of 2017 when we decided to sell our house so we could buy some property and build our own home. But that is not the part I’m going to write about. This journey began as we started the process of moving from my parents’ home this last June. Our destination . . . the property that our house was going to be built on. Amenities at the time: a well with a generator to run the pump, an outhouse, and tents.

As I was preparing for our move in June, I spent countless hours thinking about how we would live out of tents. There are six of us. My four youngest and my husband, Todd and me. I love camping but usually don’t sleep well, which was not going to work long term. So, after much thought I decided we would all sleep on cots in a tent we bought from Costco. As big as the tent was I knew it wouldn’t fit much more than our cots. So, what was I going to do about all of the clothes and other minimal things needed to live. This took a lot more imagination and thinking.

Finally, I came up with a plan to use another large tent filled with plastic containers for each of my kids’ clothes.  Along with an item found at Walmart that would allow me to hang some suits and dresses. Also, a couple of shoe racks and a shelf to hold plastic containers for each child to put bathroom things in. Filling very excited about my idea I started spending hundreds of dollars on containers. Even the cheapest containers add up when buying them in large quantities.

Armed with great plans and excitement, we started packing and making the many trips to move things to the property. It took me all of the month of June to tackle such an undertaking but finally we were ready to move ourselves to the mountain.