Over the past forty years of living on our ‘homestead’ we have learned a lot about living with less, making do and being creative in order to survive. We didn’t believe in debt or credit so when we pooled both of our savings and put it all into buying our five acres, we learned quickly how to do without and how to enjoy the experience. It was more important to us then, and still is, to do things together as a team.
Our dream was a log house built with our own trees, but we changed our dream to fit our reality when we realized the two of us would never be able to handle the logs necessary for that type of house. Ken made a cardboard model of a hexagonal house because he had admired one somewhere and figured we could build one.
All we had for tools was two matching Swede saws, a hammer, a shovel and a butcher knife. Ken cut the small straight trees down while I peeled them with the butcher knife. He used the sharpened shovel to help peel and we started our dream home. Neither of us had ever built anything before but we figured as long as it stayed standing, it would be fine. I apologized to every tree we had to cut down and argued to save as many from such a fate as I could, including one young sapling at our front door with the steps built around it.
We moved into our crudely built shelter on Valentines Day, 1976
©Sharron R. McMillan