Yesterday Dusty called in the morning, to say Frank from Williams Drilling wanted to drill our well. Dusty was wondering if there’d be any problem with that so he tossed it to me.
This is how much I know about wells:
I did express a little concern that the evergreen seedlings Lynn nurtured all summer, and planted hard by the irrigation ditch on the east side of our lot, had already been run over once. The well is slated to go near the ditch, and I was worried it might crush the little seedlings. But then Dusty and I decided we wouldn’t find them under the snow, and I said sure, go ahead.
But then I don’t think the drilling rig ever showed up yesterday.
Because it snowed about four inches on Christmas Eve, we have a very clever means of tracking all the happenings at our lot, and so far there are no tire tracks (except the ones Lynn made late yesterday). She reported someone walked around, but that was probably me on Christmas morning.
So maybe we’re getting a well, or maybe not. Might as well pluck the petals off a daisy and see where we end up.
So we can take the rest of this schedule with a grain of salt — why do you suppose we do that? [My one-minute research project on The Google tells me Pliny the Elder originated it, but that it was meant as an antidote to poison. You can read Gary Martin’s take on the phrase here. Gary tells us his site grew out of post-graduate research, so I assume he’s as good an authority as Wikipedia, which provides the same origin.]
Thus you can take the rest of this schedule however you see fit, with or without salt. There might or might not be activity at the lot on Friday — my phone and I only barely get along, and I was walking to work with Oz while talking to Dusty, so I missed some of the finer points — but the framing crew is scheduled to start on: ta-da! Monday.
The crew number seems to have increased from five to seven, so Dusty was optimistic that it would go quite quickly. I don’t know what “quickly” means to him, and I didn’t ask. To Lynn and my mother, I assume that means, “Should be finished by Friday.” And that’s only because I assume the crew will take Tuesday off.
I did, because I’m sure you’re all burning with the same curiosity I was, inquire as to the meaning of “dried in.” I still can’t give you a full report, but I think it means the house is tight against the elements. I’m still not sure when doors go on or windows in, but if the Oros house in Riverwalk is “dried in,” it has windows but no doors, just sheets of black plastic across large openings. I will take a picture when Dusty says we are “dried in,” and then we can all infer from the state of the house what that means.
I have been a faithful reader of Colorado Central magazine since its inception. Ed and Martha Quillen passed along ownership several years ago to Mike Rosso, who last year had a house built outside of Salida (by my friend Kirby Pershbacher, as it turns out).
Apparently readers have been curious as to that process, so every month Mike details a portion of his construction as it happened. I am following along much more avidly than I would have at any other time in my life. And then I pepper Dusty with questions about the order he’s doing things versus Kirby’s process as reported by Mike. (Kirby is also a straw builder, but Mike’s house has blown-cellulose walls — essentially two walls about eight inches apart with insulation between them. Also more expensive than I was willing to pay.)
So far, Dusty has answered all my questions satisfactorily, with a clear line of explanation for why he does things the way he does. As I’ve mentioned, we invited ourselves into several of the homes he’s built, and so far everyone’s seemed happy with his work. He also remodeled our house, largely to improve energy efficiency, and we’ve had very few complaints (a couple of bits of insulation at the bottom of doors have come loose, and Marrakesh helps nothing by pulling at the loose strip on the back door when he wants in).
By next week, then, our house should start looking less like a “cee-ment pond,” to quote the Beverly Hillbillies, and more like a house, which ought to be exciting and a game-changer. (I did, on Christmas, sort and clean up a tiny fraction of one room — wait ’til I blog about all my college papers I found. But if I proceed at that pace, I will be ready to move into the new house in, oh, 2095.)
In the meantime, we might or might not get a well. This is where I start to feel like Eddie Albert on Green Acres (where am I pulling these references from?): I’ve always had city water on tap. We haven’t even had access to Gunnison’s famed ditch irrigation system, so I know nothing about pumps. Nuh-thing (Hogan’s Heroes!)
When I met with my accountant a week or so ago, we were discussing the unexpected increase in city utilities (as of January there will be an expected rise in the form of a rate increase, but both of us experienced higher city bills to the tune of several hundred dollars in 2018). He then remarked that someone had left water running in his building one day, but 10,000 extra gallons only cost something like $4. He said that was hard for him to accept, growing up in rural Gunnison and living off a well where you make every gallon count.
I hadn’t heard that before. Not that Lynn and I are water wasters, particularly (my showers are too long, I know that), but now I’m going to have to keep an eye on every gallon we use? “Farm living, that’s the life for me.” You wouldn’t think a distance of two miles would have such an impact on my outlook on the world.
Here’s an update for you: Oz and I went out to the lot for our morning constitutional, hoping for an action-packed photojournalistic shot of a drilling rig in action. Nope. Just Lynn’s tire tracks. We’ll all just have to make do with SpongeBob for now.