Building a Dream House: Snow!
Hi! I’m Melissa. I write about food, family, and farm life at Lulu the Baker. My family and I are hopefully about to fulfill one of those good, old-fashioned life-long dreams: we’re building our Dream House.
This month has been one of the weirdest, wildest months I can remember thanks to Mother Nature. Winter here in western Oregon is usually chilly and damp, with thick fog stretching from early evening well into the morning, and an almost constant misty drizzle. It’s not for everyone, but I happen to think winters here are very much like a gothic romance, dark and brooding and mysterious. We usually get snow once a winter, but more often than not, the snow turns to rain before long, and the kids are lucky to miss any school at all due to weather closures. But not this year!
This year, Old Man Winter decided to dump close to a foot of snow in the Willamette Valley, followed by an immediate drop in temperature of almost 40°! We spent seven days nearly house-bound by icy roads and below-freezing temperatures. Pipes all over town were freezing and bursting, and the city’s plumbers were working around the clock to meet the demand for help. Schools were closed, events were cancelled, and life in general was at a stand-still. It was too cold to play outside, too cold to venture out on errands,…and most definitely too cold to pour concrete.
As I mentioned in my post last month, we got the basement walls poured over Thanksgiving week—Hallelujah! In the five days of clear (but ever-cooling) weather we had before the big freeze, the workers at the Dream House managed to frame the footings for the garage walls, rivet wooden beams to the ICF to support the floor joists for the main level, begin placing rebar for the walls of the ground floor, and run a meshwork of water pipes and electrical conduit across the ground in preparation for the foundation to be poured. They kept warm by building fires in what will someday be the basement bedroom, which I find inexplicably charming, probably because of all that gothic romance nonsense I mentioned earlier. And then the snow came. And the roads were truly terrible. And you couldn’t pour concrete anyway because it was -6°.
We’re all thawed out now, thank goodness. The children are mercifully back in school, and the work on the Dream House is progressing. I feel like they’re always just about to do something big when I write these posts, and indeed they are just about to pour all of that lovely concrete we’ve been waiting for these three weeks. I’m told that they’ll pour the foundation for the entire house plus footings for the garage walls by the end of the week. I certainly hope so, because next week runs straight into Christmas. And even Dream Houses need to take a backseat to that.
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