Friday, August 19, 2011

Wedding party process wrapup

It's been almost two weeks already since Auntie Nora's wedding and we're just now getting back on the house building side of things.  It was a fantastic time with family and friends from all across the country and beyond, kids chasing each other in their party clothes, superhuman dancing to Irish accordion tunes, a margarita bar across a fresh bridge, the list goes on and it was all to celebrate the joining of these two people so dear to my heart.

If you have any interest in weddings and/or beautiful pictures I strongly suggest checking them out at the blog of the official photographer, Kat Schleicher:

Here's another link to a bridal blog that features some of these photos with commentary from Nora and Kat.

But the wedding itself was only one part of the celebration. Nora and Jared came to stay with us for a whole month before the big day, and we worked, ate and played together on the house and grounds as other family members came in numbers congruent with the crescendo of energy leading up to the wonderful happening.

It's remarkable that almost the whole clearing and landscaping for the wedding happened in two two-week sessions. The first being in May, which was mostly Erica and the kids cutting trees and clearing brush, and the second being the last two weeks before the wedding.

Here's May:

And the same spot on August first. In this photo we're putting a new handle on the post hole digger. The only way I knew it was the same place was by the trees that Erica is sitting on in the previous photo.

One of the first excavation jobs was to make a little road down to the site to haul things up and down. This photo looks up the hill in May.

And this one looks down in August.

To get the stumps out and smooth out the site we had help from a rented mini-excavator and our neighbors on their tractor. This is the last week of July.

Assembling the stage.

Then came sod.

Painting signs

The lumber which became a dance floor is to become part of a garage in the future. The delivery of this lumber didn't go so well. The truck got stuck in some of the freshly broken sand and it took a few hours and eventually a tow truck to get it out. The poor driver left in the dark, as our kids had just fallen asleep.

A lot of people worked with shovel and wheelbarrow to turn the rugged hillside into pleasant pathways.

Keep in mind it was exceptionally hot and humid these last two weeks. This photo shows the late morning humidity dripping off of a single-pane window. Now that the house is insulated it stays comfortably cool on the ground level all day.

If all this looks like a ton of work, it was, but I dearly love it. I'm tempted to apologize for demystifying the wedding experience for any of the guests, but I'm not going to. Part of the reason I keep this blog is to show what a pain in the ass country living is. There is a story told again and again of a young family moving out into the woods with a notion that it will be a simpler better life only to find that it's not very easy or comfortable. It pushes them to the limit and sometimes beyond. Erica and I were lucky to have a few years in different types of woods houses and most of a year in a tent together before we bought this plot of land. We had a pretty well developed idea of our own limits and each other's as well, but that's not to say they haven't developed further!

For all it's pain, however, the rewards are excellent. Getting to know yourself and your family better is a real wealth. And this time of year, when the berries are ripe, the bugs are gone, and the water is warm is hard to beat. Last night when I stopped working on the insulation at about 9:30, I had a beer on a stump down by the creek, listening to the water and the rustling of the night creatures. Bats, birds, flying squirrels. A coyote sang in the distance. Sometimes I have conversations with the neighbors where we say things like "We get to LIVE here," in hushed tones as if someone might hear. And sometimes I gloat on the internet.

Blog Archive