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The 'Get-away'

My son, Ryan, taking a break from staining.
My husband sanding one of the beams.

I'm allowing myself to feel less guilty about not writing full time every day. As much as writing is on my mind continuously, I let myself enjoy this incredible journey--the last house--we'll build together. Our Cape house was built thirty years ago and all the hard work was worth it; made me appreciate what it takes to make a home from the foundation up.

I have spent numerous hours deciding on paint colors and stains, fixtures and design for interior and exterior trim hoping to nicely co-ordinate and get that cozy, country feel throughout. Inside, the cottage presents a cabin air with its wood ceiling and trim.

We converse daily with merchants and contractors about products ordered or needed. I handle much of the financial aspects; invoices in a pile of folders occupy our dining room table. Not only have we been purchasing from lumber and window companies, but from Lowe's and Home Depot. I've also been buying and selling on places like virtual yard sale. It was sad to see my husband's BMW motorcycle with sidecar go, but sometimes we have to sacrifice to get something more meaningful.

Every Friday, we, (my son, husband and I) head out for another 5-6 hour drive to a work in progress, our 'Get-away' cottage in Maine. (I call it the 'Writer's Dream'.) We pack the work van or the pick-up truck, depending on the weather, with suitcases and totes crammed with clothing, dry food, bedding and bath towels and accessories. Then my husband stuffs in a large cooler, along with the tools and machinery he'll need.

Early morning my husband rises and leaves for a cup of coffee at a local shop downtown, and then he'll venture to Walmart for bacon, eggs, juice, bread and fruit. We still have no kitchen, refrigerator or stove, but that's okay. I get up and fry the bacon with the George Foreman grill he'd brought back from the swap shop at the transfer station, and the smell of bacon wafts throughout the house.

Since my husband, Bob, is still working full time, a carpenter from Maine framed the house. My husband, however, built all the outside decks. One more to go! (four total) Bob's craftsmanship is beyond amazing and this dream wouldn't be possible without him. Still, I do my share too.

I clean up construction debris, discarding them in piles outdoors then eventually loading everything into a 10 ft. trailer. (Yes, all the contractors leave their wreckage behind.) While heaving in the rubble, I've uncovered a mouse (more than once) nursing her babies, seen crickets and toads. I've never seen so many beautiful Monarch butterflies at once. All sorts of insects have enjoyed dining my skin, especially the black flies in June. Although our neighbors and some contractors have observed a few animals in our field, we ourselves have yet to see a deer, moose or black bear roaming about.

My son and I have been helping my husband with milling, sanding and staining the leftover pine boards that were used for the ceilings. (I'm grateful for my family and friends for the giving of their precious time in joining in the staining of those 500 + boards!) We sweep and sweep endlessly construction shavings and sawdust, and dirt brought in from the outside. I'm covered in dust and stain from head to toe, but I'm relishing every moment of this crossing bringing us closer each week to one another and our dream. We turn on the boombox radio and sing and sway as we maneuver through the tasks. We have fun with this battery operated parrot; we spout everything in creation and laugh when (we hear it back) it talks back. Two or three times a day, I will go up in the loft, open the French doors and step out onto the deck, take a deep breath and stare at the breathtaking view of timeless mountains and the valley below.

I was never a camper, but when the hotels' prices began exploding in summer rates, zapping our money, I quickly learned to sleep on a blow up bed amid white construction dust on floor boards, pee in a bucket, dress and undress without doors and shades. Still, though, there is the privacy of woods. Before the bathroom facilities were installed, our neighbors graciously allowed us their shower. Thank goodness!

I was so glad when we finally had a tub and toilet with water. I couldn't wait to get in the shower after a long, hot work day. I turn on the valve and while letting the water warm up, I notice the flowing stream was a deep orange! Yup, I screeched and opted not to get in. The plumber assured us that the water in the new well had just been stationary too long. It's amazing what we take for granted. This is just one example of some of the obstacles we've experienced along this passage making it all more remarkable.

We have no TV or internet service and I don't miss either. The quiet--the peacefulness and the vastness of beauty is a sanctuary of its own. I truly have a real sense of how the natives felt about their land. I am no longer focusing on how much house to reside in, but how much countryside we are blessed to have and able to admire.

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read about our new home. Please join my mailing list and feel free to comment.

Warm regards,


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Donna Lynch


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