House Updates

May 20, 2017

0520 viewMore progress is being made!

The excavation crew (the “crew” being made up, really, of one very nice man in a big excavator) had to pull the 100-year-old laurel that was growing at the corner of the driveway.  He and our builder said it had to go, and the driveway had to be widened temporarily, otherwise the truck bringing the roof trusses wouldn’t be able to get in.

We were a little sad to see the laurel go, if only because of it’s age and great height.  I’d never seen one as big before, though I’ve seen plenty of laurels in my day.  And something I just absolutely hate, especially when people are building houses and subdivisions, is the unnecessary felling of mature trees.

0520 treeBut.

The crew was adamant that there was no other way.  The truss truck is too heavy to go through the still-soggy pasture, and it couldn’t make the tight corner of the driveway if we left the laurel where it was.  And, if I’m going to be honest here, Jasper and I don’t actually like laurels.  They’re big and messy and so much work to maintain.  So, in the end, it didn’t take much for us to agree to the plan.

Plus, with it gone we now have a much larger and nicer view in the front. Holla!
0520 farm

0520 diggerAs well as all that driveway work, the outline of the house has been staked out, dug out, leveled with gravel and readied for the foundation.  If I could tell you more about what the process was like I would, but we left in the morning after staking the house out, and when we came back the next day it was done!

And now, the next step is … to wait.

We have to get the final bank approval before any construction can start.  The appraisal was done a week and a half ago, and it was supposed to be turned into the bank on the 17th, but of course it wasn’t.  The people of the banking world do not move half so fast as one man on an excavator.

0520 tracks

Walking up the newly scraped and widened driveway to the freshly graveled outline of the house, salvaged pieces of the old shed stacked hither and yon around us, it occurred to me that we’ve been an utter force of destruction around this farm lately.  Burning things down; taking things apart; pulling things out by the roots.

Rather opposite of our end goal.  Connectedness to the place and whatnot.

But I also, honestly, feel good about what we’ve done so far.  It does feel like this place is breathing again.  Like we’ve gotten rid of the old ghosts in the corners. I like to think that maybe we’re not so much destroying things as we are pruning them. It seems counter-intuitive, but it’s so necessary for new growth.


  • jennybakerbee

    May 21, 2017 at 4:43 am

    So is the new house going in exactly where the old one was?

    1. sproutandsprig

      May 21, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      For the most part, yes. There wasn’t really anywhere else we could go, staying close to the septic and away from the trees 😛

  • Brenda

    May 21, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Your notion that you are pruning is just exactly right. The old house was like an ancient, dying branch. It had a good productive time and now it’s time to let in the air and sun for new growth! Sweet.

    1. sproutandsprig

      May 21, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      Thank you so much!

      1. Brenda

        May 22, 2017 at 8:58 pm

        By the way, on the book front–since you enjoy Civil War era novels–you might want to try “The Second Mrs. Hockaday.” It was one of those I-couldn’t-put-it-down reads for me.

  • sproutandsprig

    May 23, 2017 at 3:09 am

    I JUST finished that one yesterday! So, so good!

  • Spring Lake Homestead

    May 23, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    I agree with you and Brenda about the pruning. We haven’t been quite so…destructive (?) around here, but there have been lots of changes since we bought the place. One of the biggest and hardest was the decision to take down the barn (safety issue), and we’ve had to cut down a few big old trees, which really broke my heart. But we’re clearing out the ghosts as you said, and the changes we are making will make us more connected (as you said) to this land and the life we are trying to lead. It’s looking good! BTW…I have heard before that you westcoast states don’t typically have basements/cellars…why is that? Enjoy your changes!

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