Saying Goodbye to the Hab

Well, it looks like we’re finally getting out of the Airstream, our habitation extending much longer than anticipated. Tonight is our last night. Like the passengers on Gilligan’s Island, this is the tale of how our 3 hour tour turned into a 7 month long sitcom.

When we moved in on April 26, the plan was Airstreaming until the kids got out of school while finishing the garage apartment to move into.  One month into homeless, rainy, cold camping at the Woodchip Campground, it became clear we weren’t going to be able to finish the apartment in the way we wanted, while building the main house.

Enter plan #2: Keep Airstreaming with family for the summer, and find a place to rent for 8 months when school starts. No problem, right? After a month of calling, apartment visiting, and coming up short, we returned from our August month in Maine to our driveway, now cleared of Durisol, for the kids to start school.  Still no place to live. So we set up camp in the driveway, complete with hacking into the sewer and electric.

Enter plan #3: Keep Airstreaming in the driveway, hope the city doesn’t kick us off our property, and find a place to rent. I spent every weekend in September looking for a short term rental. I put out two Craig’s List ads. I called every home-seller in our area with homes on the market longer than 4 weeks, hoping they’d consider renting. No luck. I was sitting with $10K to (grudgingly) spend on renting a place to live, and couldn’t find anyone willing. It was nuts.

Enter plan #4: Boone. Meeting Boone

Turns out, one of my partner’s parents go to Florida every winter and leave their beloved golden retriever, Boone,  with a local family to watch. This year, that family was unable to watch Boone.  So Boone had a home, but no family.  And we are a family without a home.  Perfect match.  All we had to do was stay afloat until December 8.

And we’re almost there. I’m not going to say the time flew by. It didn’t. It’s been a very long 7 1/2 months living with 5 people in 200 square feet, while still working full time professional jobs.   7 1/2 months without real internet, freely running water, normal plumbing, or kitchen appliances.  7 1/2 months of going to bed and waking up with the kids, while mountains of emails and work usually done after the kids went to bed piled up.

Cooking has been challenging, baking nearly impossible. Not being able to simply order take-out or buy bread and baked goods at the grocery due to food allergies has made this a particularly crazy challenge. Ryan made lasagna in the Airstream once, and it took nearly 6 hours. We’ve had too many smoked meats and far too few vegetables. I shudder to think what my cholesterol and LFT’s are right now.

On the upside, it was mayoral election year, so the mayor took a break from hassling us. Other than some random person complaining about our Porta-Potty, the city seems to have taken a blind eye to our squatting on our land. The weather has been ridiculously warm this fall. Just one little dusting of snow, and now it’s 60 the first week of December.

I think we’re going to make it.  Let’s just hope those 18 months of allergy shots will help us with Boone.

Hab Memories

Hab Memories

Life in the construction zone is coming to a close. 32 weeks have gone by reasonably quickly.  Like Mark Watney stuck on Mars, this has been a test of adaptability. I think we can safely say, the kids are going to remember this year forever. We spent time at the fancy laundromat, the one with big… READ MORE

Gutters

Gutters

Gutters are one of those things you don’t notice if they’re done properly. If people ask about your gutters, you did something wrong. I still think they’re pretty though, even if no one notices. Pries Supply did our gutters. We went with 1/2 round painted aluminum. They have this cool tool that presses rolls of sheet metal… READ MORE

Custom Chimney

Custom Chimney

What to do with the chimney?After putting the pipe up, it became abundantly clear that the pipe needed some clothes on. It just looked stupid. And with the flange on…it also looked anatomically correct.  The stucco train had already left, calling them back to do the chimney would’ve been $6k. Ouch. So the guys invented a little metal box… READ MORE

Unstoppable Legos

Unstoppable Legos

Legos are like oxygen to Jack.  You just can’t keep that boy from his Legos. On both of our road trips the past two summers, we resorted to paying him $1 for every day he didn’t talk about “the L word.”  Turns out, he can talk about things other than Legos, but it just takes… READ MORE

First Meal

First Meal

The butcher called to let us know they had some aged prime porterhouse ready, and thought we’d be interested.  Do they know us well, or what? Perfect for our first meal in the house.  I suppose to anyone else, our ambiance would be appalling. But we have heat, a dining room table and a piano.  It’s… READ MORE