July 30, 2017
We're in she shed, and Charlie is sprawled out asleep like a moat between me and the computer. The temperatures have dropped at night. Cool and comfortable and in the sixties. In the morning we comment about how it feels more like September than...
In seven hours and thirty two minutes, assuming that everyone is one time and there are no hangups or excuses or delays, a very large piece of equipment will roll down my one hundred foot long driveway and dig out the remaining tree trunks and give this place a brief leveling. And I will stake out the four corners of my future house, doing my best to stand in the place the kitchen window will be, to make sure my view splits the distance between the two large trees along the road, framing the old red barn a quarter mile in the distance. And then just a few scoops and swishes and scoops and pours to excavate a rectangle sixteen feet wide by thirty two feet long and seven feet deep. Or, if the mood strikes us, less than seven feet deep.
Although this project has been real since the thought first crossed my mind in late 2014, it's only been as real as pencil sketches on paper and opening and closing windows at the lumber yard and receiving pieces of paper that say they permit me to build something. And even though we've felled so more than a handful of trees and built a shed and moved everything I own (at least twice now), and the Bobcat has moved dirt and pushed trunks...it still hasn't felt real. (And all the brouhaha with my permits over the last three weeks drives home the frailty of ideas before they become actual things.)
But tomorrow it starts. We see just how low, or high, the water table is. I can see the history and geology of this place written on the walls we'll cut into the soil. I can run my fingers over the layers built up here, against which I will build my foundation.
(Owl Sounds!! Who? An Owl!!!)
After the soil is moved and we have a rectangle in the ground that could, I suppose, should I choose at the last minute, become a swimming pool instead of a house. The concrete guy will come and pour footings. And then the inspector will come inspect them.
I guess you have to have solid footings before you can have a solid foundation. I suspect that works for the rest of life, not just housebuilding. And I also suspect having an inspector come check my footings on a regular basis isn't a bad idea either.
I wish I had a sweater, it's just chilly enough here in my short sleeve shirt. Soon I'll close this note to you, run outside to pee one last time, slide the garage door down to almost-closed and then snuggle myself into this sleeping bag for warmth.
Tomorrow is always a new day. But tomorrow will be a new kind of new day.