The natives welcome new arrivals
As I approached, I heard one of them mutter, "…what the hell is he doing?" This was probably because I was standing out in the freezing rain taking pictures like a wide-eyed tourist.
These natives are actually most friendly and quite helpful. I had just driven 175 miles with a trailer full of woodworking equipment and they showed up to help me unload. The bearded guy in the Tilley hat is Doug Thompson, whose Blue Ridge Muse weblog is a daily read in our family. The tall guy in the hood is Bob Eich, of Windy Hollow Construction, whose meticulous work is a joy to watch.
The three of us made short work of emptying the trailer and I invited them to tour our newly erected modular home which had been on its foundation for a little over 48 hours.
Pink…Floyd, what more do I need to say?
The house is still in its adolescent phase, pink-skinned and awkward in its bare foundation. It needs to acquire some distinguishing features like a front porch, siding, skylights and shingles. The four modules fit neatly together and the house already has a comfortable feel to it, even though the floors are bare plywood and the only way to enter is to climb up a 6 ft ladder.
The house is definitely more than the sum of its parts. Gretchen and I have been inspecting the modules while they were being built in the Southern Heritage factory in Rocky Mount and we had some sense of each module as an independent entity. We also had some reality on the overall design from the plans we had created. Walking through the completed house for the first time was an altogether different experience.
I only wish that Gretchen could have been here with us. The floor plan really works! There is an amazing sense of space because of the open design of the central modules. This house is somewhat smaller than our present house, but it provides interior and exterior vistas that our present house does not.
The arrangement of the house and workshop around a large driveway has the potential for creating a country compound look. It will require only a few cedars on the open side and down the driveway to give us as much privacy as we desire.
With the current weather forecast of more rain and some snow, we can expect the yard to be a challenge to navigate. The clay soil soaks up water and swallows unwary vehicles. It sticks to your boots and you track it everywhere. My van has a half-inch-thick coating of red clay on the floorboards, the pedals and the inside of the door.
It will take some ingenuity to avoid tracking clay through the unfinished house, but the builders have managed to keep the place remarkably clean so far. I hope I can do the same.
Does anyone have any recommendations for bootscrapers and mud brushes that really work?
We can use a little help here.
Many thanks to Doug and Amy Thompson for their hospitality. They have lent me their cats and their computer. The cats have been constant company, which is important when you are away from home and family, and I am posting this from Doug’s computer.
Tomorrow, I will try to capture the feeling of this new house with some interior and exterior pictures.