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My Crazy---Check Off List---To Do!!!
Okay, we all have a list of things that we would like to do in our life time. No? I don't mean the things that we need to do, that you will do. I mean those silly, crazy things that when you told someone they would just shake their had and walk away. Some have dreams of climbing a mountain, some want to go sky-dving, etc.
Checking my list, I see that the last one I checked off was trying my hand at "Panning Gold," Hub- (Jacob's Gold).) see it wasn't something that I needed to do it was just something that I had to try?
Most people that drive through our western deserts going to one city or another at 75 mph, never really see the beauty of it. There are delicate plants that have struggled for survival that definitely should be held with a higher respect.
It all started when we found that getting away from the stress of the 9 to 5 jobs in Los Angeles were getting to much and we found our escape was packing up the ole station wagon and heading out to the desert areas. There was something very peaceful and quite in its surroundings. There were no sirens screaming by, no honking horns and the air is clean and fresh with on smog---to this add pure sunsets and at night you could almost reach up and touch the stars.
There was one area that we found ourselves drawn to. For those of you that are familiar with the San Diego county area. There was an area that bordered on the Anza Borrego State Park, it was high desert. At first we found our way to a camping resort "Butterfield Ranch Resort," and it seemed that we were spending every week-end there. Of course you explore the area and soon we found a piece of land down the road that we bought. This was now our great retreat from the big city.
It wasn't long before we added another item to our "To Do List."
√ Build a House:
Now keep in mind this was not an easy feat. There are many things you have to learn when you take on a project that you know nothing about. At that time there was no such thing as the INTERNET. If you wanted to read up on a how-to-do-it, you went to the local library or asked some one that was knowledgeable in that particular field.
Next we found a house plan with blue-prints that we liked. The details were all there of every piece of lumber, plumbing, etc.
Now I ask? Just how hard could it be to hammer a nail into a two-by-four. I will not state how many nails that I pulled---out, (must have been cheap nails) because they kept bending over. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.?
The view that this house would offer when finished would be spectacular for it would sit on a hill that view the whole valley. The main living quarters were on the second level and the bedrooms below. One could stand in any room on the upper level and see clear down the valley to the south or north to the San Diego mountain range.
We take for granted all the things that are right at our finger tips, in the city. No, you can not just turn the faucet on and there is water. In the desert or anywhere WATER is the most important commodity for man or beast. We had two Wells drilled and beings this area was known for its thermal water source below the ground, we were fortunate to now have one warm water Well and one cold.
Although this land was 92 miles from San Diego, we were still required to follow all the building codes and have all inspections done as we proceeded. Now keep in mind there was no telephone service, just electric that was near the highway. We were required to take out a permit and had to have the water-wells inspected to see if it was safe to drink, also we were required to have an out-house set at a certain distance from here---to there and that had to be inspected. I did not know about this requirement until one day I happened to see two men dressed in suits walking around our 2 seat-er purple out house---(left over paint being utilized.) They had come all that way to check a out-house to see if it was sanitary---meaning if it had a bag of lime near by. They also took a sample of the water from the Wells and said that they would send us a letter stating if we could drink the water or use the out-house. If we had waited for this letter of approval we would have been dead, for it was 18 months later that they gave us permission????
Now it is time to get the hammers out and the saws. We worked hard and learned as we went along, many times saying stupid things like, if I ever do this again I won't do it just like this."
Building a fire place was unique experience to say the least. All I will say here on this subject is if after that house is gone for what ever reason, and just maybe a few blocks fall from it they will discover that a lot of those bricks and blocks were filled with not just mortar but with (Budweiser cans) I like to think of it as a corner-stone of sorts.
It took three years to build this get-away house. I certainly learned a lot of what do do and never to do again. Yet with that being said I think that if you are physically able to take on a project such as this or any other to-do that is on your list---Go for it!
My Cajun Grandfather once told me that you should never go back to a place that you had great memories of after a long period of time had past---for time has a way of fading what your eyes and memory had seen there. (My Cajun Man)
I did not heed this advice and with this great tool that we have now at my finger-tips called the Internet. I looked back at this very place and see that those that have it now for what ever reason? Do not hold or know the love and hard work and meaning that went into that house that I can now----√√√ off my list.