A few of you may have followed my blog from the very beginning, however, I changed blog platforms and lost many of the earliest posts, then did an adjustment to Son 1’s server and we lost another chunk. So, some of this may be familiar to some of you, to others, brand new.
For at least a decade before we relocated to our farm in the mountains of southwest Virginia, and we still lived on the east coast of Virginia where I grew up and where we raised our three children, DH would ask me what I wanted for various gift giving times, and I always answered, “A cabin in the woods.” Several “cabins” entered as a result, a cabin similar to but smaller than ours on the edge of a lake under a mountain as a painting, a log cabin bird house with pine cone trees, a wood pile and a tiny axe with a sign in the front that says “A cabin in the woods.”
We talked about mountain property, but were still both working and were not in the tax bracket that would allow a vacation second home. Then I retired from the school system, totally burned out, but too young to get Medicare by a decade, so I went to work part time for an educational non profit to keep us with health insurance.
Around that time, DH had inherited from his father’s estate and we had begun looking for land or a house in the mountains, much farther south and west of where we had originally thought we might retire, and after two trips to meet with two different realtors, we found our farm, no house and three times more acreage than we had thought about buying. With the second realtor, who took the time to research and locate properties, emailing us links to look at, we had a list of about 10 to look at one mid December weekend in 2004. This property was the third of the day and we almost didn’t look further, but he had gone to so much trouble that we continued looking (all the while listening to an interminable stream of Christmas music from his car radio). We never found some of the properties, one, we liked was being leased out to a cattle raiser that didn’t want to lose his pasture, so he kept taking down the signs, but we came back to this land, made an offer, returned to Virginia Beach, and a week later, left for Florida to see our daughter for Christmas. The offer was accepted and the following month we returned to close on our new farm, giving the prior owner a couple months use to prepare to move her herd of miniature horses to new pasture. We decided if we liked the property in dead of winter, we would love it in spring and summer and we were right.
We now had land with no well, no electricity, no house and a house with a mortgage we were living in. At that time FSBO (for sale by owner) was a big thing and there was a small company in Virginia Beach that would put your listing on MLS and published in a FSBO biweekly magazine for a relatively small flat fee. We did some painting, some serious clean up of lawn, beds, and listed it for more than we hoped to get, and it sold the first weekend. Now we had no house on the farm, jobs in Virginia Beach, no house in that area and started looking for a rental. We found a small 3 bedroom house to rent and moved in. It was during that year we made monthly trips to meet with well drillers, figure out how to get the power easement, decide where the house placement would be, meet with the design team for the log home company, buy the logs, have them delivered, and construction begun, and I found out that to keep working, it would have to be full time. An idea was tossed around that if I was going to have to work full time, I should go back in education and applied for a position here in the mountains, for which I was hired. Son 1 and his family had relocated to this area to supervise construction of our log home and do all the stone work and finish carpentry after the shell was erected. During the time they were waiting for it to be at a point they could begin the stone work, they worked on the land, dug trenches for buried electric lines, and water pipes from the well, and made the garden, much larger than I ended up using.
To be continued …