When we first determined to seek out and move to this place at the end of the road, we were committing to a leap into the unknown. We would be moving to a new place where we knew no one, with no jobs or income, with no house or shelter other than two small tents. We intended to build our own house completely by ourselves even though we had never built anything larger than a small wardrobe unit for an early apartment that had very minimal closet space. We had the limited proceeds from the sale of the small house we had sold, planning very optimistically to use those funds for living and building expenses.
Were we crazy? Many of our friends and family definitely thought so. Many people, maybe most, don’t even consider the possibility of doing many tasks for themselves, by themselves. They feel they must rely on an expert, a professional to do almost everything for them. But we have discovered over the years since that time that some friends inwardly envied us, wishing they could break away from where they were in life, from unsatisfying jobs or living conditions, to pursue their own special dreams.
I had always been a bit of a crazy dreamer. One of my favorite activities from elementary school years onward was to be dropped at the public library where I would spend hours randomly browsing the shelves for books that caught my fancy. I read about explorers, inventors, philosophers, poets, architects, artists, and other exciting people. I consumed books about nature, science, construction, Native American culture, boats, foreign lands, and much more. At home I would pick a volume of our old encyclopedias and leaf through, reading whatever article I chanced upon, information tucked away somewhere in my young mind, perhaps to be recalled years later at some relevant moment. So many things were of interest to me and I had found the key to learning about all of them: libraries and all the books they contained.
That early experience of mine set the stage for a lifetime of learning and doing. I knew that information about everything was readily available. I could find details on any subject, study it, absorb it, think about it, and make it a part of me. I came to see that I could learn about anything and to believe that I could learn to do anything I really wanted to do. I didn’t necessarily think I could do everything as well as an expert or professional could do, but I did believe I could do the things I wanted adequately and satisfactorily for my purposes and needs. I also knew that doing things for myself would bring great satisfaction, the joy of seeing the finished project and knowing I had accomplished that.
So we came to this place at the end of the road over 38 years ago now. We struggled, we worked hard (very hard at times), we made mistakes, we changed plans, we re-did what had been done (sometimes more than once), we put projects on hold (sometimes for years) while other more pressing matters (like earning some income to pay for life’s necessities) had to be dealt with, we persevered. We’re still at it. We still rely on the library and books and now the internet for information and inspiration. We still work hard, doing and sometimes undoing and re-doing. And we still have the joy of the process and the satisfaction of seeing the end result. Hopefully this will continue for the rest of our lives which we expect to spend here at the end of this road.
Were we crazy? Yes, absolutely, with crazy wisdom. I highly recommend it.