I’ve officially jumped right into the deep end of this project, and on one hand, finally, I’ve been talking about this for years. On the other hand, holyeffingshit that is a big hole in the yard.
I’ve been deriving courage and DIY inspiration from one of my favorite books — One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey. The journals of Richard Proenneke as he headed out into the Alaskan wilderness to build a cabin with nothing but hand tools and trees he felled. When he was fifty years old he went out for a year to live off the land, and ended up staying until he was eighty.
“I suppose I was here because this was something I had to do. Not just dream about it, but do it. I suppose too, I was here to test myself, not that I had never done that before, but this was to be a more thorough and lasting examination. What was I capable of that I didn’t know yet? What about my limits?” (Page 21)
“Guess a man needs an upset now and then to remind him he doesn’t know as much as he thinks he does.” (Page 39)
“When you first think something through, you have a pretty good idea where you are going and eliminate a lot of mistakes.”
“I’ve learned patience, learned to take my time and try to do a job right by first figuring it out… No sense complaining if the weather turns sour– make your job fit the day. Grandmother Nature is in control, and you better just wait until she sees fit to give you the weather that is right for another job you have to do.” (Page 210)
“I do think man has missed a very deep feeling of satisfaction if he has never created or at least completed something with his own two hands. We have grown accustomed to working on pieces of things instead of wholes. It is a way of life with us now. This emphasis on teamwork. I believe this trend bears much of the blame for the loss of pride in one’s work, the kind of pride the old craftsman felt when he started a job and finished it and stood back and admired it.” (Page 211)
With those words from Dick, I’m off to help frame in the footers for the basement walls. Four weeks and this big hole is going to be a house.