Sat, 01/25/2020 - 4:15pm

About this blog:

  • HOME SWEET HOME was embroidered on a framed sampler the living room at my grandpa and grandma’s farmhouse up on the mountain where we lived long ago and far from here.

    Those were the first words of wisdom I learned to read, write and understand. Looking back today, I realize how this inspiring motto guided me throughout my life’s work of building my own home . . . sweet and truly mine. That plus my collection of bumper sticker wisdom.

    I grew up, left home and explored various careers until I became qualified to teach Industrial Arts at my hometown high school. My plan to have my own home was in motion. I bought a modest little fixer upper at the edge of town. My intention was to fix it up, add an addition, live there awhile to make sure everything worked, sell it and finally start building my own home. I figured I could get most everything done during summer vacation. I was young and optimistic.

    I learned a great deal from that first building project. So much that I’ll have to tell you more.


 I Had A Dream

It was a wonderful dream of a Fantasy Home. Most of my dreams are of homes. But this one was different. It was about how that home would come to be. I felt immune from the troubles that turn many such dreams to nightmares. 

There was no money in the dream. No need for it. I awakened in a large field of green grass on a warm, sunny summer morning. All around me were tools & piles of building materials, everything I would need to build a home. A fluffy white rabbit was doing an inventory, assisted by a little brown mouse. I knew them from somewhere.
I was eager to start work right away but suddenly I was struck by a fear. I don’t have a permit! Then . . . a feeling of peace washed over me. I don’t need no stinking permit! This is a dream. 
First things first. I began to dig a hole for the outhouse of my dreams. It got deep fast. Digging is easy in a dream. While I was down there another fear arose. I hadn’t submitted an application for a Sewage Disposal and Septic System Evaluation and Design with the Health Inspection Program, Licensed Plumbing Inspectors, or Code Enforcers!  Ahhh . . . then I calmed down. This is Heaven. None of those people are here.
I climbed out of the hole before it got too deep. The outhouse went up fast. It was a beautiful work of art and I knew I would feel safe and happy doing my business in there. I stood back to admire my work. Rabbit and Mouse were appreciating it too. Suddenly all around the outhouse plants shot up and blossomed. Sweet Peas! 
Next . . . the building of the Dream Home. What shape should it be to fill with things to love? Some things large, some things small; something old, something new, something borrowed, something glued. 
Time passes erratically in dreams. The work went fast. By mid-afternoon it was nearly done. I was taking inspiration from the natural world as I designed and built with spontaneous construction methods and creative carpentry. Though only a dream, I wanted to be compliant with nature. I was enchanted by some mushrooms growing in the weed so the home grew into a giant mushroom-like shape. It was adorable.
Visitors came by to share the dream. All offered to help. Graciously - I hope - I turned down their assistance but encouraged these enlightened people to use their photographic memories and go build their own Mushroom Cottages when they awoke.
Dreams must end. Late afternoon I, Rabbit, and Mouse were about to occupy our new home when we heard a rumble of thunder from the East. Across the field a great fog and a cloud of dust and noise moved toward us. As it closed the distance we could see an army marching in that cloud. At its head was a queen giving orders to her many minions who turned out to be licensed contractors wearing tool belts and carrying hammers. Behind them I could hear the rumbling of heavy machines. 
We stood our ground. The army stopped, a bit too close for comfort but . . . whatcha gonna do? The head of the army spoke soothing words to us. It went like this: "We are from the government. We are here to help you. This building is Hippy Crap. We will assimilate you and your violation-loaded structure into civilized society. Resistance is futile. We will help you tear down . . .”
This was discouraging. The dream was turning into a nightmare. I decided to wake up. As the dream faded away my last vision was of Rabbit and Mouse standing in the doorway of our vanishing dream. Mouse was saying, “Feed your head . . . and come back someday.”
I try to learn at least one useful fact from each of my dreams. In this one I learned that everyone has a photographic memory. However not many have any film.