Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bucket accommodations

We've lived in some pretty sub-standard locations in the past 3 or 4 years of our house project. The saga begins right after we moved to Sitka and tried to buy a house. We could afford a house with a bad foundation and a leaky roof. One house listed to one side and was sinking back into the muskeg. Another was less of a house and more of a series of additions and remodels where the hallway linking the two structures was kitchen.

Faced with these terrible options, we thought we could build a house. Hind sight makes me want to throttle myself. We found a beautiful lot with an amazing view, a steep driveway and lots of trees. This was 2005. We spent the summer clearing the lot, drawing plans (on the floor with a quilting ruler and a library book), and living in a friend's half-remodeled house. There are very few photos of our year spent there. The kitchen consisted of a range, a sink on plywood supported by sawhorses, and a small table. The bathroom was functional but the plumbing froze during a particularity severe cold snap. The walls were plywood and the floors unfinished. But, it was free.

This was the nicest place we stayed before we moved into our own apartment January 2008. The other places make me cringe, they were so awful.

Moving on.

We were so thrilled to be living in the building we spent the past 3 years of our lives (and all of our money) on. It didn't matter that there wasn't a bathroom door--we could use a blanket and a radio! I so didn't care that our floors were filthy plywood, sweeping was for suckers anyway. My kitchen was just a range and a sink on plywood, but it was MINE.

bucket kitchen, but MY bucket kitchen.

Sure, the chopsaw was in the living room and there was the ubiquitous layer of sawdust. I'm not much of a housekeeper so this was a perfect excuse. Why clean?

That table has seen both cocktail parties and heavy use while trimming out all the windows. It's a multipurpose plywood sawhorse thing!

This photos is a little more recent than the other one. The wood floor has been installed (yay) but the dryer vent has not. We ran two (2) different lengths of ducting from the dryer, across the floor and out the cracked door. Since it was probably 27 degrees that day, we used a sheet to prevent the air from coming back in. BUT it was my dryer that we got for free. I'm glad we have these pictures, they make great stories.

Also, notice the four or five pairs of xtra-tuffs in disrepair? That's life up here.

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