It was quite a long drive and took two days to get there but the first glimpse of our new home filled me with incredible joy. There was still a small bit of tension somewhere which said… “Now what?” “Can we really make this work?” “OH MY! There is so much to do!” OK, maybe that seems like a lot of tension but really the excitement downed out most of it.
Where to start? We had no home until it was built and didn’t want to use up our limited resources to rent a place while we were building. Even if we had decided to rent, the closest place we might find was over ½ an hour away and we would use a LOT of money running back and forth. Thankfully, as you can see from the picture, there was a small, very old ramshackle home from who knows how long ago. At any rate we were determined to actually homestead. You know, like in the "olden days" as my children were fond of pointing out. How would the settlers have managed? They would not have had even this small mean cabin to start but would have had to set up a tent or sleep in the wagon. Now I am not so lofty as to think I am as strong as those amazing pioneers but this was my pioneer quest and I wanted to experience (at least as much as possible in this modern age) what it might have been like for them.
The “wooden tent” as we came to call it looked like it had not been lived in for some time. There was evidence of mice everywhere, and the smell! Oh my! Still, how bad could it really be right? At least we weren’t sleeping on the ground. My Mountain Man unhooked the trailer and made a quick trip into town (Not so quick as it was a 40 min drive one way) and I started cleaning. The front room was small but big enough for us to use and much bigger than a canvas tent. It had a small cupboard area on one side (yeah!) and room for our bed on the other. Even as I cleaned away the mouse droppings, dead birds which had come down the open chimney and various other disgusting things I couldn’t help but be joyful. I was here! My heart sang along with the birds that had come to see what I was up too.
When MM arrived back from town the wooden tent was looking much better and we quickly slapped on a coat of Bin paint primer. It is well known for its ability to cover up nastiness and the place looked and smelled a whole lot better for it. As soon as we could we set up a makeshift platform for our mattress (really just upended 5 gallon pails and plywood) so we would be up off the floor and settled in for our first night on our property. Satisfaction! So our dinner had been cold? So what? We would work that out tomorrow. For now we were content, we had each other, we were here. Sigh…. We would have time to explore tomorrow and maybe even decide on a place to build our home. So many acres to explore! I couldn’t wait to get started and seriously doubted I would be able to sleep, but my body was tired and I soon drifted away. But one thing kept nagging the back of my mind even as I drifted into slumber… what was that smell???