Earthship post #4
I have to apologize about not posting for the past few weeks. We had a death in the family of one of my beloved uncles. I was very close to him and we traveled to New Mexico for his memorial service.
I also lost my old-time writing buddy. My cat, Panther, was suffering with kidney failure. He gave it the best he could, but he lost the battle a week ago as well. This move was extremely hard for him. We tried to keep him comfortable, but he was very old and it wasn’t meant for him to live in our new earthship.
We had some other troubles this week, but I’ll wait to share that later.
I thought maybe I’d share a little history of how we got to this point in our journey.
First let me say, I was never going to move from my two-story cape cod, with the big yard and lush trees. I cherished having the grandkids over to play and explore on our small acreage property. We’d built this home, landscaped and set down roots for our family. Then….
Two years ago I began to get a feeling we needed to sell our home and get out of debt.
We’d had our own business for a number of years and when we closed our doors eight years ago, we closed with some huge debt tied around our necks. I tried to help out by taking a mediocre job at a credit union. My husband got work in the oil field. We worked diligently to pay off our debts, and for the most part we did a pretty good job. I quit my job to try to find something to do at home. My husband’s hours and days off varied in the oil field and he wanted to be able to spend time together. I offered to have us both take Monday through Friday jobs to get by, but he didn’t want me to have to work outside the home if I didn’t have to. Still it wasn’t enough. We talked about bankruptcy, but we really didn’t want to do that either.
And so, when the idea of selling our home came around, I fought God hard and for a long time. I prayed we could do whatever it would take to save our home. For a man, their identity is tied to what they do for a living. For a woman, it’s usually family and home.
It took a while, but I began to soften a bit and start a little research. (Just for fun) I told myself. The first thing I checked out were the tiny homes. This was intriguing, but for a confirmed horder of the first order, this was out for me. Maybe if we lived in a milder climate where I could have outdoor places to expand to, it could be a possibility.
Then, I got my hubby involved and we found all sorts of alternative housing on the internet. We found cob houses, those are very popular in Europe. We saw earth bag houses. Those are very cool and seem to be fairly inexpensive to build. I thought maybe we could do something like that without a lot of money and effort.
Eventually, we discovered a video on You Tube of an earthship village in Taos, New Mexico. Then I was hooked. We watched You Tube videos every evening when Dave got home from work. We drug our family into the living room and forced them to watch too. I know my parent’s first reaction was, “What are they thinking?”
Dave had worked in Ouray county years ago and had actually seen one of the first earthships belonging to Dennis Weaver and his wife. Of course he didn’t know it was an earthship. I vaguely remember seeing an article in the newspaper when he was building it. The thing that stood out the most to me was that he could probably afford to build any kind of house he wanted, yet he was building a house out of tires and recycled trash.
About 6 months after my first thoughts arrived, we began to look at some land around our area. Unlike the last time we built, we didn’t have to think about how hard it would be to bring in utilities. Our earthship would be able to provide most everything we would need. We would use a solar system, so much improved from the early days. Propane, and until our home could harvest enough water from rain and snow we’d have to haul water. Dave wanted to be up in the mountains, further out, but I felt like I needed to be able to get to my parents quickly in case of an emergency.
We finally found a piece of ground, close to the town we live in. And the adventure began….
To be continued……..