October 8, 2021 – Leelanau County, MI – Written by Jim
That was Diana’s dad’s response back in the 1980’s when she asked him how he was able to find the energy to totally renovate a house in the evening, all while working during the day as a superintendent for a commercial construction firm.
At the time, he was overseeing the renovation of the concrete topping at Buick City, working twelve hours a day and being on call the other twelve. That job was a monumental task in its own right, let alone throwing a home remodel into the mix. Diana and I have thought of Bud’s statement many times this summer, as we’ve had to push ourselves a bit to get our cabin building project to where it needed to be by season’s end. As the days slipped by on the calendar, it seemed at times that we had a bit more on our plate than we could chew.
Enter the friendly push.
Every one of our friends who has stopped by this summer has added to our project in some way, whether it be through moral support or by picking up a tool and digging in. These past few weeks have been a flurry of activity, fueled by the “pushhhhh” of our friends.
One of the deadlines we had to meet was finishing up the mechanical work this year. That involved all heating and venting work, including the ductwork from the microwave oven to the outside. In order to complete that, the microwave had to be installed above the range. I called my friend John who was there in a flash to help me with that project. Of course, I failed to get a photo. But…
…John’s wife Julie was able to photobomb her own photo when she shot this image of our friends Cindy and Jessica, who had stopped by to check out our progress. Julie is in the reflection in the door glass. Cindy and Jessica are neighbors in Kalamazoo, and John, Cindy, Diana and I all lived in the same dorm in college.
A week or so later, our friends Jim and Barb went way out of their way to lend a hand with our build. You may recall that we had stopped at their place in South Dakota to help them with their barndominium in 2019. Details of that project can be seen HERE. This trip, the two of them had been fishing and hunting north of Lake Superior and drove several hundred miles out of their way to lend us a hand.
We started out our long weekend by showing them the local sights. From there, we plotted our course to complete some key projects. First up was emptying the contents of our local storage room, as we had stashed many of our supplies there over the summer. We filled our 16 foot cargo trailer twice, so this was no small feat.
Next up was digging a trench across our driveway for a service conduit.
While I had loosened the soil with a metal tube chained to my tractor, Jim did the lion’s share of the digging. No better way to get to know Leelanau than to dig into it’s rocky soil! Once that was complete, Jim helped me add a support beam to the deck in the above photo that has the tools leaning against it.
We finished up by adding some diagonal braces to the main deck, which took out the sway at the outer reaches of it. When we were all done, Jim pulled out his drone and took some aerial photos for us. Here is one that shows our hideaway really well:
That was a huge weekend. We can’t thank them enough for their help!
The next big events to happen were the electrician and the HVAC tradesmen finishing their work.
It’s exciting to have power and heat! Those were followed by the electrical and mechanical final inspections, both of which were approved.
We also had a visit from our friends Becky and Joe!
They were on a journey from their home in Montana to our park in Florida. We hung out at our place for a bit before going to dinner at one of our favorite places, Hop Lot. It was great to see them!
Now we are on a push to finish a few things before we head south for the winter.
We have been able to complete more of the cabinet work this week. This won’t be totally finished before we leave, but it will be closer than this.
We also moved our appliances inside from the barn. We want to test them out and make sure they work while they are in the same year that we purchased them. That refrigerator was a tight fit!
We have a few more things we want to accomplish before we leave for Florida, so be sure to stay tuned for that. Until next time, safe and happy travels to all!