Myra and I have planned out having our own house about fifty different times and in as many ways. Each time it just hasn't worked out... this time though... this time. The photo shows our final final floor plan (not a typo, I meant to have two finals in there).
Through this whole ordeal, God has been amazing about providing us with places to live, helping us with building materials, placing friends in our lives that know about building and continue to encourage us... God has just been amazing in this. Like any good teacher, when He gives us a test, He wants us to pass... here's hoping we did our studying correctly this time.
This floor plan is smaller than our first one through First Day and measure out at a little over 1000 square feet. We will be paying for it out of pocket (better luck next time Wells Fargo) and it will be cozy and easy to heat. We are building with the thought in mind that if we end up needing more room later... additions to the family, Gram coming to live with us, etc. that we'll add on then... again out of pocket. We are also building with the thought in mind of adding on a garage with our dream wood gasification boiler installed... Oh Greenwood, thou heatest my house like a warm summer's day... but again, we're building out of pocket and that will need to wait until another time.
We'll try to keep people posted as to what is going on with materials, foundation, etc. This is definitely a place where you can pray for the Harris family.
A wood boiler. It heats the glycol in the house. We save money by burning wood harvested from a slough nearby, Kallie Slough. When this wood boiler burns down to ashes, the oil boiler kicks on. Jay, who is known to disappear for 1/2 hour randomly throughout the day, keeps the wood boiler going as much as he can. When Jay isn't in the house, you can assume he is in the garage, splitting wood, loading wood, or monitoring the wood!
Some wise person some place in some time once said, it is the simple things in life that make it great. God has been doing so many things to really drive this lesson home to me and help me truly appreciate the simple things in life. What is it that can be so amazing about a bathroom faucet or a door knob? How about the handles on the inside of a car door? Ever try to live without those things?
In the case of the Galena Harris family, we no longer take those things for granted. Earlier this year, we broke the handles on the inside of our Bronco II. This was not a problem when it was warm out as we would just hit the switch on our power windows and open the door from the outside... then -30 happened and the power windows don't really like to work at -30. We would take turns rolling down our windows and then rolling them back up again all while freezing to death. We lived through this for months until the dad (me), got around and ordered some. Then we started taking drives just to use the door handles. I never thought I would ever hear my wife... or myself for that matter, giggle from using a door handle.
Sometime around the beginnng of January, the bathroom faucet broke off in Romay's hands. It was definitely not her fault as I think it was one of the original faucets the pilgrims brought over on the Mayflower, but it is funny how things just seem to break off in her hands... pull cords, door handles, faucets... door handles. She just looked at me with surprise and said, "It wasn't my fault, Dad." And, it truly wasn't, but in a town that has no hardware store, you end up going without a faucet for a while. I got pretty good at wedging the broken handle underneath the mechanism while I brushed my teeth... but that won't happen tonight. It makes me want to go and brush my teeth now before dinner.
The best has to be the new door handle on the house though. We were getting ready for church and Romay had gone out to start the truck... don't all twelve-year-olds get a kick out of starting the truck? When she went to return to the house, the door wouldn't open. She turned and pulled and nothing happened and so she just started to knock. It had to be around -20 outside and she was standing on the porch in a sweatshirt with no hat or gloves. I just kind of stared back unable to get the door open. All of my tools were in the garage. She headed for the truck to try to stay warm and I headed upstairs to scavenge for a screwdriver. I popped the knob off and found that a plastic (why plastic, I mean really?) piece had broken in the locking mechanism... a little jimmying later and the door was open and we were flying late to church.
I wish I had gotten a picture of the temporary fix as it was absolutely classic. It was an interesting cross between the Flintstones and the Beverly Hillbillies. I tied a decoy anchor line to the door knob hole and hooked a zip tie on the end of the cord that was then attached to a full bottle of coolant (you need those around when you have an '89 Bronco II) that was then draped over a door knob on another door in the entry. The weight of the bottle held the door closed and we either pushed the door to overcome the weight or unlooped the coolant and set it to the side when exiting. In order to close it from the outside, we shoved a big box of frozen musk ox meat in front of the door. A towel shoved in the door knob hole kind of kept out the -20 to -30 temperatures.
I now find myself smiling every time I open and close that door. Master lock door handles rock, and I would have never known that without going through this. I also don't take the new truck handles, bathroom faucet, or door knob for granted. I have friends and family that go out and buy brand new homes and cars and never really think about it... when we build our new home, I am going to appreciate it from the very ground up, door knobs and all, and I don't think I'll ever give up that beautiful Bronco II. God bless and may you always appreciate the simple things.