Friday, October 7, 2011

Which Path?

We have reached a point in our journey where we must decide which path to take.  While living in our camper is certainly not the worst thing in the world, it is not very efficient.  We are at the mercy of the elements and it requires much energy to stay comfortable when the weather is extreme.  It is time to build a home.
One of our paths is familiar.  We built a home in Wyoming and even brought most of our tools with us.  We have the knowledge and experience to build and outfit a conventional stick framed home fairly quickly.  I’ve even gone so far as to design a floorplan for a small, efficient square cabin.  However, building this way requires fairly large, periodic outlays of cash.  With just one of us working, we just can’t seem to even get started.
Our other path is less familiar, but something I have studied and dreamed about for years.  It is to build a small cob home from materials Thistleglade can provide for us.  With 35 acres of rocks, sand, soil, and trees very little would need to be purchased.  Yet the price is still high as it takes a great deal of labor to build such a home.
Each of these paths draws me.  I have never been a terribly patient person and the idea that the house could be proof against the weather in a few weeks pulls me toward the stick frame home.  But it’s swiftness of construction is really the only thing that appeals to me.  And since it requires money we don’t have, it’s likely to take just as long as the cob home in the long run.  There is so much about the cob home that appeals to me: its gentleness to the land, its low energy requirements, and most of all its potential for artistic expression.
So we stand at the crossroads, knowing we must put our feet on one path or the other soon.  We can only know which one is right by seeking our hearst, rather than listening to our fear.

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