Hello! Thank you all for the kind words of support after my grandmother’s passing. I was able to spend the weekend with my extended family on the East coast to celebrate her life, and especially to remember her legacy of four children and over 30 grand and great-grandchildren!
Upon our return we hit the ground running with the myriad building details for the “Summer Shanty” (or as a friend suggested, the Summer Cottage – sounds so New England!). The Shanty will be a 20 x 20 foot uninsulated wooden structure. Half the structure will be enclosed and screened for a sleeping and living space. The other half will remain open-sided and will function as an outdoor kitchen, storage and living space. (And when I say outdoor kitchen, I mean a very different thing than what the Sunset or Martha Stewart books mean when they talk about an Outdoor Kitchen! Imagine a wood-fired cookstove, rather than stainless steel!)
We had already spent some time removing trees, brush, and poison ivy from the Shanty site, and with a little help from a generous neighbor with a tractor, we were able to break ground! Nine post holes will contain 5 x 5 inch white oak posts, milled by the local Amish mill. And these posts will hold up the structure, or at least that’s how I understand it! To say that I am not the builder in our family would be an understatement!
The woodpile grows! Ev and I are sitting on the white oak posts, Ella is resting on the red oak beams and floor joists. Next step is to put these posts into the ground!
Photos don’t quite do the Shanty site justice, but it’s to the left of where I am standing in the photo above. The living space will extend into the forest a bit, and the outdoor kitchen space will nestle into the northern treeline.
While letting my mind wander yesterday, I was suddenly struck with a feeling of pure joy. Here we are, doing what we’ve dreamed about for so many years: building our own home (shanty) on our own land. We have so far to go, but it feels so exciting to be working hard to make this dream a reality.