Thursday, July 8, 2010

construction season

Soon I will begin to build a 12 x 16 foot shed using dimensional lumber.  The shed to our house will be like an expansion tank is to a water pump.  How's that for an analogy?  It will also help me clean up the landscape around the house.  It has been a long and complex vetting process to identify the best design based on a wide variety of factors.  Like natural selection, the process yielded conservative results.  Getting the shed up brings me one step closer to a few other things I've been looking forward to... a sauna and greenhouse.  And I think I found the perfect sauna for me.

With more freezing days than warm, a sauna is more valuable than a greenhouse.  I can have an 8 x 12 sauna transported wherever I may move.  A collapsible greenhouse can also be delivered wherever I want.  In my area where falling trees are an everyday reality, using sheet plastic to cover the greenhouse is a justifiably cautious approach.  Off the top of my head, the best greenhouse I ever stepped inside was my wife's grandmother's greenhouse in Japan - a plastic sheet covered metal pipe box barely five feet high.  It had some of those delicious Japanese grapes inside.  The second best was Rosie Creek Farm's big wood truss greenhouse.  A shed is really too big to move, it stays in place just as the house does.  The greenhouse and the sauna form the backbone of recreation during the summer and winter.  Each is a staycation in itself.  I can play in the snow and cold, and in the summer watch plants grow and mold.  And these are both very social activities, to be shared and enjoyed in the company of others. What a nice thought!  They are also outdoor oriented activities; I love spending my time outside. 

Another thought, the thought of moving somewhere else, somewhere near the ocean, comes up occasionally.  To me, a beach is a magic place, a spiritually expansive place, the edge of a vast empire.  Aside from the rhythm of the waves, the rocky shoreline, and the alien like life I can find there, I can also see for miles and miles, sometimes without limit.  I don't have that experience where I am at right now, but the good news is I think I can, if I build the sauna at the top of my hill and resting on an observation platform to get me an extra five to ten feet from the ground (not mobile) that is situated at the point where the slope changes the most.  The added height may minimize the risk from falling trees, and I'll have a view of the Alaska range and probably Denali if I am lucky.  Not to mention the aurora straight overhead.  The wind and the landscape from there will help me connect with that same feeling again.


Katie said...

I'm very excited for you to start! Post pictures here or via email so I can check it out as the building soon progresses. Happy Birthday (soon)!

Keir said...

I am also excited to get started! I anticipate smashed thumbs and flared tempers to result, but hopefully there will also be a finished shed to show for it all!