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The Road to a New House

March 3rd, 2008

This is a picture of the driveway that leads to our house. As you can see it goes over the dam that created our pond. This driveway was a long way coming and somewhat of a sticking point. Before we could build a house, we had to decide where to put the house. We had eight acres to choose from, but there were really only two spots that made sense. One was in front of the pond and one was behind the pond.

The type of house we wanted to build included an expansive wrap around porch, and it seemed clear that it would be nice to sit on the porch and look at the pond. However, building behind the pond required quite a bit more expense including building a dam that was large enough for a driveway, and longer electric and water lines. We actually gave up the idea of building behind the pond for these reasons and I designed a house to build in front of the pond. But it just was not the kind of house we wanted. Why bother constructing a beautiful deep covered porch to overlook a road, when you could overlook a pond.

Finally we gave into the ancient architectural theory of chi, which demands that the mountains be at your back and that you face the water. We moved the building site behind the pond, re-drew the house to fit the new site and bit the bullet on the extra money. It is easily the smartest decision we made as the house is so beautifully sited, reflecting on the water, with a treeline at the back and a few trees framing the house as you look at it from the road. Trust the ancients. They knew what they were talking about.

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I was in the process of hanging some insulation, when I noticed how quiet the work site was. This was somewhat disturbing because seven boys were playing on the site, my four and three friends. However, I figured what’s the worst thing that could happen… at a construction site… with a pond… and the neighbors pond… Then I heard the piercing wail.

I met Jack the youngest outside. This is what he looked like…


He was upset because his shirt had some mud on it, and he was pouring the blame on his brethern. I turned the corner and this is what I saw…

And this…


Show me some muscles mud boys!