In 2007 we decided it was a great time to invest in real estate. Yes, we know how funny that is. By 2015, our investment was finally approaching fair market value.
But Neighborly Lane was perfect, it gave us a great weekend camping getaway and potential retirement property. Let's not talk about the price, just the fact it was already set up with utilities.
Here's a quick summary of what life was like. To see the full set of stories, check out Life in the Woods.
Camping is great, but indoor plumbing is even better. We quickly added a 2000 SF shop and developed an indoor living space.
Wildlife, some more wild than others
Though we heard them a lot, it was 14 years before I saw a horned owl. Now they're around a bit more. Here are other animals and birds you're likely to see. I don't know the names of all the birds, if you spot one you can identify, please let me know!
It wouldn't be the same without Betty
Betty is the silent partner on the Neighborly Lane project. Without our Kubota (named Betty in honor of all feisty redheads everywhere) we'd never have developed the property the way you see it now. She's moved a lot of dirt, rocks, logs, and debris. And she's pulled out a few dozen tree stumps.
We have enjoyed ourselves immensely. Though Betty got pretty annoyed when I let her run out of diesel. (City girl didn't know that's a really bad idea. Betty had to go into Burlington for repairs.)
Sharing the fun
This is the perfect place for entertaining. Particularly in the spring and fall when we host burn parties. We build a huge bonfire with all the debris we've gathered over the prior six months and hang out around it (or in the shop when it's raining). The heart of the party is our group of friends who come to throw a log (or, sometimes, old journals, old jeans, or even an old wedding dress) on the fire.
Building the house
We built the house between March and November 2015. At the time, we lived in the shop, and I worked from home. It worked out great for staying on top of the building process. So many details!!!
Here's the short story, from ground clearing to moving in.
Too frugal to buy plants for the deer to eat, we've relied on working with what's already here. You'll find a rhody and some maple trees, but pretty much everything else is from here or seedlings from our house in Seattle.
The pandemic garden
I argued against a garden on the grounds that I didn't want to take care of it. But Fred needed a project during 2020. And he even made the boards for the raised beds using his chainsaw. It ended up being a lot of fun for both of us.