Life During Construction

Here’s one of the best lies we ever told ourselves:  “We’ll be done building in three months.”  We believed it, honest.

Construction took four years. For the first six months, we continued renting the house we had sold, thirty miles away.  We camped at the cave on the weekdays, and went “home” on the weekends. Then we skipped weekends. Eventually we noticed that we hadn’t been back to our old house in nearly a month! Why were we still paying for it?

In spite of warnings from a social worker that we wouldn’t be allowed to camp indefinitely, we eventually gave up the old house. Even sitting empty, it cost more than a grand a month, money that could be spent on construction supplies.

In some ways, the cave provided the most luxurious camping experience ever. In other ways, long-term camping can wear on a family, and provides all kinds of challenges. Simple everyday tasks like dishes and laundry become ordeals when the only source of hot water is a tiny, make-shift shower. For four years, most of our personal belongings remained packed away in boxes. The challenges of cooking without a kitchen are fun when you camp for a weekend.  It gets old fast!

Even so, we quickly discovered that we enjoyed camping at the cave far more than living in our old house.