...notes from Brewer's Pond, a mid-life homesteading experience.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 4 - Demolition Day

Last night I got to talking about what may be behind the wainscoting on the other side of the black mold wall. I was certain that if it was on the kitchen side of the wall, it was probably on the great room side of the wall also.

Bug liked the wainscoting, and was planning on leaving it up, yet decided we should pull it off of that one spot and see. Sure enough, there it was.

With crowbar, hammer, a flat-head screwdriver, and our back bones, we tore it out of the entire great room, and the dining room. We found a couple of soft spots due to the poor roof,  and were very happy we decided to tear it out. Those places will be cut out completely, and fresh materials will be brought in anywhere there is a question to the integrity of the house.

We knew this was going to be the case going in. This place needed help. It was built in the mid-70's in the middle of the Virginia swamp. Moisture control is imperative if a house is going to last. It hadn't been controlled in the last 10 years or so.

We well could have built a new home, certainly, but we both agreed that there were so many houses already out there, building a new one would be wasteful.

We well could have chosen an elegant modern home in a well-to-do neighborhood, but we shivered at the thought of living on a postage stamp sharing a hedge row with The Joneses.

The property was the key. Neither of us wanted to live in a suburban development. Neither of us wanted people living within hose-squirting distance. We like our privacy, peace, and quiet. We also have the same desire to grow our own food, and be as self-sufficient as possible.

Brewer's Pond is the perfect set-up and location. None of us are going out of our way for work or school. So what if it needs a complete overhaul? The foundation is solid, and it has everything else we were looking for.

I feel we will enjoy the place much more knowing how hard we worked to bring it back to life. Having let it waste away would have been an awful shame. We want to live a life of recycling and ecological thoughtfulness, Recycling the dwelling itself just seems like the right thing to do.

  • three broken cane poles in the deep, dead grass behind the barn. One was hooked in the nearest tree.
  • revealed the anchors for the windmill we know used to stand by the barn. The foot-tall anchors were hidden by the deep grass and were an impalement danger.
  • a neat little beach for fishing on the banks of the pond.
  • many feet of chair railings, wainscot panelling, baseboards, and shoe molding.
  • 2 trillion panelling nails

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