Thursday

Renaissance Man....




My partner... in 'Super, Stupendous "What Were We Thinking?" Projects'.... after another day of our year long (began in September 1998)  "clearing the land" process........... a man not afraid to get his hands dirty in pursuit of a vision...

....... all because we saw a 50' high red sandstone bluff  and a View to die for and thought "How cool would it be to live up there and look out at "that". It faced south.... sunrises over the water... you could see for 30 miles..... and when the moon was full.... it rose straight up, out there over the bay. Many times we caught sight of fishing boats passing through the moon glow cast on the water.... It felt magical..... It would be like working in paradise.


When we found our now "Piece of Heaven" it had been a clear-cut forest ... totally neglected..... it looked like a bomb had gone off... we found out much later, it had been for sale for two years and nobody wanted to touch it..... you really had to have an imagination or be totally insane to think that you could clean this mess up in no time......... At that stage in our lives we had more time than anything else.... so we went for it.

It was an exhausting, back-breaking experience and there were times when we thought we could not go on ..... but the vision of what we wanted to create lured us on..... and all we had to do was get rid of the mess.... Oh I forgot to mention the junked car parts 2 acres of them on the lower entry section of the property... junked sections, pieces, parts of every description, size and shape of vehicle parts.... were everywhere... even after we thought we had this portion of the land cleaned up.... every time it rained, more came to the surface. Unreal!





... the local people (we didn't know a soul there, at the time) must have thought we were crazy..... We kept imagining this seemed like something from Monty Python but we did eventually begin to give it some order, build a road to the top of the bluff, level out the ground, plant a meadow and trees....







These are piles of roots, stumps and the remaining dead trees that had to be root raked into huge piles to dry in the sun before we could get rid of them. They don't look very high here.... but they were at least 10' -12' tall  and they went on forever (10 acres)..... My son Max used to crawl inside of them, work his way to the top and use them for look outs and hide outs.





.... Then all we had to do.... was build a house.....

who knew it would take another 8 years to complete that part of our "Bright Idea".......

..........It truly was worth it..... Thank you, John....... my Dear..........





...pictures taken in Fall 1999.

17 comments:

Gwen Buchanan said...

It has been a journey I would highly recommend...

Sarah said...

You are so lucky to have a place like this to live--when I was little I used to visit my great grandma's land and she had a lot of sandstone that I used to carve into...this is so beautiful....best of luck to you!!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

What a great post.
I can relate though. The first time I visited Parrsboro, N.S. where my husband's mother came from, I was agog at the red sandstone cliffs. We've been vacationing there for ten years now and I can't say I'm over it yet either! I take the same photos year in and year out because it's so beautiful!d Lucky you and your renaissance man ;)

Ruth said...

So happy to see the process. You two are just amazing. I admire your tenacity.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Ruth, I think the tenacity was actually... "naivety"

Lecea said...

You write very well.

Sandy said...

Wow, taking time today to go through my blog friends' archives, because we celebrated last night, I'm feeling a little under the weather and am going to sit on my bed all day. I'm so glad I trekked back this far....

hope you are having a good day ...

you probably won't see this since its' so far back in your archives but if you do, I'm really enjoyed seeing some of your artwork, the land, the jewelry, John, and ...anyway..it's been fun.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi sandy.. my archives are never too far back.. leave a note any time you like I'll get it.. I am so honoured that you would spend a little time with us on this special day...!!!

actually I cooked our turkey the first of the week so we could have nibbles all week long... much nicer!!

BumbleVee said...

WOW!! what a ton of work you guys did!
We've been renovating our house for years...and I've helped my sis to "tidy" her acreage..move piles of brush like yours of beetle killed pines..etc.. but, to begin from scratch and do all that manual labaour.... I do know some of what you must have gone through..good for you!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks BumbleVee.. It was the most exhilarating experience.. I had done this before on a smaller scale farther inland... We loved creating and building using our own plans, designs and basically having free reign over what we did... as long as we could find a way to keep the costs low and do most of it ourselves...
It sounds like you have had your fair share of sculpting out personal spaces too.. It is fun isn't it.. even if it is hard work...

Morna said...

Okay, Gwen, since everyone else is being so pure, I'll say it --- John is a hunk! Just as gorgeous as the scenery, and apparently as meaningful, too. Perfection! :-)

Gwen Buchanan said...

oh Morna, you rascal... he is kinda cute isn't he!!! ... and Handy!!

nice to hear from you...

Carol Steel 5050 said...

I had no idea that you had started from less than nothing to build your home. I guess... I just assumed that the basic building had been there and you fixed it up. What a mind boggling, enormous work of art you and John have created out of this rough start. I am as they say "gob-smacked" by what you have accomplished. Thank you for linking to this older post!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Oh Thank you Carol.. it was an adventure, slow and steady... always wondering if we could accomplish what was in our minds eye... I can hardly believe it all started 13 years ago.. it seems like yesterday but we feel like old souls of the earth now... I know people (including our families) thought we lost our minds, but the challenge was irresistible...

Thank you for taking the time to read it.. We appreciate it.

rory said...

I like this blog! :) Congratulations!

Terra said...

Wow, what a grand adventure and accomplishment, and now are you selling your home? My husband and I had an adventure too; he did all the work of building our home, wrote a book about it, and we eventually sold the home.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Terra, yes we are at the stage now we are able to sell our house but if we do, we plan on keeping 2 acres off to the side situated privately from the main house.
Very interesting to hear you wrote a book on your house adventure.


Thank you Rory.