House Building

Where do I start?  So much has happened since we moved here in July!

When Stephen and I walked through the house last month, our hearts sank even as our noses wrinkled with displeasure——that smell was mold!

We went outside and sat on the back porch steps. I looked at Stephen and started to cry. “I’ve ruined us! What are we going to do?” 

And bless my wonderful husband. He said,” Sit on my lap.  It is going to be OK and it is not your fault.”  And then he kissed my forehead and hugged me tightly.

But night was coming. And heavy rains.

We made our way back to Penny’s house in Hillsville. And God bless that wonderful family. Five year old Lacy crawled into Stephen’s lap and he held onto her like a life raft.

Mitone whipped out her Blackberry and started to show us pictures of yurts and log homes.

Penny said, ” You can stay with us until you decide what you are going to do. It’s going to be fine.”

And so we stayed for a week. Each day we went back to the farm. We loved the land—-there really was a peace there under the three big trees.

But oh that house! It even gave Stephen a headache! And me? I had a sore throat and ear ache twice from it!

We bought masks and wore them in the house and tried to begin to put things in order. 

But we arrived at a rainy spell. We would eat meals on the porch in the rain because the mold was so bad.

And through it all, we kept praying. And claiming this  farm as a gift from God and seeing families having fun at Haven Farm.

Then my cousin Dave called from NC.

He would come with his wife  and build a house.  He would come in August with his wife Val.

It felt like the calvary was coming!

Stephen returned to KS for another load of our belongings and I headed to Philadelphia for a storytelling tour.

Two weeks later we met back at the farm in Fancy Gap.

“I have a plan,” I told Stephen. “I brought my brother’s tent. We’ll do like that TV show MASH. Remember? We’ll put in a floor and I’ll put down the Oriental rugs!”

We chose the best and driest site—–under the lean- to attached to the barn.

It was as if God was guiding us as we picked a spot to camp. And although we have had some terrible, heavy thunderstorms, our tent never got even so much as one drop on it under the lean -to!

Meanwhile the house aired out enough that the masks aren’t needed. We can do laundry and cook there. And since we have found most of our things, we even are eating properly again.

I spaded up a fall garden about 32 feet by 10 feet.  Stephen and I built a compost pile. We also took apart a trailer foundation and used the rocks for the driveway. We used the tall grass/hay for mulch in our garden and Stephen roto-tilled the parts I spaded.

And low and behold! It is growing—-mustard, lettuce, spinach, carrots and peas!

While Dave and Stephen spray painted the house dimensions  on the grass—– my friend Nancy at the Primos library  in PA found the house plans and we tweaked them—–I picked peaches and apples and grapes!

Then, before we broke ground, we prayed for wisdom and discernment and safety. That’s Stephen and me in the center of the house to be!

So…. in between rainstorms, I have helped Dave and Stephen and Val pour cement, carry 2x 10’s and put them in as floor joists. I lag bolted the straps to the footers.

Now the men are really doing the hard work—–they have built the interior and exterior stud frames. We are doing the rafters today!

My jobs are easier now—-sweeping the site, putting up the sheathing with the crew, feeding them, carrying water jugs back and forth, passing tools, cleaning boards, and wiping up dew/water.

What I find most impressive is how Dave can hammer one nail and reach for the next one while fiinishing the first! And since he can do plumbing and wiring and everything—-he didn’t need to use anyone’s plans! It is all in his head and in his hands.

And as the weather has cleared in time for us to get ready to frame the house , I am reminded of how God has helped us every step of the way—–including the day we finished unloading the insulation and then the rains came!

We are all in God’s hands.

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