So, after three years of dreaming and planning, we've finally reached the baling portion of building a straw bale house. I have to take a minute to register my shock at how long we've been working on this project. Where on earth has the time gone? This is insane. Thank heavens for this journal—everything would be a complete blur of forgotten memories without it.
Here's what's happened so far:
September, 2011 — We buy land in Vermont.
November, 2011 — We build our first naïve model of the house we want to build.
May, 2012 — We go to a cob building workshop.
May, 2012 — We realize cob is a horrible building material for New England.
July, 2012 — We return with a 12'x16' white pine timber frame we cut ourselves.
August, 2012 — We decide to wrap our little frame with straw bales.
October, 2012 — We build a new house model.
November, 2012 — We finish paying off the land in Vermont
January, 2013 — We buy a truck and a travel trailer.
January, 2013 — We move to Vermont to start homesteading.
June, 2013 — We build a foundation for the house.
November, 2013 — We run out of money.
January, 2014 — I land a job working remotely for Bocoup.
April, 2014 — We go to a strawbale building workshop.
April, 2014 — We raise our timber frame.
May, 2014 — Our strawbales our delivered.
May, 2014 — The SIP roof is installed on the frame.
June, 2014 — Construction continues…
To be completely honest, I wasn't that excited when we started baling.
I just felt numb.
Numb to the amount of work that we'd done…
…and numb to the reality of how much I knew remained.
I remember thinking that this dream of ours was actually a gauntlet…
…the likes of which I might never escape.
I didn't continue because I was inspired by our dream…
…I did so because we'd come too far to quit.
As is often the case with our journals, I'm writing this well after the events within took place. It is the evening of June 29th, 2014, and I'm in a completely different frame of mind. I wish I could go back in time and knock some sense into myself. I'd tell the Tyler back then to appreciate the moments he half-heartedly participated in above, and to fully recognize all that they represent.
Ah well. Those moments are gone, like all other moments, replaced with the here and now. Happily, I can read this journal any time, and then do what the me who recorded these images didn't: appreciate the memories captured within. I am so glad we are keeping this record. And I am so glad we're building this house. Holy crap, we're doing it!